Turtle neck or ‘turtleing’ is the term I learned for hunching your back and neck over a computer so that you look like a turtle. Needless to say, we do not function our best when we sit like this.
It’s not just computers. Any hand held device or book that you look down at can have this effect. And it’s not just us adults. Take a look at the kids around you and notice how they are sitting.
Hunching over and craning your neck can take its toll on our well being. It pinches nerves and strains muscles. It tires us out and makes us irritable.
Here are some ways be more comfortable at your desk. Try these fixes together – you don’t want to fix one area only to have it ‘break’ another one.
1. Adjust your monitor distance
Sometimes we crane our neck forward so we can see the screen better. Try pulling the monitor or your chair closer (or both). You can also try increasing the font size to eliminate craning your neck. Are you looking down at your handheld device a lot? Try to keep your neck in an neutral position when using these devices.
2. Adjust your keyboard
Do this test: sit comfortably in your chair and then bend your elbows 90 degrees. Your keyboard should be right at that height. If not, adjust your chair or keyboard tray so it is.
3. Put your feet flat
Can you sit at the height you need to reach your keyboard and see your screen and still have your feet flat on the floor? If not, consider getting a foot rest. If your legs are dangling, it can put pressure on your thighs and they can start to hurt.
4. Sit back in your chair
Can you sit back in your chair and be comfortable? If not, why not? Are you too far from your keyboard? Can’t see the screen? Chair uncomfortable? Take a minute to see if you can make some chair fixes or one of the above fixes so you can sit back comfortably.
5. Get moving
One of the most important things I learned is to just not be in one sitting position too long. Even a good sitting position can get tiring. Try standing up to work. Walk around as you talk on the phone, or at least shift your position. Taking a ‘movement’ break can re-energize you.
Take a few minutes to adjust your workspace. Invest in a good, adjustable chair. Your entire body will thank you!