Spring is not only a season to refresh your career and find new job opportunities, but it’s also a great time to pay more attention to your health. A complete set of vitamins, healthy food (more vegetables and fruits), and some quality gym time can be the best advice for keeping you fit. But what else is missing?
Last Friday we talked about keeping your eyes healthy. Today we’d like to talk about another part of the human body that really is affected while working with PC’s – posture. Find-out the answers to the most frequent questions – what are the mistakes and how to fix them and how to maintain good posture while spending at least 8 hours a day in front of a computer.
We’ve collected the thoughts and pieces of advice from various specialists – from medical doctors to IT specialists themselves. A popular website for IT specialists and everyone interested in technologies – Siliconrus.com has asked medical specialists how to have good posture if you have to sit at the same working place all the time.
According to Petr Zelenkov (scientist in medicine): “The average citizen of a big city spends about 12 hours per day in a sitting position”. What can be done if you don’t want to have strong back pain when you pass 40 years old?
At the beginning, you have to pay attention to your work place at the office – your chair, table, and computer monitor. Your chair should be suitable for your height. Tall people should be really careful when choosing a chair. If your height is more than 190 cm (6 feet), then choose a chair with a seat at least 50 cm (19 inches) high and the back not less than 75 cm (29 inches) high. When talking about soft material for the seat, it does not play a significant role. So choose any that fits your esthetical taste.
The next thing is the table. Its height should also be related to your height. If you’ve made the right choice, then when putting your elbows on your table, your back shouldn’t move away from backrest of your chair. The position of the computer monitor is important as well. It’s better to set it up at your eyes level or a little bit lower in order that you don’t have to lower the head. It would be perfect if your neck rests on the back of the chair while working with your PC.
For sure, the working place is not the only thing you need to pay attention to. Your body and its back muscles should be fit well. We’re talking about the muscles of the neck, upper body muscles, back extensors, and hip muscles. You can achieve good muscle tone with the help of swimming or regular gym exercises. It’s better to have a professional and qualified trainer who will prepare a set of exercises that will strengthen the muscles of the back.
According to Olga Alexandrova (therapist): “Wrong body position could be a reason of a strong pain in the back, neck, heart, chronic headaches, so bad posture could cause serious health problems”.
Your computer chair should be as comfortable as possible, with a good stable backrest and armrests. It’s important that the elbows are on the table and your hands are bent at the correct angles. The head and neck should be on the same line. Pay close attention that your feet are flat on the floor, so that the hips are parallel to the floor and you can spread the weight from your back.
In order to have less pain in your back, you need to get up from the working place at least once every two hours, or even better – every 60 minutes. Take short brakes and make a cup of tea or coffee. During such brakes, don’t forget about some quick exercises. There is some scientific data that such short brakes with exercises could show even better results than going to the gym after 12 hours of immobility.
The following exercises could help prevent some of the tension in the back:
- Clasp your hands together behind your back, raise them as high as possible, while the shoulder blades are kept together, and stay in this position for a few seconds;
- Keeping your shoulder blades together, put your hands on the armrests, tighten your abdominal muscles and back muscles, tilt your head back, and stay in this position for 20-30 seconds;
- Stand up, tightly draw-in your belly, put your heals together and toes apart. While in this position slowly rise on toes, stretch your arms and hold your breath. Repeat this 4-5 times;
- While sitting lift your shoulders up, move them back and forth. Repeat 10-15 times.
Self-control plays a really important role in having good posture. Such motivating notes as ‘Straighten and smile!’ will help you to always remember about correct posture. Also you can use different USB-devices – small gadgets. They are synchronized with your phone or tablet and are using special sensors to monitor your body posture and the position of your eyes. Once you move closer to monitor, you will hear a beep to remind you to straighten up. Finally, one of the easiest ways is to put an alert on your laptop or phone. Choose what fits you best.
But one of the best ways to give rest to your back is to sleep well. So choose a firm mattress and elastic pillow, and then enjoy your dreams and gain strength and energy to forget about any possible pain in your back.