For people who are on their computer for many hours a day, like gamers, coders, and yes, bloggers, there is a very real risk of nagging injuries that can hinder the enjoyment of play and prevent work from getting finished.
Fortunately, there are some ways that you can help prevent these injuries, just by knowing a few things and giving yourself the right equipment to use while you’re on the computer. Don’t let bad posture or the wrong equipment take its toll on you. Here are a few common injuries and some ways you can avoid them if you frequently use a computer for long stretches of time.
Muscle Pains and Strains
Aches and pains in the back, upper neck and arms are very common among heavy computer users, and this is typically because of poor posture. Slouching, looking down at the keyboard too often or sitting for too long without a break all contribute to these aches and pains. Focus on sitting with your back straight and your shoulders pulled back. This will help keep your head centered over the keyboard and prevent upper neck injuries. Rest the soles of your feet firmly on the floor as well to give you the best possible base.
Having the right equipment is important, too. Using a gaming chair that is specifically designed for long shifts at the computer are better than a regular office chair because they are ergonomically designed to help with your posture.
If you focus on your monitor for too long without a break, it is very easy to strain your eyes, which can cause headaches. This is a bigger problem the worse your eyesight, so if you wear prescription glasses or need the monitor to be at a very bright setting, you should try to take frequent breaks by looking at something besides the monitor for a minute or two.
Other ways you can prevent eye strain include tilting the monitor so there isn’t a glare, making sure that you are sitting more than 18 inches away from the monitor and reducing the contrast and brightness. Any of these things will make your eyes feel better.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
This is the single most common injury related to computer usage. It affects the nerves in your wrists and hands and is caused by repeated movements like monotonous button-clicking while gaming or repeated keystrokes when programming. To avoid carpal tunnel, look for ergonomic keyboards or controllers that help support your hands when you use them. There are also mice and mousepads that can help prevent and alleviate the symptoms of carpal tunnel.
This can be the most frustrating injury to deal with because there is no cure except rest. You can treat the pain with aspirin or prescribed drugs if the pain is bad enough, but it will only heal on its own, so you may be forced to be away from your computer for a long time. Don’t let computer injuries ruin your time. Prevent them with a few simple tips.