|Back aching? Muscles in spasm?|
I've been writing at a computer for almost 30 years, and I have the muscles spasms to prove it. When I was younger, I could ignore the pain from hours at the computer because I knew that the pain would go away after my workout the next day.
Not so any more. I pulled the trapezius muscles in both sides of my shoulders 3 years ago when I moved. It took more than a year to rehab from that. Ever since, I have to take great care not to inflame the nerves back there.
Here are some basic ergonomic "rules" to adopt so you can work without wrecking your body.
- Take a 5 minute stretch break every hour.
- Adjust drapes or blinds to make sure no glare is causing you to squint or give you headaches.
- Make sure the monitor isn't opposite a window so there's no glare or reflection on it.
- Adjust the position of your monitor so it's 18"-20" from your eyes with the top third of the screen viewable at eye level.
- Tilt your keyboard slightly so your hands line up with your elbows--not bent at the wrist--and your elbows should be at a 90-degree angle with your body.
- The mouse should be as close as possible to the typing keys or on a mouse keyboard slightly above the keyboard and in front of you, never to the right or left where you're reaching for it and putting a strain on your shoulders. (This is the hardest to set up. Reaching for the mouse kills my shoulders now.)
- Knees should be at 90 degree angle to your body--not with your thighs slanting down or up.
- Knees should also be 2-3" away from the edge of the chair.
- Feet should be flat on the floor in front of you or on a footrest.
- You should sit straight in the chair with proper support of your lumbar.
Don't be like me--beset with a multitude of aches and pains. Learn to work ergonomically at the computer. Your body will thank you.