Is Your Office Safe?

Consider this as a very important message from one internet marketer to another. Believe me, I have learned the hard way. For years I sat working on my computer for hours and days in the wrong position, in the wrong chair, without any breaks. On some days, I would switch my computer on at 8am and work on it until 1am the next morning.

My punishment for this: I have been diagnosed with cervical spondolysis (a non-curable condition) in my neck, with disc space between C5, C6 and C7 most affected. Want proof ? Here it is. As I always like to prove what I say, here is a picture of my neck’s x-ray and MRI scan. You can see on the first picture that the space between disc C5 and C6 is thinner than all the other spaces. The second picture shows a bulging disc pushing pressure on the spinal cord and its nerves fibers. Permanent nerve damage can be caused when a bulging disc in the neck is compressing a nerve for a long period of time.

Now I cannot work on the computer as much as I would like to because when I do, my neck starts to hurt, my arm goes “dead” and I lose part of my grip and feelings in my arm. I now have two choices: work a long time and give myself pain or work less and have no pain. As health is more important than money I obviously choose to work fewer hours. I can still work long hours on the computer but not as long as I would like to, in order not to make my condition worse. I am not telling you this out of self-pity as I am very happy with what I have achieved. I am telling you this so you don’t make the same mistake.

Please please pay attention to the following. What I am about to say truly is very important for your health. I feel that it is my duty to tell everybody in an office environment about the dangers of working constantly on a computer. I would not want you to make the same mistakes as me. If somebody had told me five years ago what I am going to tell you, I would not have a problem with my neck now. As an internet marketer you will be sitting in front of the computer for hours and hours and maybe even days.

Most people think that an office environment is a place with very low risk of injury. I thought the same until I had excruciating shoulder pain when I woke up one day. The truth is a lot of musculoskeletal disorders are caused in office environments. These disorders develop because of repetitive strain to the body’s muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints and nerves. Back, shoulders, neck, arms and hands are most commonly affected resulting from computer injuries (work-related musculoskeletal disorders). The two most important things that you need to know:

  1. Make sure that you are sitting in the correct position on your computer. Search for “correct posture at a computer” and you will find a lot of information. Search for “ergonomic office chair” and change your office chair if you have to.
  2. Make sure you take regular breaks. Staring at a computer screen with your head and neck always in the same position is very straining for your neck.

I use the following software: www.breakremindersoftware.com and in my opinion this should be installed on each computer that is sold anywhere in the world. The software monitors the time you work on the computer and it alerts you when you need to take a break.  You can set it to block your keyboard during breaks so you cannot work. My settings are as follows:

  1. I have a break for 20 seconds every 10 minutes and I’ve set the software so that my keyboard is blocked. Therefore every 10 minutes I do some gentle neck exercises.
  2. I have a 10-minute break every hour and my software is set so my keyboard is blocked, which forces me to get up and do something else for 10 minutes.

You have been warned: install http://www.breakremindersoftware.com it as a matter of urgency if you can afford it. If you cannot afford it: force yourself to take regular breaks. This is not available for Apple computers.

www.workpace.com is a much more sophisticated version and IS available for Apple computers.

There are similar programmes on the market : simply search for “office timers” or “office break timers”.

Sorry to have to be the one to tell you but i-Pads, laptops and mobile phones are a lot worse for your neck than a normal computer screen. This is because your face is always pointing downwards, so your neck has a lot more strain on it.

Also, finger arthritis is predicted to be a major worldwide problem in years to come, as people use their phones for too long. The finger movement involved in texting and moving a mouse causes Repetitive Strain Injury, resulting in arthritis for a lot of people.

Read more about it here: www.PainInTheThumb.com or search for the book on Amazon.

Correct posture at the computer: Bad posture at the computer:

(Source: www.ergonomics-info.com)

Please do not ignore this message, it really is very important, I cannot stress it enough.