The British Chiropractic Association devised some tips so you can still use your gadgets without hurting your bodies. These are:
- When sitting in front of your PC or laptop, sit in chairs that provide full support for your spine and make sure your shoulders, hips and knees face the same direction.
- Your seat should be adjusted so that your feet are flat on the ground, and knees bent, but with a slope from your hips to your knees. You should end up with your hips higher than your knees and your eyes level with the top of the computer screen. You may need to put the screen on a stand, book or ream of paper to bring it to the right height.
- The head is a heavy weight and sitting with it forward of your body puts unnecessary strain on your neck and back so always sit with your head directly over your body.
- Avoid sitting in the same position for more than 40 minutes, less if possible. When you do take a break, walk around and stretch a little.
- If you carry a laptop use a rucksack design laptop case, carry it on both shoulders and adjust the straps so that the bag is held close to your back.
- Try out new gadgets before you buy them to make sure they’re comfortable to use, and spend time setting them up in a way that works well for you.
- Don’t carry so many items in your bag all the time, only pack what you need each day and avoid ‘doubling up’ on your tech i.e. camera and smartphone if at all possible.
- If using your mobile, smartphone, laptop or tablet whilst sitting down, including on your commute, take the time to break position on a regular basis and stretch your arms, shrug your shoulders and move your fingers around as this helps to keep the muscles more relaxed.
- Avoid surfing and texting whilst walking as your lack of concentration is likely to cause some kind of problem!
- When your gadgets have taken a toll on your back, neck or shoulders, see your chiropractor and registered massage therapist for pain relief, muscle relaxation, to correct posture and relieve muscle tension.
The BCA has also devised the Straighten Up UK, a three-minute exercise routine that can be done to improve posture and straighten the spine. For more information, you can visit the British Chiropractic Association website at www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk.