How can I prevent low back pain while using a computer?

If you have back pain from sitting at a computer, I recommend that you take three to five minutes every hour to get up, walk around and stretch. If you can’t walk very far, get up in your cubicle and stretch where you are. I also recommend getting an adjustable office desk that can be used for both sitting and standing. That can be very helpful because you can stand up for, say, half an hour, and then sit for half an hour. This can also help with pain.

The best way to avoid back pain if you use a computer a lot is to get up and move around frequently. Take stretching breaks every 30 minutes to one hour, if you can. There is no clear evidence on how best to position the computer screen and keyboard.

Some experiments suggest that you look straight ahead at the screen, with a viewing distance from the eyes to the screen  somewhere between 24-40 inches, or six inches below eye level at a distance of 40 inches. Different people pick different distances for maximum comfort. Find your most comfortable zone, but avoid getting closer than about 24 inches to avoid eye strain. The keyboard is in a good position when you can type without bending your wrists up or down and when your forearms are roughly horizontal.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.