Combat Technology’s Strain; Improve Your Ergonomics Today

by Dr. Stephen Costantino

With our increased sedentary lifestyle and dependency on technology, Americans are suffering more and more frequently from repetitive micro-traumas. There are three key factors to the science of ergonomics: force, repetition and posture.

If any one of these increases too much, we need to reduce the others to maintain balance. Nearly half of Delmar Chiropractic patients suffer from the damage of lives spent in front of computers and using technology most of the day. Below find several ergonomic and posture tips to help reduce technology’s strain:

POSITION. Sitting too upright increases pressure on lumbar discs and sitting too far back causes the neck to overcompensate. At a desk or table, plant both feet on the floor, keep your knees higher than your hips, maintain three fingers of space between the front of seat and back of knee, keep elbows at sides and put armrests one inch below elbows.

PLACEMENT. Place the keyboard directly in front of you with the letter B in line with your bellybutton. Ensure that your mouse is not too small for your hand, or it can cause cramping. Locate the mouse in front of you, not to the side. Utilize wrists not fingers for precision tasks and if your wrist rests on the desk, use a gel pad to improve biomechanics.

HEIGHT. Monitors should be about an arm’s length in front of you with

the top of the screen at eye level. If wearing bifocals, lower the monitor a few inches to keep head level when using the bifocal lens. To reduce eye strain, adjust the brightness and contrast to match the levels of ambient light in the room. If necessary, use a glare reducing screen.

TIMING. Take micro-breaks every 15 minutes. Open and close your fist regularly. Flex and extend your wrist, elbows, shoulders and neck. Give your eyes a break as well by looking at something 20 feet away at regular intervals. Stand up every hour and take a few steps back and forth, or better yet, go for a short walk to the copier, restroom or watercooler.

These and other preventable health care tips are available at  www.ImproveCorrectMaintain.com. Join us on Saturday, November 5 from 10 a.m. to Noon at Delmar Chiropractic’s 5th Anniversary OPEN HOUSE, 7171 Delmar at Midland, suite 200. Bring a friend and double your chances to win prizes.