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Old 04-17-2011, 03:37 AM   #1
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Default Sore neck and shoulders? You may have a problem with the height of your keyboard and/or screen.

I have been struggling with discomfort in my neck and shoulders for years. After receiving a new desktop computer with a huge screen as a birthday gift (I have always just used my trusty laptop) I found my neck and right shoulder becoming even more painful.

I finally figured out the problem is the height of the table I work at. So I started looking around at some of the ergonomic sites.

No wonder I am having a problem!

Unfortunately even by rising my chair as high as it will go and adding a pair of pillows I am still not sitting high enough and I am not a short person.

It seems that the only thing left for me to do is to cut down the legs of my desk/table bit by bit till I get it to the right height for the keyboard and then, if need be, add height to the screen by placing blocks or something under it.

Does anyone else have this problem? What have you done about it?

Sandy

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Old 04-20-2011, 04:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: Sore neck and shoulders? You may have a problem with the height of your keyboard and/or screen.

I have the same problem when i work on my laptop....u should make sure the screen is in your eye level....use a keyboard and a mouse

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Old 04-20-2011, 04:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: Sore neck and shoulders? You may have a problem with the height of your keyboard and/or screen.

Your problem probably has a lot to do with your chair and
your posture in it.

You can also try working standing up. That can help.

There are dual-height systems available for people who prefer to
alternate between standing and sitting.

I've studied this a lot actually. My neck and shoulders get pretty
tight.

You might try working your shoulders by lifting small dumbells. Working
the area brings blood into it and that can help alleviate the pains.

Also, look at Robin McKenzie's stuff on back and neck exercises.

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Old 04-20-2011, 04:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sore neck and shoulders? You may have a problem with the height of your keyboard and/or screen.

Oh, what I can tell you about shoulder and neck problems.... and the resulting dizzy spells when the nerve gets pinched.

I used to be a dicta-typist, sitting 8 hours a day with headphones on, staring straight ahead and typing. 10 years later, I had developed major neck arthritis and stiffness, not to mention degenerated discs, but I'm not sure that was all from my work. It took a chiropractor to finally stop the tension and major head pain (right at the back of the head, like I was hit with a baseball bat).

Now, I still get the occasional dizzy spell and frequent left shoulder and left side of neck pain, like I have now.

My problem, which might be yours as well, is from slouching when I'm not actually typing. Subconsciously, I tend to lean on my left elbow which pushes my shoulder up when I'm reading something on screen.

Check yourself and see if you do something similar. My chair is at the right height for my keyboard. I have a sloping foot rest which also helps a lot.

To be honest, I don't know how anyone can use a laptop on a table. I need to have my keyboard at a height that requires my hands to be lower than my elbows. This also prevents me from resting my wrists on the keyboard, which is another bad habit many people have. For me, only my finger tips hit the keyboard. If you have to bend your wrists too much, you can develop carpal tunnel and other wrist problems. Your hand and arm must hang naturally while you type.

Now, I don't know if that can affect your neck and shoulder, but it might because you'd be bending your wrists too much. I'd imagine it could throw off your posture over time as you try to cope with the uncomfortable and unnatural position of your hands/wrists/arms.

Another thing I know can contribute to shoulder problems is having arms on your chair. As a typist, I never had a chair with arms, but now I tend to rest my left arm on the arm instead of holding it loose, which probably adds to my neck/shoulder problem.

That's something to look at too. Is it one shoulder or both?

My table has a pull-out for the keyboard. Maybe you need to rig up something like that to lower the keyboard. Chairs can never adjust to accommodate a regular table height, no matter how many pillows you use.

Sylvia

PS: Oh, and exercises for sure. Take regular breaks about every half hour or so. Pull your shoulders up to your ears good and tight, and then relax them - like shrugging and releasing. This helps to release the tension in your shoulder muscles. Turn your head right as far as you can, and then left. This also loosens up the muscles.

Another exercise is to look straight ahead, arms down, and tilt your head to one side. Try to get your ear as close to your shoulder as possible without raising your shoulder. Hold for about 10 count, and then repeat with the other side.

Stand and raise your arm up in the air, roll it back and down behind you, like making a circle in the air with your hand. Lift your hand as high as you can while making the circle. Repeat with the other arm.

There are lots of exercises you can do.

But I would consider using a chair that does not have arms, so you are not tempted to rest your arms on them.

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Last edited by sylviad; 04-20-2011 at 04:36 PM. Reason: add a ps
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