Too much computer time giving you neck or back pain? Try this …
Today I’m straying from my normal topics of marketing and copywriting to help your business increase sales, and letting you in on a different tip.
If you’ve ever experienced back pain or neck pain…
Don’t wait to take care of it like I did! I had pain for months, but an unrelated rotator cuff injury (that also caused severe neck and back pain) put me flat on my back for two weeks. It prompted me to finally do something about it.
Chiropractic advice from Dr. Tim
I sought advice and treatment from my chiropractor (a shout-out to Dr. Tim McRoberts in Verona, Wisconsin!) , a physical therapist, and numerous books and online articles. I netted four simple ideas that you can put into action tomorrow to make your work area more back- and neck-friendly (plus one “out-there” idea you may want to look into):
- Keep your monitor at eye level. Sounds logical, but like a lot of people, I kept it too low, which caused a forward neck and head posture, resulting in neck pain.
- Don’t reach for your mouse. If it’s too far forward, you’ll have to reach to get it, pushing your body into a forward slump. Same with your keyboard. And consider switching hands that you use for your mouse (you’ll get used to it within a few days.)
- Find a good ergonomic chair that really supports your back, and preferably one with armrests. The Herman Miller Aeron chair is considered the “gold standard”, but there are many just as good for a lot less money.
- Consider standing. After two weeks on my back, I was finally able to get back to writing at my desk, but I couldn’t sit because of my back pain. I developed a makeshift standing desk set-up by propping up my keyboard, monitor and mouse by about 14 inches. I later found a New York Times article from April 22 that claims another possible benefit from standing is an urge to get more work done. I’m not sure about that, but I do know my back and neck feel much better after a day of alternately sitting and standing at my desk.
The best back solution I’ve found
Finally, my # 1 “secret weapon” for back and neck pain is a strange one – hanging upside down (seriously.) It’s called “inversion therapy”, and it involves hanging upside down on an inversion table (Google “inversion therapy” and you’ll get the full scoop.)
The potential benefits? It’s said to reverse pressure on your spine caused by gravity and muscle imbalances, improve circulation, lengthen muscles and ligaments, relieve joints, and improve posture.
I’m hooked on it, but do your own research and if you’re not in basic good health, check with your doctor first.
Just incorporating the few basic work station ideas above has made a big difference in my productivity, and I no longer suffer from neck and back pain.