Are you a screen queen?
If you are like the average person, you are spending more time at a computer screen than you do asleep. While computers and smart phones are supposed to make us more productive, they are one of the leading causes of back and neck pain. This can prevent us feeling our best and ultimately keep us out of the office. In fact, back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work.
How Screen Time Causes Pain
There are a few key factors to consider when sourcing your work related pain.
- Direct Positioning. When a screen isn’t directly in front of you, you may be twisting your neck too much.
- Vertical Positioning of Screen. Your screen should be at exactly the right height so that you don’t have to crane your neck. (Craning your neck can put up to 60 lbs of added pressure on your cervical spine!)
- Is the rest of your desk within reach? Even if you’ve figured out the best place for your screen, your documents or other important tools on your desk may still be at the wrong height. As a result, you may end up constantly moving your body back into poor posture throughout your work day.
- Your chair should support your both your body and compliment the strategic placement of your computer.
Stop Work Related Back and Neck Pain
Work related pain, as you know, can be felt in your back and neck. It can also extend to your shoulders, wrists, hips, and beyond.
Here are a few tips from our Chiropractic and Physical Medicine team to help curb pain that may be related to your work set-up:
- Keep your head up. Make sure your head is aligned right above your shoulders.
- Adjust your computer screen to avoid straining forward. The top line of your screen should be placed 0-30 degrees below eye level.
- Keep your monitor an arm’s length away.
- If you use a mouse, keep it close to you.
- Be aware of how often you stop to crane your neck down further to check your cell phone. Consider using a computer-based texting app instead.
- When you’re using the phone, opt for speaker phone or ear buds to avoid cranking your neck to the side.
- Get choosy with your chair. Make sure your chair offers the right support to conform to the natural curve in your lower back and that you are able to plant your feet on the ground. It should be height-adjustable and able to recline. Your arm rests should be at a height where you can comfortably create a 90-degree angle with your elbows and ensure that your shoulders stay in a relaxed position.
- Make some moves. Get up at least once an hour. There are smart phone apps and desktop programs like Workrave.org that will flash screen reminders for you to take a break when your body needs it.
- If you use a standing desk or opt to elevate your monitor, make sure the rest of your desk follows suit. If you have papers or tools that you need to use, keep them at the right level to make sure they aren’t causing you to break with your improved posture.
Schedule a free consultation
Within time, you can minimize work-related back pain and eliminate many of its causes. However, you may want to work with a professional in Chiropractic Care and Physical Medicine if you’re currently experiencing pain or debilitating symptoms. Working with a Chiropractor can help you eliminate underlying causes and bring immediate relief so you can return to feeling like your normal self sooner.
If you have questions, please schedule a free consultation by visiting here or calling us at 773.598.4387.