Laptop computers have helped make our working and study life far more flexible. For instance, the corona crisis has seen many of us unexpectedly working from home and spending more and more time at our computers.
There is a large body of evidence that suggests spending long periods of time using a laptop or looking at your phone for an extended period will lead to neck pain and often headaches. Most of you don’t need science to tell you this – you often feel it for yourself after a long day at the computer.
There is also evidence that demonstrates specific strengthening of the neck and other areas of the body has a significant impact on reducing neck and back pain for those spending hours at a computer.
- Here are a few strategies that have shown to help reduce the pain experienced from use of the laptop, computer or mobile phone.
- Good general fitness levels can greatly reduce the development of neck and back pain. Good fitness levels improve the integrity and health of your muscles and can allow you to be at the laptop or on your phone for longer periods before experiencing pain.
- A good ergonomic desk set up helps to manage and prevent common computer-related problems – refer to last week’s blog for how to set up an ergonomic workstation.
- Taking regular breaks and alternating between sitting and standing is equally important
These strategies along with a few simple stretches that can be done throughout the day will help.
Here are a few you can try:
1. Upper back stretch in a chair
1.1. Start in a seated position, with your feet on the floor.
1.2. Place a rolled-up towel between the backrest and your upper spine.
1.3. Place your hands on your neck and interlace your fingers.
1.4. Point your elbows to the front.
1.5. From this position, lean backward over the towel.
1.6. Hold this position for the required time.
1.7. After this, you can move the towel upwards or downwards.
2. Neck strengthening
2.1. Start in a seated position and place your hands behind your head.
2.2. Look straight forward
2.3. Tuck your chin in, as to resemble a double chin, gently pushing the back of your head into your hands and hold for 3-5 seconds.
3. Scapula squeeze
3.1. Start in a seated position and place your hands on your hips.
3.2. Let your shoulders fall forward by rounding the upper back, then lift your chest, squeeze your shoulder blades together, drawing them back and down as your elbows come out and back.
3.3. Hold this position for 5 seconds.
Hope this helps and have a great weekend, Deb