I was reminded painfully about the dangers of misusing mobile technology this Queens Birthday weekend. So there I was sitting on the couch updating our website with our new massage and women’s health services, writing copy and finishing an assignment all on my lap top, thee evenings in a row for two to three hours. Blow me I wake up with my head stuck forwards, a sharp and familiar pain in my neck and a loss of rotation. Ouch, just like a lot of our patients when they present to the clinic.
Yes the humble lap top was not designed for prolonged working, especially on ones lap! Neither for that matter are smart phones or tablets, but there is an epidemic of their use these days. The posture usually adopted of head forward of our center of gravity with a forward curve of our entire spine is not good for us if it is sustained for too long. It is virtually impossible to do otherwise with one of these devices. This is why largely in the work place a correct desk set up with a desk top PC is advised and generally the norm.
Sitting for too long in this slouching head forward position, which is really the only way to operate one of these mobile beasts, can result in muscular, spine and nerve tightness, pain and loss of motion as I have just painfully had first hand experience of. Not for the first time I might add…. I never learn!
How can we avoid this occupational hazard?
1. Limit your use of tablets and laptops to short (20 mins) bursts.
2. Sit in as good a posture as you can, with the device on a desk, not your lap.
3. Use a desktop computer properly set up for you with correct screen height and good char for any prolonged use.
4. Stand up, move and stretch regularly during use of mobile devices.
For advice about desk set up, posture, work habit, stretches to do and pain management. Now to put down this lap top and listen to my own medicine…. Talk soon, Ashley.