A reader, Tracy, asked about computer use and pain.Â In this series of 3 articles, weâ€™ll look at this issue.
In the previous 2 posts in this series, weâ€™ve looked at:
- How computer use can cause pain through poor posture and repetitive movements
- Good postureÂ for computer use
Today weâ€™ll look at what exercises can prevent and help pain while youâ€™re at your keyboard.Â Here are some guidelines:
1. Take frequent breaks, at least once per hour.
2. Neck and shoulder exercises:
- Shrug your shoulders up and down.
- Pull your shoulder blades together and then relax.
- Pull your shoulders down while gently leaning your head to each side.
- Rotate your shoulders back several times and then forward several times.
- Slowly turn your head side to side several times.
3. Arm and hand exercises
- Rotate your wrists in slow circles for a minute.
- Stretch your arms upward,Â palms up and fingers interlaced.Â Hold for a few seconds and then relax.
- Wiggle your fingers for 15 seconds.
4. Look at your arms, wrists and fingers while you type.
This is probably not an exercise youâ€™ll find discussedÂ in most places that help you be more comfortable at your computer.Â But we’re learning that our eyesight is an important way our brains know whatâ€™s going on in our bodies.Â For many of us, we donâ€™t look at the keyboard while weâ€™re typing.Â What this causes is aÂ mis-match between what our muscles are signaling to our brains and whatâ€™s coming in through our eyes.
By â€œcorrectingâ€ this mis-match, i.e. letting our eyes register what movements we’re making, the mis-match goes away and pain can be less.Â Studies are beginning to show that this technique may prevent and decrease repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Now Iâ€™ll listen to my own guidance and take a break!Â Why donâ€™t you do that too!Â 🙂
Other articles in this series: