In Ireland, shoulder and back pain are very common with four people out of every 10 experiencing it at some point.
If you are sitting down for a large part of the day, it is important to give your body a break by standing up, says Lisa DeStefano, an osteopath and spokesperson for the American Osteopathic Association. When you do, you will work different muscles and get your blood moving up and out of your lower extremities. It is suggested that pausing to stretch every 30 minutes to an hour is the ideal.
When you are sitting at your desk, make sure your posture is correct. Good posture should look like a straight line from ears through shoulders, hips, knees and ankles. This allows even distribution of weight through all joints, avoiding pain and arthritic changes. Good posture requires good muscular tone to support the spine and body which will avoid signs and symptoms of pain.
Ways of making sure that your posture is correct include:
Adjusting your monitor
Position your monitor so that the top of it is in line with your eye height and it is tilted up slightly so you only have to move your eyes to see the whole screen. This keeps your head in line with your torso so that your neck and shoulder muscles are less fatigued at the end of the day.
Knowing your distance
You should sit at least a foot-and-a-half from your computer screen, which will also help you keep your head and torso in line.
Elbows, arms and wrists
Keep your elbows at your sides and forearms parallel to the floor. Then position your keyboard so that you can reach it comfortably without moving your elbows.
If you find yourself slouching back into the chair, sit forward a few inches to maintain an upright position.
Both of your feet should be flat on the floor. Sitting cross legged is a no-no as is sitting on one of your legs, since those positions cause you to get slouchy. if your feet can’t reach the floor, then either use a footrest or a box!
The computer you use should be at eye level to avoid over stretching or relaxing of the muscles. Sitting back into the back of your chair and using the back to support and sit upright correctly. The height of the desk alters the posture, especially for taller people, they tend to have to slouch over the desk therefore increasing curvature on lower spine and reduced core muscle tone.