How Computer Use Can Affect Your Posture - Balance Chicago Physical Therapy

How Computer Use Can Affect Your Posture

More Time at the Computer

As technology advances and more jobs are computer-based, people are spending more time behind a computer screen and less time up and moving. As great as technology is for the advancement of medical treatments and creating new products that solve a myriad of issues, it can also come with big downsides for the health of the people that are required to work at a computer all day.

The Issues

One of the biggest issues seen with spending large periods of time on the computer is a progressive deterioration of posture over time. This is natural as the human body has to fight against gravity to maintain upright posture, and with little-to-no changes in position during the day, people tend to slink down into a very slumped posture. This can create significant issues, especially when it comes to pain.

Due to the fact that their posture is poor because of working at the computer all day, many people often suffer neck stiffness and neck pain. This neck pain can lead to pain and numbness radiating down the arms and other orthopedic issues.

Tips

Just because these issues happen frequently, does not mean there are not things you can do to help improve your posture – even if you spend all day working on a computer.

Some helpful tips for trying to improve your posture include:

  1. Taking frequent breaks throughout the day; ideally, you should take a break every hour (set a timer so you do not forget). Whether you take a walk around your office, or just stand up and stretch for a few minutes, taking those breaks help to reset your posture. When you sit back down from standing for a couple minutes you are more likely to sit with good posture.
  2. Practice shoulder blade squeezes throughout the day by pulling your shoulders back and keeping your back flat against the chair. Introducing shoulder blade squeezes is a good reminder for proper posture because it is very difficult to perform the exercise without sitting up straight.
  3. Keep your computer monitor at eye level so your head doesn’t tilt.
  4. Rest your feet flat on the ground and do not cross your ankles or legs.

Conclusion

There are many effects that increased screen and computer use have on your health, and this blog just outlines a couple of them. Try to incorporate some of the tips listed above to hopefully help improve your posture while you work on your computer throughout the day.

The Balance Chicago Team is here to help you! For more information, or to schedule your appointment, give us a call or click the link above. We look forward to working with you soon!

 

Blog Written By: Dr. Ryan Smrz, PT, DPT

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