Computer Pains
.....Neck Pain

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Older people can suffer from various pains which make computing a less enjoyable activity

There is a good video showing suitable exercises at

The most well known RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) Lower back Pain and Carpel Tunnel syndrome.  Please click on the links provided to go to sites which deal with these in a more professional way than I can hope to do. Back pain is very common at all ages and is one of the most common reasons for time off work.

However, there is one aspect of computing of which I have particular experience and that is neck pain.  Alright, I know I can be a pain in the neck when talking about computers, especially at parties.  But, seriously, it can be a nuisance and, I suspect, is quite common amongst computer users.  I used to notice it the morning after a long session of programming or word processing and, although I went to an osteopath for a couple of sessions, I concluded that there was a connection between my computing activity and my stiff neck. At the time I was using bi-focal glasses and, studying what I did, it was not difficult to work out that between looking at the screen through the lower lens of the glasses and then looking at the keyboard I was moving my head about 90 degrees up and down - hundreds of times in one evening.  It was not surprising that the following morning I was reluctant to look over my shoulder whilst backing off the drive !

Eye test

So, from my completely unqualified situation, I pass on these suggestions :

1) Make sure you are not looking at your screen like a piano player with bi-focals.  Get single focus glasses - even cheap ones - (or use multifocal lenses) which are right for the screen and keyboard and use these whenever you are computing

Neckpain 1

Neckpain 2

2) Try to ensure that the screen is as near as possible to, and at the same focal length as, the keyboard. This may mean putting an older, flat desktop style box somewhere else e.g. under the printer.     

Neckpain 3

Well that certainly helped me. So I hope it helps other people

Scientists at the University of Aberdeen recently found that leaning back (wideneing the angle between the thighs and the back) places less strain on the back that sitting up straight.  One suggestion is that you should have a mirror on your computer desk to remind you not to slump.  There is even a computer program that works in conjunction with a webcam to help you correct your posture.  But a mirror is cheaper


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