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Computer Posture:Take Some Micro-Breaks

Computer Posture Causing You Stress?

If you’re reading this article you’re most likely slightly slumped over a computer or PDA. Computer posture is one of the hidden causes of musculoskeletal pain and decreased energy, which ultimately increases stress.

Many jobs of today require long hours at the computer, and that can’t be changed. The key is having tools to reduce the wear and tear on your body throughout the day.

Computer posture causes a cascade of events in the body known as Upper Cross Syndrome. Upper Cross is not really a “Syndrome” at all, but merely a pattern of imbalances that develop with prolonged poor posture. Without going into detail, muscles in the front of the body become tight, while muscles in the back of the body become weak, in cross or x like patterns. Normal breathing reduces, and muscle spasm increases while joint mobility decreases.

How to Reduce Postural Burden:

Here are a list of “to do’s” to accomplish everyday to reduce your postural burden:

1.) Take microbreaks: Set a timer and give yourself 30 seconds to 1 minute every 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Overt your eyes from the screen

  • Roll them in clockwise and counterclockwise directions

  • Squeeze them tight then open them wide

  • Focus the eyes on an object 20 feet away

  • Roll the shoulders both directions and stand up and take a short walk if possible.

2.) Go the opposite way with Brugger Exercise: Since the shoulders normally slouch forward it’s important to move the body in the opposite direction often. It's also very important to monitor breathing throughout the day as it becomes restricted often and causes pain. An exercise developed by a Swiss neurologist, named Brugger, will do the trick:

  • Start in slightly hunched position with shoulder and arm turned all the way in (basically normal computer posture).

  • With a deep exhale….

  • Turn out the wrist until the palms and thumb point backward

  • Turn out the elbow

  • Rotate the shoulder back without raising them towards the ears

  • Lift the sternum until you’re sitting up tall

  • All of the steps are done in sequence: Exhale, wrist, elbow, shoulder, sternum in a single fluid movement.

  • Repeat 5 times for each micro break you take.

At Cedar City Chiropractic and Rehabilitation, Doctors Josh Williams and M. Curtis Hobson have the solution to more than just your back. With professional, on-hand dietitians, health coaches, massage therapist, and Chiropractic physicians, we can focus on your overall health and wellness that will allow you to run FASTER, jump HIGHER, recover QUICKER, and will ultimately achieve your greatest wellness goals. At Cedar City Chiropractic and Rehab... We have MORE than just your back!

Liebenson C (ed.) Rehabilitation of the Spine: A Practitioner's Manual. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1995.

Janda V. On the concept of postural muscles and posture in man. Aus J Physioth 1983;29:83-84.

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