(Image source from: www.spineuniverse.com)
Do you suffer from a headache or neck and pain in your back from computer work from time to time? In that case, checking your posture possibly will help, researchers say.
Sitting at a computer with jutting head forward to appear more closely at the screen compresses the neck and can cause exhaustion, headache, deprived attentiveness, increased muscle tension and can even lead to injury to the backbones over time. It can even place a limit on the ability to turn the head, the researchers explained.
"When your posture is tall and erect, the muscles of your back can easily support the weight of your head and neck, as much as 12 pounds," said Erik Peper, associate professor at San Francisco State University. "But when your head juts forward at a 45-degree angle, your neck acts like a fulcrum, like a long lever lifting a heavy object. Now the muscle weight of your head and neck is the equivalent of about 45 pounds. It is not surprising people get stiff necks and shoulder and back pain," Peper added.
The team of researchers, for the study, published in the journal Biofeedback, first asked 87 students to sit upright with their heads correctly aligned on their necks and asked them to turn their heads. After that, the students were asked to scrunch their necks and jut their heads forward. 92 percent stated being able to turn their heads much beyond when not scrunching.
In the second test, 125 students scrunched their necks for 30 seconds. Later, 98 percent stated some level of discomfort in their head, neck or eyes. The researchers also checked 12 students with electromyography equipment and found that trapezius muscle tension increased in the scrunched, head forward position.
The researchers suggest to check posture and make certain the head is aligned on top of the neck as if held by an unseen thread from the ceiling. Other solutions comprise increasing the typeface on your computer screen, wearing computer reading eyeglasses or placing your computer on a stand at eye level, all to make the screen easier to read lacking strain.