5 ways to stop computer aches and pains

5 ways to stop computer aches and pains

Are you and the kids cramped up over long spells on the computer or tablet? Here’s how to get relief

1. Take screen breaks

Have a few short breaks every hour and get up from the desk and walk away. Open post, catch up on calls while you’re standing up, or make a coffee. At home, unload the dishwasher or do a bit of dusting. Or give your mind and body a break with these simple stress-relief exercises? With young children, set a timer to go off every 15 minutes. Tell them that when they hear it they should jump up and do something fun, such as run on the spot for 30 seconds.

2. Vary your posture

Sit forward and back on a regular basis. Even at home you should use an office-style chair when you sit at a computer desk – one with a tilt function. Stretch your feet forward or lift them up on the chair's leg supports at regular intervals. Ideally, pick a desk with adjustable height, too, so you can alternate between sitting and standing while you work.

3. Stretch regularly

Sitting still makes your muscles stiff and shortened so it’s good to stretch out. Kristian Berg, chiropractor, personal trainer, and author of ‘The Big Stretching Book’ suggests these stretching exercises:
•For the neck – sit on a chair with your feet wide apart. Grab the underside of the seat with your right hand. Rotate your head 45 degrees to the left, and place your left hand on the back of your head. Bend your head diagonally forward. Then do the same thing on the other side.
•For the shoulders – sit on a chair with your feet wide apart. Grab the underside of the seat with your right hand. Lean your upper body and head to the left side, turn your head to the right, and place your left hand against your head. Change sides.
•For the hips – sit on the edge of a table, and lie back down. Pull up both legs against your chest. Grab the left knee with both hands around it, and lower your right leg and let it hang freely. Change sides.


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4. Use laptops and tablets with care

It’s easy to spend hours hunched over portable screens. Try to vary how you use them and sit at a table as often as you can, to reduce the tension in your shoulders. It’s also worth thinking about bringing in some computer time rules, for more valuable insights.

5. Stay strong

A stronger body helps relieve stress on the joints. Bone strength increases bone density, too, which helps to reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life. No time to get to the gym? Why not try some of these easy exercises to do at home?

Please seek medical help if pains are serious or continuous

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