Last year, the smartphone replaced the personal computer as the primary means people use to access the internet.

The King may be down, but he’s certainly not dead. Every day, tens of millions of us use our PCs to work and access the internet for entertainment, but there’s a problem. Using your PC for extended periods of time can be a real pain in the neck, both literally and figuratively, and it can cause a variety of other aches and pains. Here are a few simple tips for avoiding the most common types of computer-related injuries:

Posture, Posture, Posture!

The most common type of computer related injury is pain in the neck and shoulders. Invariably, this is caused by poor posture when sitting for hours at a time in front of your computer. In addition to simple mindfulness, there are a number of fixes for this, including:

  • Making sure that your monitor is at a proper height, so you’re looking at it straight on, rather than down.
  • Investing in an ergonomic chair
  • Buying an extra lumbar support cushion, even in cases where you have an ergonomic chair

It’s also important to keep your legs out in front of you and feet on the floor, and make sure your chair is properly height adjusted. Those ergonomic features only work if you take those steps, after all.

Padding

Wrist strain and carpal tunnel are two other commonly occurring injuries. Here, your best friend is a wrist pad that sits just in front of your keyboard, giving your wrists a comfortable cushion to sit on. Also, if you don’t already know how to type properly, practice that skill. Learning to type will ensure that your hands are in a position that will minimize your risk of injury.

Take Frequent Breaks

Leg and back pain are also commonly reported injuries, and here, the easiest way to prevent them is regular stretching. Every hour, make it a point to get up, stretch, and move around. Pro tip: If you drink lots of water while you’re at your computer, Mother Nature will tend to take care of this detail for you!

The bottom line is, while computers are glorious inventions, they can also lead us to harm. Fortunately, avoiding that harm is easy to do, so long as you’re mindful of it.

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