- Boost mental health
- Relieve stress
- Lower blood pressure
- Promotes weight loss
- Meditative qualities
Protecting the NeckPoor posture is one of the leading causes of neck and back pain. Looking down or being in a standing/sitting hunched position regularly increases the load/stress on the neck increasing the chances for strain, injury, headaches, and chronic pain. In the neutral position, the skull weighs around 10-12 pounds. When leaning the head forward weight increases from let’s say 27 pounds at a 15-degree angle to 60 pounds at a 60-degree angle. The strain on the cervical vertebrae, joints, and muscles can be immense. A good example is text-neck. This has become a normal thing when using a smartphone, gaming, or other similar activities. Studies suggest that the average individual spends three to five hours a day on a smartphone or tablet. This means three to five hours of extra weight on the cervical spine. Engaging in a hobby that requires an individual to look down constantly in a similar fashion can lead to serious and chronic neck pain along with other cervical issues.
Proper Posture Makes a Difference
- Low back pain
- Muscle spasms
- Leg pain
- Foot pain
- Cause the tissues to attempt to snap back to the original shape. This can cause painful spasms.
- Muscles that are constantly elongated become weaker with time.
Ergonomics at the HouseErgonomic stressors include:
- The force/s required to perform and complete a physical chore/task.
- Adopted static and awkward working postures to complete task/s
- The repetitiveness of the task/s
Proper seatingMake sure the right type of chair, stool, bench, etc is being utilized. Adjustable types that have neck and lower back support are the way to go. Make sure the base is stable, the seat is comfortable and adjustable. Backrests and armrests can help maintain proper posture.
Correct table/desk/workstation heightVarious drafting tables and lap desks have adjustable surfaces to adjust the height for working with a proper ergonomic posture. If the work surface is not adjustable adjust the chair or make adjustments as needed. The hips should be higher than the knees to take the strain off the sacrum and lower back. The upper back should be straight, with the shoulder blades together creating a supportive platform for the neck and head.
ToolsUsing the best tools for working and organization will help avoid injuries and constant awkward positions like leaning/reaching over and around the workspace. Look for tools that can be adjusted to different heights, resistance levels, etc. depending on what is needed and what will reduce any strain.
VisionIf an individual needs to lean in to get a closer look then vision could be the problem. If an individual wears glasses it could be time for a check-up. Or if an individual does not wear glasses, it could be time to see an optometrist. Non-prescription magnifiers could be the answer.
Stretching RegularlyWorking too long in one position can be detrimental to overall health. It is very understandable when individuals get into the zone, working on something creative, and not wanting to stop the flow. However, frequent breaks are vital. Stretching regularly and getting up to move around is key to staying healthy.
- Stretch the neck by turning the head from side to side in a gentle fashion.
- Tip the head to each side so the ear almost touches the shoulder.
- Lower the head so that the chin almost touches the chest.
- Turn the to look diagonally down at the armpit. This stretches the trapezius and levator scapulae muscles.
- Hold the stretches for 10-15 seconds.
- Always perform slowly and gently.