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My Work is Hurting Me!

How to make your ‘computer workstation’ fit you…even when WFH! We vastly under-estimate how our general posture can cause us such pain.

This is amplified at the computer – we either get so absorbed in our work or we are working under such pressure, that we don’t notice discomfort until it becomes substantial.

Picture this: you are sitting at the computer, slumped forward – curving your lower back, which brings your shoulders forward and your head would be looking down at the desk…so you look up to look at the screen. You ‘mouse arm’ is forward, bringing that shoulder even more forward..and you may periodically rest your chin in your non-mouse hand with the elbow on the desk.

You check the webcam isn’t on as you can’t believe I can’t see you…and then laugh that this ridiculous, stress-inducing posture really IS YOU and no wonder you have discomfort as you hold this posture for hours at a time… But let’s focus on a quick fix to prompt you:

The Rule of four 90’s

First, support your lower back with a cushion, pillow, next doors cat.. something to enable you to sit upright with no effort.

  • Ensure you have four x 90’ angles: at the ankles, knees, hips and elbows: EVERYTHING ELSE SHOULD BE NEUTRAL. Especially the head…if this 4kg weight deviates from being balanced over your centre of gravity, the neck muscles and ligaments are needed to stop it falling off!

Now that you have a position which causes very little stress to your body make your workstation fit YOU!

  • Bring your keyboard and mouse towards you so you are not reaching for them, change the position and height of your chair, desk and armrests – to enable you to effortlessly keep those 4 90’ angles. You may need to add a footstool or even remove the armrests if they are preventing you from getting your chair close enough to the table to keep a 90’ angle at your elbows.

It is a well-known fact that the more we get absorbed in our work – the closer our nose gets to the screen-as if getting inside the computer will speed us up so…

BE AWARE of postural deviation; Maybe have a pop-up reminder… KEEP MOVING; fidgeting is great and good hydration with regular breaks is even better, in fact, one leads to the other unless you have the bladder of a horse.

Be Aware and Take Care…

Guest Article by

Paula Collier-Ward

Registered Osteopath; About Backs & Bones within Total Body Rehab.


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