It’s a digital age and we all spend far more of our working lives on computers than we ever wanted to. Not only that, but most of us are doing it the wrong way.
There are numerous bad habits when it comes to staring at a screen for hours on end, and once they all get thrown together they can have a significant impact on your physical health and well-being. Here are a few of the worst computer habits you need to avoid.
We all groaned when being told to sit up straight as a kid, but in hindsight it was advice we all needed to take.
Poor posture can lead to serious back and spinal problems not only in later life, but even for people as young as you and me. Make sure to throw your shoulders back and keep your neck upright when sitting down. If you’re finding it difficult, stand up every half hour or so to stretch out those muscles and you’ll eventually find yourself getting used to it.
2. Leaving the chair at an uncomfortable angle
It might feel relaxing at first, but leaning back in your chair is going to come back to bite you in the long run. Over time this posture can create muscle soreness and fatigue, as well as pains in the back, chest and shoulders.
Your best approach is to adjust the chair and tilt the screen in front of you so that your back is upright, your legs are at a 90 degree angle and the screen is at your eye level or lower.
3. Gluing yourself to the screen
With so much work to catch up on, it’s understandable that many of us are tempted to lock ourselves to the desk until we get things finished. But those excuses don’t make it any better for you or your vision.
Over time, eyes can become strained, particularly when working in bad light or with a flickering screen. Alongside taking regular breaks to rest them, you should look into getting screen filters that remove a high percentage of the harmful rays emitted.
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Also, adjust the contrast and brightness of the screen so its comfortable, and make sure you stay away from bright windows: no one wants to spend all day squinting and squirming to read a Word doc.
4. Leaning keyboard on the edge of the desk
We all know resting your wrists on the edge of a desk hurts like hell after a while, yet so many of us keep doing it!
Using your muscles in an awkward position can lead to stiffness, pain or swelling in that area, and the wrists are no exception. You can avoid all this by making sure the mouse is positioned beside the keyboard and shoving both further up the desk, giving your arms a bit of space to breath on.
5. Looking down/ up at the screen
Having a maladjusted screen that doesn’t sit in line with your eyes forces you to tilt your neck in either direction, increasing muscle tension in it and at the base of the skull. Over time this will give you a banging headache, so make sure your screen is positioned so that your neck is upright when using it.