In this highly computerized world, more and more people of all ages are experiencing aches and pains that come from sitting at a computer for long periods of time. These aches and pains are felt in the neck, shoulder, upper and lower back, wrist and elbow joints. In some cases, the nerves to the hand become compressed, causing weakness and/or tingling in the fingers. There are a number of factors that contribute to the aches and pains from sitting at the computer:
The most critical component. Slouching at the keyboard puts the spine and limbs in positions that contribute to increased strain and tension, as well as increasing the risk of eye strain;
A poorly designed workstation, or one that does not fit you well, (i.e. reaching for the mouse or keyboard too high or low, wrists extended during keyboarding);
Pounding the keyboard, using your wrists to move the mouse, or gripping the mouse tightly increases the demands on the hand and wrist;
Sitting for extended periods of time without changing position is hard on your whole body.
The following guidelines for computer use have been created by the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. These should be followed at home, at school and at work: