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Sore Neck From Computer Work - Setup your Workstation Ergonomically

Our lives in work places is dependent on the use of computer. People spend long hours sitting in front of the computer every working day of their life and it has been discovered that the long wait in front of the computer has an adverse health implication on the body. When you sit long hours before the computer, it can cause neck soreness and when this is not properly addressed, it will lead to pains in other parts of the body.

Addressing the problem of sore neck can be effectively undertaken by following some ergonomic steps which we are going to be discussing in full details below. All that you will need to ensure that all goes well in the work station will be delivered to you through this article. If all the recommendations that you are going to get are implemented in your work place, then you will never be a victim of sore neck through out your stay behind the computer while performing your duties.

Our emphasis shall be on setting up the work station in a way that will enhance the comfort that you needed to have things moving on in perfection without causing any strain on your neck region. All the recommendations are based on the Australian standards AS 3590 part 2 of screen-based workstations.  Here we go:

The Keyboard

The keyboard is an essential part of the computer that should be adequately positioned to avoid the issues. The keyboard should be placed on the table in such a way that it will enable the forearm closer to the horizontal as much as possible and the wrists in a straight position. When the hand is in line with the forearm, it will cause the elbow to be held out far from the side of the body, pressure on your neck region will be reduced. Several different types of Ergonomic keyboards are available to meet your specific requirements. 

Chairs

Next is the placement of the seats, it should be adjusted in such a way as to enable your comfort while your fingers are moving on the keyboard. To achieve this result, you can tilt the seat slightly forward or in the alternative, place the seat close to the horizontal. View our collection of Ergonomic chairs.

How to setup your ergonomic chair?

Monitors

You must work on the eye to screen distance which will best permit you to focus on the screen. If you get this right, then you will reduce the stress on the neck region. It should be within an arm length. The setting of the height of the monitor should be one that will be below the eye level. The bottom of the screen should be one that could be read without a marked inclination of the head.

The tool bar should be at level point with your eye. If you use multi-focal/bifocal lenses, it  should get the appropriate balance in a way that will prevent flexing of the neck.

The Monitor Risers

One of the issues faced by people today is the height of the monitor. In the majority of cases, the monitor level is too low and when you bring down your eyes to contact with the monitor, the neck will be put at risk. When the neck is strained for long periods, then neck pain will be an issue to contend with. For a make-shift solution, some people put A4 papers under the monitor to improve on its height. However, for an ergonomic solution, you can use the monitor riser to raise the level of the monitor. It can easily be clamped to the desk through a single or dual monitor variation.

In an ideal setting, when you are looking straight at the monitor, your eye is expected to be in line with the top third on the screen. Achieving this will help do away with the agony of neck pain as well as other health related issues that naturally come with staying long hours behind the screen of the computer.

Desks

Another very important issue that we are going to look at is the elevation of the desk. You are expected to make some adjustments on the desk to deliver all of the following benefits:

  • Elbows should be bent at 90º
  • Your forearms are expected to be parallel with the floor.
  • Wrist straight
  • Your shoulders should be relaxed.

When you achieve the above positives, you will be on top of the situation at any point in time.

The Position Of Task Materials

Having gotten the desk at the appropriate level, the next thing that you should think of is the controls as well as the task materials which should be placed at arm’s reach. There should be no turning left or right to access these items; anything contrary will make a mockery of the gains because when you stretch to get within reach of the items, it will be an open invitation to neck strain.

Lighting

After getting the appropriate height of the desk as described above, there should be a connect between the height and the lightings available in the work area. The monitor should be placed directly at the side of the light sources; placing it directly underneath the lightings will lead to issues.

Ensure that the desks fall between rows of light. For a fluorescent stripped lighting, then the arrangement should be such that the sides of the desk is in parallel with the light. Do not place the screen near the open reflex ion of the window to avoid straining your neck to read the letterings on the screen.

Glare Reflex ion

You must deal with glare reflex ion on the desk surface as well as on the screen surface. Where it is established that glare reflex ion is an issue, you can take the following steps to curb the nuisance in the work place:

  • Tilt the screen to direct the reflex ion above eye level
  • If need be, you have to purchase an LCD light in order to make assurances doubly sure
  • You can use an anti-glare screen to cover the screen
  • Use a negative contrast screen to reduce the influence of the reflex ions.

When you are using a bright screen with a sharp brightness, there is the tendency that you will encounter discomfort in the eyes; when you strain the eyes to have a clear vision, it will by proxy extend to the neck. The following steps can be taken to correct this very anomaly:

  • You can turn the screen brightness to a comfortable level
  • When you have sat down for a long period of time, take time off to look away every 10 minutes from the screen for a short while
  • Go to change the text and the colors on the background. If it is a yellow/white background, then you can use black characters for effective results.

The Document Holder

You will need an inline document holder if you want to get rid of back pain. The best of the models will keep you inline 24/7. This is a great means of reducing neck pains and it will go all the way to improve on your sitting posture. It is positioned between the monitor and the keyboard and all your documents will find a home in it.

If these documents are made to go the traditional way, then you will find them by your sides or they will be flat in front of you thereby causing you to strain your neck here and there. The inline holder helps to nip this problem in the bud.

The Mouse

The occurrence of neck pain while working on the computer can be caused by the quality of mouse that you are using. Where the mouse is not well designed, there will be an undue pressure on the wrist as well as the forearm muscles which will gradually be reflected on the neck region within a short period of time. A well-designed mouse will help resolve this pressure on the wrist and forearm; it can be a low-profile, slime-line mouse which must be released at frequent intervals in time. Always keep the mouse close the body with your elbows bent and very close to the keyboard.

 Your Posture

Your posture will go a long way to determine what will become of your region after long hours of punching on the keyboard. Be yourself and adopt a natural posture of your own. Your position that you adopted should be one that will give you room for natural movements of the body. You should be able to assume any alternative position. However, we can say from our position here that there is no single rigid position. You can take some positives from the following:

  • Do Not Perch On Your Chair

If you are standing or in a sitting position, you should ensure that you maintain a position that will by no means strain you. While sitting in your office chair, ensure that your lower back takes a gentle inward curve above your bottom. Avoid crossing your legs while seated on the chair if you want to free your neck region.

  • Your Entire Work Station Should Be Close To You

You should ensure that your entire work station is close to you.

  • Your Arms On The Arm Rests Of Your Chair

With your arms perfectly on the arm rest of your chair, you will achieve the conducive atmosphere that will help reduce the stress on your neck.

  • Ergonomic Keyboard And Mouse

The equipment that you use will dictate what you will get at the end of the day. Your keyboard as well as your mouse should be of the best quality and should be well positioned close to you.

The Sit Stand Workstations

Talking about the sit stand Ergonomic workstations, there are two types of its kind. The first of its kind  is not different from the office table that you find in offices. The height comes with an adjustable technology that will allow every worker to work at a preferred height. If you want to work in a standing position, there is a height that is convenient for that.

We also have the second option can be likened to a bed tray which comes with its own adjustable height. To use it effectively, you are required to place it on a table before you can make effective use of it.

If you choose any of the two options, you will be at liberty to move your body parts while you are busy carrying out your schedule of work for the day in the office. There is freedom of movement in either of these two options and this grants the liberty for the muscles to move freely without any form of restraint. The neck muscles will be free to move freely thereby putting paid to any form of stiffness on the neck region.

The Mini Break

Even when you have all the best practices so far discussed in place, there is still a factor that you must incorporate if you want to get the excellent result that mattered in your pursuit of a neck free work environment. When you have sat down for some couple of hours, take a mini break off your schedule in your workstation. 

It is strongly recommended here that when you have put in about 30 minutes of work; get a break of 1-2 minutes off your computer schedule. Stretch yourself; a cup of coffee, do a few squats or simply walk around the office. That way, you will not experience the embarrassment of a neck pain.

Conclusion

The above represent some of the steps that you can take to have yourself effectively covered when you sit long hours behind the computer. We have generalised the pains because they are related. A good workstation is very important because it is one singular factor that will determine weather you are going to get desired relives from the neck pain or otherwise. With a poor workstation, all that we have so far discussed will not work for you. Equally very important is the role ergonomic keyboard and mouse play towards getting desired results.

When the workstation is right and there is the availability of ergonomic materials to work with, you can expect the best results which will produce long hours of work by the computer with the burden of neck pain.