I INHERITED MY CRIPPLING WORKSTATION. WHAT CAN I DO?
‘Adjust the height of your chair in such a way that your feet are firmly on the ground,’ says Alan. If you are unable to do so, then use a footrest, he adds. This will ensure proper support for your lower back.
‘Place the keyboard and mouse of your computer close to you.’ Your arm and hand should not be stretched to reach them, he says.
Your computer’s monitor should be about 20 inches away from you and the top of the monitor should be at or slightly below your eye level. If you’re using a laptop, again ensure it’s at eye level, says Dr Abraham.
Ensure there is plenty of light on documents that you read during the day. Get a desk lamp, if needed, suggests the doctor.
Take a 20-minute break after sitting for a few hours. According to a study, sitting for too long slows blood flow so oxygen doesn’t get to muscles effectively, the body shuts down and goes into hibernation mode.
‘Stretch your arms and legs when standing up and relax your shoulders frequently in the sitting position,’ says Dr Abraham.
Adjus t the arm rest of your chair in a way that your shoulders are relaxed. ‘This will help you to avoid stiffness in your shoulder, elbows and your arms,’ says Alan.
‘Follow an exercise regime that includes leg, arm, abdomen and back movements,’ says Dr Abraham. These, he says, will not only prevent stiffness in these areas but will improve your overall metabolism and well-being.
Make sure the strap of your laptop bag has shoulder pads, says Dr Abraham.
Do not talk on phone with the receiver cradled on your shoulder with your ear pressed to it. ‘If done for a long period of time, it can cause stiffness and severe pain in your neck and shoulder area,’ Dr Abraham adds. Also, remember these movements are not natural to our body and therefore are bound to cause strain, he says.
‘Avoid carrying excess weight on your shoulders,’ Dr Abraham warns. Lighten your load, he adds, ‘Carry only what’s required, especially in your laptop bag.’
Don’t lean forward or slouch while sitting. ‘It is one of the main reasons for backache,’ says Alan.