London, United Kingdom (PressExposure) January 29, 2009 -- Office work is not normally considered a high-risk industry, but Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is often experienced by people working with computers and can be highly debilitating.
Alexander Technique lessons are increasingly used to help RSI sufferers over- come problems and prevent the condition from occurring. The Alexander Technique focuses on helping people use their body efficiently and effectively â preventing misuse, over-use, strains and tension. Assessing your workstation is important â make sure chairs, keyboards and monitors are all set up to suit you.
The way you use your body at the workstation is also crucial â good body-use habits play a huge part in preventing injury. To really make a difference you need to become aware of and learn how to change poor postural habits. Hands-on guidance from a trained Alexander teacher from the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique means the process is not only faster, but the resulting changes are lasting. But, in the meantime, here are some helpful Alexander Technique (STAT) tips to follow while working on your computer:
â¢ How you sit at your desk is key â you should be well supported on the seat of the chair so that your backâs natural support mechanism can work. â¢ Your chair-to-desk height should mean your elbow is at a 90Âº angle, with your forearms about horizontal to the desk when using a keyboard. â¢ Good touch typing skills will help to prevent inappropriate tension from building up and leading to strain and pain. â¢ Your monitor should be at eye height, letting your head balance freely on the top of your lengthening spine. Tilting the head back and dropping the neck forward causes tension in the neck, which often manifests itself as referred pain in the arms. â¢ Keep feet flat on the floor directly below your knees â if you canât reach the floor, sit further forward in the seat or use a foot rest. If your chair seat can be angled to tip slightly forward you should find it easier to allow your feet to rest on the floor. â¢ There is no such thing as a correct position â vary the way you sit to suit different activities, sitting back against the back of the chair whilst reading through something and sitting up at the front when youâre in âfull flowâ. â¢ Take regular breaks. Any sitting still for long periods can cause muscle stiffness. Be sure to move about â even a short walk to the water cooler can help!
To find your local teacher, log on to the website of the Society of Teachers of Alexander Technique at http://www.stat.org.uk. RSI Awareness Day is taking place on 27 February 2009.
- ends -