Computer and Phone Comfort

When you've been sitting at your computer for hours, it can be hard to remember that being comfortable was once even a possibility. Believe it or not though, there are lots of things you can do to stay more comfortable, and they all apply to how you use your phone too. Here are a couple of them, inspired by a Computer and Phone Comfort workshop I taught last month.

 Your spine does not need to look like this for hours at a time.

Your spine does not need to look like this for hours at a time.

Where is your head? To start with, as you're looking at the device you're reading this blog post on, what position are you in? Where is your head in relation to the rest of your body? Very likely, your head is in front of the rest of you, causing extra work to hold your head there. 

Gently shift your head forward and backward and find the sweet spot where it feels like your head is on top of your spine. Can you look at your device from there? You'll find that instead of bending from your neck or your upper back, you need to look down with your eyes, or bend somewhere higher up your neck, maybe all the way up where your spine and your skull meet between your ears.

What's the shape of your neck and your back? If it looks anything like the shape of the spine in the picture above, OUCH! Spines are not designed to stay in that position for any significant amount of time, and we often lose track of how long we spend in front of a computer or on our phones.

Sit comfortably in an upright chair with your feet on the floor. Place your right palm on top of your head. Using your hand to guide the movement of your head, gently and slowly guide your head to look down toward the floor and allow your spine to round and your chest to soften, then guide your head to look up toward the ceiling and allow your spine to extend and your chest to open. Repeat a few times, staying within an easy range. Switch hands and repeat a few times. With each repetition, look for how your whole spine could become part of rounding and extending, instead of isolating the movement to your head, upper back, and neck.

For times when you would get funny looks for putting your hand on your head, imagine you have two strings attached to you. One is in front, running from your belly button to your sternum. The other is in back, along the length of your spine. To help support your head and your neck in sitting or standing, imagine that both ends of each string are being pulled away from each other so your torso gets longer, evenly front to back. Notice when that support is activated, how much lighter your head becomes.

If this is challenging to figure out on your own or you want to learn more, please contact me about private lessons, group classes, or public workshops.

Got hand and wrist cramps from too much computer or phone time? Go read "Dominant vs. Non-Dominant Hand".