Computer positioning and reducing neck strain

Very often I have clients that come in complaining of neck muscle strain and very often they are in a job or have a hobby that involves sitting in front of a computer. As part of my home care, I help the client to re-establish a good position for the shoulders an proper balancing of the head on the neck. Once you properly position the shoulders and the head, if you work with a computer, then you need to adjust the position of the monitor and the keyboard so that you can maintain your shoulder/head position. A good rule of thumb is to have the keyboard pretty much near your belly button (so that your shoulders are back and in a good position) and have the monitor usually about 1 or 1 1/2 feet away from you with the bottom of the screen at eye level. This is easier if you have a flat screen. The reason that the screen is so close to you is that often the resolution is so high, it makes the print very small, leading you to lean forward to read the font (another option is to make the print bigger on the screen). Using a glare protector is helpful to reduce eye strain. Also the screen is so high because when your head is balanced, you are actually looking up about 10 degrees from the horizon. This is because the front of the head is heavier than the back, so it needs to be tilted back a touch to be properly balanced. So there are some thoughts about keyboard and monitor position. It is always good to adapt your environment to you so you don’t have to adapt yourself to your environment (which will cause chronic muscles strain, pain and headaches. 

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