It’s that difficult time of year again for our Leaving and Junior cert students. Not only are writing exams stressful on you emotionally, but also sitting for hours on one is not really what our bodies were designed for, and it takes its toll on our back and neck.
As a university student, I used to prefer to study at the university library. Not only was it comforting to see that thousands of other students going through the same tiredness, “a ha” moments of clarity and countless cups of coffee, but it was also quiet (which made concentrating so much easier), and I seemed to have had the ability to sit at my workstation for much longer than at home. The reason…. my workstation’s ergonomics (how the desk and chair was set up) was right. Wherever you are studying here are a few tips to follow:
Your desk should:
• have sufficient knee room so that one can scoot close to the front of the desk;
• have sufficient desk top area to place the computer in a position whereby the monitor is approximately an arm’s length away;
• be at a height such that one is able to maintain the wrists in a neutral position when using a computer while the shoulders remain relaxed.
Your chair should:
• be adjustable, comfortably padded with no sharp edges on the seat;
• maintain the spine in a vertical or slightly reclined position. If the chair does not provide adequate low back support, then a lumbar cushion, rolled up towel, or folded sweatshirt should be used. And, once good support is available, remember to use it. Do not have the tendency to sit on the front of the seat and not use the back support;
• allow for the hips and knees to be on roughly the same level and for the feet to be placed flat on the floor. A foot rest may be needed if this is not possible;
• preferably have arm rests that comfortably support the elbows and forearms and allow one’s shoulders to relax. The arm rests should not prevent one from scooting forward to the front of the desk.
Having only a few light sources results in lots of shadows. Whenever possible, always have at least 3 light sources from various angles.
Now, having the correct desk space cannot solve all posture problems. Sometimes, while reading or writing we do force our bodies into awkward positions. And repeatedly maintaining the same posture for hours and hours is stressful to both the spine and supporting muscles. At the clinic we find that students receive a great amount of back pain and neck pain relief when coming in for treatment to address these issues.
If you are drained and tired from posture related back pain or aching muscles or even worse burning at the base of your neck and shoulders try to follow these tips and consult one of our highly experienced chiropractic team for some professional help where necessary.
Importantly Best of Luck to everyone :-))
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