Physio Tips for Using a Computer


1. Buy the best chair you can afford which is height adjustable.  It must be comfortable.

2.Pull your chair close to the desk and adjust the height of the chair so that your feet are flat on the floor with elbows, hips and knees at approximately 90º.  Use a foot stool if necessary to keep your feet flat.  Your forearms should be parallel to the desk or slant down slightly.

3.Make sure you sit up straight with a good lumbar support.  If your chair does not have a good support some inexpensive supports can be obtained from your physiotherapist.

4.Have your computer at a comfortable viewing distance with the screen in front of you, not to one side which will mean your neck is always turned.  Keep the top of the screen below eye level.

5.Do not use a laptop / notebook for extended periods as generally you are looking down.  You can prop it up on a few books if need be.  You can plug in a normal sized keyboard if you do use it for longer periods.

6.Make sure the computer screen is easy to read, not too small and does not have a large amount of reflection.  Adjust the position of the screen or lighting to assist with the glare.

7.Take a break every 30 minutes.  Stand up and stretch your neck side to side, rotate left and right and have a short walk around. You should also stretch your elbows and wrists.  Stand up and bend backwards to stretch your lower back.

8.If you feel any aches and pains in your neck, back or shoulders – take a short break to stretch and check your posture.  If pain persists contact your physiotherapist.

By Melanie Roberts

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