Cronulla clinic: (02) 9527 4099

Junior Sport: Tips and Advice (Get off that electronic device!)

How you use your computer or E-device can be a major contributing factor to the development of back and neck pain. Poor posture while sitting at the computer, lack of regular breaks and lack of exercise all contribute to excessive stress on your spine.

Here are eight easy physio tips for computer usage:

  1. Always sit in good quality, adjustable and comfortable chairs. Pull your chair close to the desk and adjust the seat height so that your elbows, hips and knees are bent at approximately 90o. Your forearms should be parallel to or sloping down towards the desktop. Your feet should rest flat on the floor – use a foot rest if necessary.
  2. Adjust the backrest of your chair to support the curve in your lower back and to help keep you upright when typing or reading. Relax your shoulders and try not to tense muscles around your neck.
  3. Sit up straight (tall) and position your computer screen at a comfortable viewing distance, generally at arm’s length. Keep the top of the screen below eye level and directly in front of you. Don’t use your screen positioned to one side.
  4. Don’t work from documents flat on the desk. Use a document holder set up close to the screen at the same distance from your eyes, or prop your work up on a folder between the keyboard and the screen.
  5. Ensure your screen is easy to see. Eliminate reflections by adjusting and tilting the screen and ensure there are no light sources directly behind it.
  6. Don’t use a notebook computer for extended periods. If this is unavoidable then check the top of the screen is below eye level, and plug in a mouse and a normal size keyboard.
  7. Limit continuous computer use and take a break every 30 minutes to do some neck, wrist and shoulder stretches. Focus on a distant point to give your eyes a break. Get up and walk around every hour.
  8. Take notice of early warnings. If you feel an ache or discomfort in any part of your body, check your posture, take a break and if the discomfort persists, see our physiotherapists or your GP.

Please note: this information should serve as a guide only. When in doubt always seek advice from Southside Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Centre or your GP.

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