Bad habits at your desk may be the main cause of health problems and body aches.
The entire body is affected by bad posture because all of the structures are affected are the
areas of the spine – the neck, middle back and lower back. These may then affect the head, shoulders and hip regions in what is termed referred pain.
Common Mistake: you have bad vision and it causes you to lean forward.
Problems: Uncorrected vision will lead to bad posture as you will move your head to a position where your vision is most comfortable. Prolonged periods of computer work will cause eye strain and fatigue.
Fix it: Make sure that your screen is about 70cm from your face. If you see better when you are nearer of further from your screen, you might need prescription glasses.
Common mistake: Hunching your shoulders while sitting in front of the computer.
Problems: This will cause the trapezius muscles to become shortened and may cause headaches and shoulder and/or neck pain’.
Fix it: Your keyboard and mouse should be in easy reach, with wrists in line with your forearms, elbows tucked in.
Feet & Legs
Common mistake: Crossing your legs or tucking your feet behind your chair.
Problems: This can cause pins and needles in your legs and bad circulation to the lower extremities, like your feet.
Fix it: Make sure your feet are flat on the floor or on a foot rest. Your knees should also be equal to, or slightly lower than your hips.
Neck & Head
Common mistake: Projecting your neck forward to reach the computer screen if it is too far away is a common mistake.
Problems: Tight neck muscles that attach to the occipital base of the skull can result in headaches and referred pain at the temples. This may also result in tight jaw structures.
Fix it: Make sure your computer screen is directly in front of you and doesn’t cause you to look up.
Common mistake: Stooping forward or sitting on the edge of your chair.
Problems: Pain in the lower back from shortened gluteus muscles and nerve impingement, which may also result in referral pain down the legs.
Fix it: Make sure your computer screen is close enough and don’t sit on the edge of your chair. Try to avoid direct air conditioning as it could cause you to sit in a defensive position against the cold.