“Stand up straight! Don’t slouch!”
How many of you heard this from your mom or grandmother growing up? I know I did. And actually I am not a sloucher when I’m standing. I’m short, so no reason not to stand straight, shoulders back, etc.
That doesn’t mean I have excellent posture for the, oh, twelve to fourteen hours a day I’m at a computer. Anybody who’s been following me on Twitter this week knows I’ve been having some back problems. Got a massage on Monday. That didn’t fix it. So yesterday I made my first ever visit to a chiropractor because the inability to turn my head without excruciating pain on the eve of my vacation kinda sucked.
So…that red line is the way my neck is SUPPOSED to curve. In fact I have three curves in my neck. It starts out right, curves back the other way, then curves back forward correctly. I was informed that this is the kind of thing that leads to spinal degeneration and all sorts of unpleasant consequences. And that it is the most common thing he sees. And it’s going to take a while to fix.
The culprit is lousy posture at a computer. Given that all of you probably do exactly the same stuff (we’re writers…what does anybody expect), I figured I’d do a WSA on proper posture.
So this is how you should be sitting if you work at a desk. I’m actually pretty decent at this. Not as good as I could have been, but in a great stroke of irony, my new fancy pants ergonomic office chair that we ordered like six weeks ago actually came in while I was at the chiropractor yesterday. So yay.
But this is not actually my big problem. No, it’s the laptop and the hours I spend slouched on the sofa or hunched over looking at it while it is…you know, IN MY LAP. I did not find a lot of good information for how to properly use a laptop in your lap. Pretty much everything suggests having a separate keyboard and mouse so that the laptop can be put on a stable and higher surface. Which totally defeats the purpose of a laptop. As I do not work at a desk at home and will not be starting, I am in the market for a good lap desk to raise the level of the laptop so I’m not looking down. I’m thinking about this one. Do you have a favorite?
If you also write from the sofa or a chair, I suggest you invest in a lap desk too before you wind up giving YOUR local chiropractor a crapton of business before you start resembling the tortoise straining forward with your neck.
In the meantime, I can actually turn my head without agony, and I’m off on vacation. Wish me luck on the 9 hour car trip.