How to protect your back when reading and writing

Readers and writers put a lot of strain on their spine especially if posture isn’t very economical.

Check the height of your screen the top should be level with your eye line when sitting straight. The keyboard sits under the hands with the elbows bent at less than a right angle. So for laptop users, attach a separate keyboard and mouse and elevate the screen.

Your chair needs to be adjustable so that feet rest on the floor or on a small footrest. The seat should tilt forwards at about 15 degrees so that knees are below hips when working on a screen. By all means, release it and rock back when reading. The back of the chair is then adjusted to fit snugly into the small of the back or place a pillow behind you if the back doesn’t adjust.

A similar position is ideal for reading. Support the book or reader on a document holder but if not… at least have a beanbag on your lap or a small folding lap desk so that your elbows are supported and you aren’t holding the book or reader up and generating shoulder and neck tension.

Whether reading or writing, remember to get up and move at least every 40 mins. Put on a record and dance flat out, walk briskly, go up and down the stairs; just get the blood pumping and your joints moving.

Next post in two weeks… How to avoid repetitive strain: Core exercises for Writers and Readers


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