6 Tips to Prevent Neck, Shoulder Pain when using an iPad or computer in Lakewood
Lakewood Chiropractor-Preventing Neck Pain
Hours spent using an iPad or other tablet can cause neck and shoulder problems. Blame it on the viewing angle. A simple shift can change everything, reports the October 2012 Harvard Health Letter.
Holding a tablet computer too low, say on the lap, forces the neck to bend forward too much, straining and possibly even injuring muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, or spinal discs. Simply placing a tablet on a table propped at an angle in a tablet case can reduce neck strain and potential pain.
One of the best things to do, no matter what kind of computer you are using, is take a break. Change your position every 15 minutes, other tips include:
When using an iPad or tablet:
- Use a case that positions the device at a comfortable viewing angle
- Take a break every 15 minutes
- Routinely shift hands and weight; stand up if seated, or sit down if standing
When using a laptop or desktop computer, follow the same tips for a tablet plus:
- Use an external keyboard
- Keep shoulders relaxed and elbows close to the body
- Keep hands, wrists, forearms, and thighs parallel to the floor
An Ergonomic Evaluation Checklist to help prevent neck pain in Lakewood
• To determine if your workstation is ergonomic, examine your posture when sitting at your desk. Your head and neck should not be hunched over or bent backwards, but upright, while your shoulders and upper arms should be relaxed and perpendicular to the floor. When using the keyboard or mouse, your wrists and hand should remain straight. You want your thighs parallel to the floor, calves perpendicular to the floor and your feet flat on the floor. If your posture doesn't meet this criteria, you do not have an ergonomic work space.
• An ergonomic chair provides lumbar support by having a backrest. This forces the chair and spine to support your head and torso, not your muscles. The chair should also be adjustable so the seat width and depth can accommodate individuals. Make sure the chair possesses a well-built, five-legged base that easily rolls. You also want chairs that swivel 360 degrees so you don't have to twist in the chair to reach nearby objects. Measure your chair to ensure the seat pan length measures 15 inches to 17 inches. OSHA recommends a minimum width of about 18 inches for the chair's seat pan width. If the chair contains armrests, they should be padded and soft.
• A desk needs to have a depth that allows you to place a computer monitor at least 20 inches from your eyes. Though not required, an ideal ergonomic desk has a depth of 30 inches so it also can hold a keyboard. To accommodate individuals, the desk needs to be adjustable between 20 inches and 28 inches. Preferably, the desk surface sits at the same height of the elbow when you are seated with your feet flat on the floor. You want the surface of your desk to have a matte finish in order to reduce glare.
Keyboard and Mouse Checklist
• When purchasing a keyboard, invest in split keyboard with adjustable feet, which enables you to have safe wrist positions. If your desk comes with a keyboard platform or tray, make sure the tray is sturdy, flat and large enough to support the keyboard. Keep your mouse next to your keyboard to reduce unneeded reaching. Buy a mouse that fits the size and shape of your hand. Also, set your mouse speed so you only need to move the mouse an inch or two to move the cursor across the screen.
Are you or a loved one experiencing neck pain? We can help. Dr. Jason Jumper at Renew Chiropractic in Lakewood has been helping people with neck pain in Lakewood, Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Golden, Littleton and Denver for over 16 years. Call to schedule a consultation: 720-493-5885.