I have a confession. I slouch when I use the computer. The longer I’m on the computer, the “slouchier” I get.  It’s bad. I know.  Admitting the problem is half the battle.

Alot of people use computers for work and/or leisure. It’s practically a requirement for alot of jobs and for students. Though this instrumental activity of daily living (computer use) is also so common, we often dismiss the fundamentals of computer use.

Forget the technical side of it. We are not talking about how good you’re with excel or how savvy you are with social media.  Alot of computer classes may teach about computer use, but they rarely talk about posture and positioning of equipment.

Lets focus on body alignment and posture.  These four resourceful questions liberate both mind and body before diving into each day of work:

  1. Are you slouching, leaning, hunched over, too close to the screen?
  2. Are you cocking your wrist while you type?
  3. Where is your monitor?
  4. Is your mouse too small? 

This link from the United States Department of Labor gives free ideas to posture improvements. Join us in the prevention of a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD). The most clear direction to assure safe aging is…

“It is important to report signs and symptoms as early as possible to prevent serious injury or permanent damage. Users at risk for MSDs associated with computer use may experience some of the following signs or symptoms:

  • Numbness or a burning sensation in the hand
  • Reduced grip strength in the hand
  • Swelling or stiffness in the joints
  • Pain in wrists, forearms, elbows, neck, or back
  • Reduced range of motion in the shoulder, neck, or back
  • Dry, itchy, or sore eyes
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Aching or tingling
  • Cramping
  • Weakness

Although these symptoms may not necessarily lead to an MSD, if experienced, the user should make an evaluation of their working positions and their workstation layout. The checklists may be helpful.”

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