As the amount of computer usage explodes, technology experts estimate that the average American adult spends at least 10 hours a day in front of a computer screen.
Spending prolonged periods of time in front of either a laptop or desktop computer can take a toll on your body in a number of ways. Some workers report more frequent headaches, eye strain, even carpal tunnel-like symptoms from extended computer usage. More importantly, sitting for long stretches of time, using your computer can also cause lower back pain due to poor posture. When you are in a seated position, your muscles and ligaments must work together to keep your torso upright.
With proper posture, your back and neck muscles will not be put under undue strain and no pain or discomfort should result. However, when you sit in front of a computer, in a slouch, shoulders-forward position, your back and neck muscles will attempt to adjust. At first, sitting with this posture may seem more comfortable than sitting with an erect back, but, over time this slouched position can cause both neck and/or lower back pain. If this pain and misaligned posture is not corrected, it can lead to more severe pain and spinal misalignment that can cause discomfort in other parts of the body.
Taking proactive steps to correct your posture and practice important self-care routines is a critical component to ensure that your body is as healthy as possible and not under unnecessary/avoidable strain.
Here are the top three ways to prevent extended computer use from wreaking havoc on your back and neck muscles.
Get adequate sleep.
When your body is rested, it is better able to repair the natural wear and tear it encounters as you go through your day. If you are able to get 8-10 hours of restful sleep every night, your body can feel more relaxed and flexible while you are at work. The more flexible your back feels, the less tense and the less strain you will feel as you sit.
Adjust your posture.
If you notice that you are sitting in a slouched position, make an effort to correct this by sitting up straight. It may help to get a higher desk, or a more ergonomic chair to ensure you are not forced to lean over to see the computer screen. In addition, spending even 5 minutes every hour to stand and stretch can help to keep your muscles limber and not likely to feel stiff.
Visit a chiropractor.
Adding a trusted chiropractor to your monthly self-care routine can be an effective way to avoid back and neck pain that can be easily corrected. When you sit with a slouched posture, your muscles take a beating and can pull your spine out of alignment. By having regular spinal adjustments, you are able to keep your back and neck feeling their best and prevent your muscles from experiencing irreversible damage.
Have you visited a chiropractor in the last 6 months? If you answered “no”, then it is time to schedule your next appointment today. Click here to learn more about Atlanta and Mount Pleasant’'s most trusted chiropractors at Corrective Chiropractic.