Millions of people spend the majority of their day working at a computer. Even if you enjoy your job, it doesn't mean you should overdo it in regard to how long you remain in one position.
Back and neck pain has a way of setting in if you work at your computer for too many consecutive hours. Fortunately, with a few changes to your routine, you can prevent additional discomfort.
- Inspect your seat: To start, make sure your seat provides the necessary level of support. From there, adjust the height so that your legs are level with your seat. Also, place both feet on the ground.
- Adjust your monitor: Do you often strain your neck to move closer to your monitor? Do you look up or down to clearly view your monitor? Experiment with different positions with the idea of minimizing neck and eye strain.
- Be careful about how often you use a laptop computer: It's okay to use a laptop computer on a desk, as long as you adjust your seat and place your unit in the appropriate location. However, if you spend a lot of time with your laptop on your lap, such as when sitting in a chair, leaning your head forward to work can put an extreme amount of pressure on your vertebrae.
- Take breaks: When you get into a zone, it's difficult to step away from your computer. Instead, you feel compelled to stay where you are to get as much work done as possible. If you don't take regular breaks, you're promoting poor back and neck health. As a general rule of thumb, step away from your computer every 20 to 30 minutes. This promotes blood flow, allows you to loosen your back and neck muscles and gives your eyes a chance to rest.
If prolonged computer use has resulted in a serious back or neck injury, seek immediate medical attention. Once you receive a diagnosis and treatment plan, work with your medical team for getting your health back in order.
Should your doctor suggest time away from work, file a claim for workers' compensation benefits. This compensation can help you financially as you recover.
Browse our website for more information on workplace injuries and the workers' compensation system in Pennsylvania.