Are you sitting comfortably?

Are you sitting comfortably?

With work involving papers and pens reducing and the use of computers becoming indispensable, cases of computer-related stress, muscle cramps and spondylitis are becoming common.

More and more people are complaining of such ailments which potentially lead to permanent damage and life-long inability to work on a computer. Doctors say that while the use of computers at workplaces and even home is unavoidable, certain measures can be taken by users. Dr Upma, Physiotherapist, Columbia Asia Hosptial, Gurgaon, says, “We get patients related to these problems very often - especially those into white collar jobs which require long hours on a desktop with few breaks in between. Most of them complain of pain in the back, neck, hand, wrist and fingers. We call this Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) whereby holding one’s muscles in a strenuous condition for long hours, and frequently, damages the muscles and causes pain.”

“If you have pain in wrist, hand or finger due to working for long hours on computer, you should seek medical advice promptly. The most likely cause is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Tendonitis but the pain can also be ‘referred’ and its source could be somewhere else on the nerve’s path - such as the arm, shoulder or neck.”

Dr Upma advises that taking a few easy steps while working on a desktop can help you keep away from medical conditions, “First, adjust your chair. Push your hips as far back as they can go in the chair. Adjust the seat height so your feet are flat on the floor and your knees equal to, or slightly lower than, your hips. Adjust the back of the chair to a 100 to
110 degrees reclined angle. Make sure your upper and lower back are supported.”

“Step two is, pull up close to your keyboard. Position it directly in front of your body. Adjust the keyboard height so that your shoulders are relaxed, your elbows are in a slightly open position (100° to 110°) and your wrists and hands are straight. Many people make the mistake of raising the keyboard feet to raise it. Don’t do that as it forces your wrist to work in an awkward angle.”

“Lastly, take adequate pauses and breaks. However perfect your workstation is, prolonged and static postures will inhibit blood circulation and take a toll on your body. Take breaks of about one-two minutes every 20-30 minutes. Avoid eye fatigue by resting and refocusing your eyes periodically. Follow these guidelines and you can safely use your desktop for a long time.”

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