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10 Tips to Avoid Back Neck Pain and Shoulder Injuries Whilst Sitting At Your Computer.

Sitting at the computer is a common cause of back neck pain and shoulder injuries, particularly when sitting with poor posture for extended periods of time. There are a number of strategies and exercises you can perform to prevent the onset of these injuries, as described below:

  1. Make sure you take regular breaks from working on the computer every 20-30 minutes. Ensure you move away from the computer and walk around during your breaks to give your body a rest from being too long in the same position. During this time you should relax your eyes by gazing at a point in the distance.
  2. During your regular breaks you should do neck, back, shoulder and wrist stretching exercises, for example: turning your head from side to side, stretching your neck ear to shoulders, clasping your hands and lifting your arms above your head as well as backwards shoulder rolls. For a complete description of all the helpful exercises, please contact one of our physiotherapists.
  3. While sitting at the computer make sure your screen is directly in front of you and at approximately arm’s length. Also make sure the top of the computer screen is below eye level.
  4. Ensure you sit in an adjustable office chair and your seat height is adjusted so that your elbows, hips and knees are bent to approximately 90 degrees.
  5. You should adjust the backrest of your chair so that you sit upright and the curve in your lower back is supported. You may need to use a lumbar roll for extra support for your lumbar spine- for more information on these, speak to your physiotherapist.
  6. Ensure your shoulders are relaxed and not hitched, and make sure your feet are either resting flat on the floor or  use a footrest.
  7. When working off documents, it is best to place them  in holders positioned close to the screen, rather than resting them flat on the desk to avoid continuously moving your head and changing your focus.
  8. Avoid using laptop computers for long periods of time, but if you do have to, make sure the screen is positioned below eye level.
  9. When using laptop computers also make sure you maintain good back posture, with your lower back supported and your shoulders relaxed.
  10. It is important to have a regular general fitness routine for a good work-life balance, to manage your stress levels and to ensure your muscles remain strong and flexible. Regular exercise helps reduce your aches and pains and reduces your risk of injury.

For further information you can make an appointment  with a Joslin Physiotherapist on (03) 9912 2000 or Email Us.