BoulderonshoulderlaptopIt’s hard to imagine life without a computer. Whether you’re using it for work, to surf the Internet, check e-mail or play games, spending hours in front of a computer is a daily activity for most.

But has your happy time spent behind the screen been replaced with unexplained head, neck and shoulder pain? Millions suffer from some form of pain due to computer use, and here’s why.

Eyestrain: Eyestrain, due to extended computer use, is one of the most common triggers of headaches. In order to see what’s on the screen, the brain has to direct our eye muscles to constantly re-adjust its focus while in front of the screen. The constant struggle between where our eyes want to focus and where they should be focused can lead to eyestrain, eye fatigue and eventually a headache.

Posture: When you sit at your computer, how is your posture? Sitting in front of a computer causes many to hunch over and lean toward the screen. Poor posture (cervical neck curvature) leads to headaches and neck and shoulder pain.

Other Triggers: While the computer itself may be partly to blame for our aches and pains, other triggers, such as environment, may play a role. Is the material you are producing on the computer stress-inducing? Do you consume larger quantities of caffeine while at the computer? Are you less active and take infrequent breaks when typing? All of these things can trigger headaches, as well pain in the neck and shoulders. 

Here are some quick tips to limit computer-induced head, neck and shoulder pains.

  • Limit time spent at the computer.
  • Ergonomically align your desk, chair and computer.
  • Take frequent breaks, 10-15 minutes every 45 minutes – 1 hour.

For more ways to reduce neck and shoulder pains, click here. 

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