When you’re spending a lot of time in front of the computer, you are probably giving in to bad posture habits. Don’t feel guilty, it’s actually quite natural. When we’re sitting, our body naturally wants to slouch to take the weight off your abdominals, but it instead puts all the weight on your back when you slouch. One of the negative effects of bad posture besides just plain back ache, is how much it can hamper your creative juices when you’re not comfortable.
A few years ago I had a friend in a car accident, he got really messed up and he had to keep his neck straight to avoid any painful spasms. While he was under the treatment of a local chiropractor, he began to realise that chiropractors are more than just the back-cracking phonies some people make them out to be. His chiropractor covered everything from his dieting and exercising to his central nervous system.
I had to see it to believe it
As someone who is generally skeptical, I was rather surprised to see my friend’s speedy progress both in physical rehab and his affiliate site. We joked about it and I said he had no choice but to work on his website being confined to his bed and chair, but he said the biggest thing making a difference in his productivity was actually his new workspace arrangement. His chiropractor had recommended he install a few ergonomic additions to his computer area, being that much more comfortable actually made a tremendous difference in his productivity. I’m more than happy to share the same advice with you.
- An ergonomic chair with loaded customization options – Everything needs to be adjustable. The height, the width between armrests, the lumbar support, even the footrest should all be adjustable to fit your exact specific needs. Humans are meant to sit for long hours, so the most ergonomic chair you can find is very important. Alternatively, you can skip the problem altogether and look into a stand up computer desk.
- Keyboard shortcuts – My friend’s chiropractor explained to him the benefits of proper typing such as holding the wrists at a 90 degree angle, but he also explained that long hours of typing will lead to strain, proper form or not. He told my friend to read up on his keyboard shortcuts to minimize the time spent reaching for the mouse. There actually exists a myriad of keyboard shortcuts available to use, and once he became proficient in them, my friend almost stopped using his mouse completely.
- Dual monitors – This might seem like a stretch, but there’s actually ergonomic reasons for having two monitors besides just fanciness. For starts, having two monitors actually forces you to sit farther back from the screens for the optimal point of view. There’s also the benefits to multi-tasking, and you could even use keyboard shortcuts to switch between the two monitors.
- A mousepad with wrist support – If your job requires you to use the mouse for say, graphic design and artwork, it’s important to keep your wrist and arm comfortable. One of the most common desk-work related injuries is inflammation of the trapezius muscles, which extend from the top of your neck down to your back. If you’re extending your arm for long periods with no kind of wrist support, that shoulder soreness can be alleviated with a simple gel-filled wrist rest.
- Take breaks often to stretch – This should go without saying, as it’s incredibly easy to do, but it’s also easy to forget. You should be standing up to stretch at least once every half hour, at the very least to improve the circulation in your legs. Blood clots in the leg are a risk factor for office workers, and you can combat this by simply standing and stretching as often as you’d like.
Being more productive is important for computer workers because the less time spent in front of the screen, the better. You’ll have more time to spend with your family and enjoy your hobbies. I don’t want you to run out and splurge on a floor model ergonomic chair, you should consult a chiropractor to get the best advice on brands and models. My friend found a chiropractor fairly easily through the internet, there were a lot of great Yelp reviews out there. For instance, if you live in Brighton MI, try Googling “Brighton MI Chiropractors” and see what people say about a doctor before you schedule an appointment.
Mark Harris is a successful Internet marketer in his mid-30’s, working from the comfort of his own home. He realized that his previously uncomfortable seating was leading to his tension headaches, and the research he found on sites like http://www.awesomedr.com helped him make his den more ergonomic.
Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chiropractic/2365966286/