Articles, Ergonomics

Stretching for the Computer Athlete

Prevent injuries in 15 minutes a day

Cornell University research has found that keying for 8 hours is, for your fingers, equivalent to walking 10 miles for your feet. If you are keyboarding every day, you need to prepare like an athlete to prevent injury: Stretch. Drink water. Take breaks.

By “stretching”, I mean taking 15 minutes every day to stretch the large muscles of your body: your trunk, your arms, your legs. Stretching these muscles helps prevent neck and low back pain – the most frequent and disabling injuries to computer athletes. Here are some pointers to help you work stretching into your daily routine:

Who should stretch?
Everyone should stretch: children, adults, men, women. If you have an injury, you should be stretching and strengthening the site of the injury.

What is the best time to stretch? First thing in the morning, stretch for 15 minutes.

Do I have to stretch first thing in the morning? People who stretch in the morning are most likely to stretch every day. But as long as you stretch every day, the time doesn’t matter.

How can I make time to stretch? Link stretching to some other activity. For example, stretch while you watch the evening news on TV. Do three quick stretches before you eat lunch.

I forgot to stretch? Keep at it. It takes 21 days to make a habit. Set an alarm to remind you. Post a note on your computer.

Where should I stretch? Anyplace that is convenient for you: living room, bedroom, hotel room, office.

Do I have to lie on the floor? To stretch your back, lying on the floor is most effective. But you can do many helpful stretches while sitting or standing.

I don’t have 15 minutes. Then stretch for 5. Even 5 minutes a day will make a difference – and that’s far more effective than 35 minutes of stretching once a week.

Start right now. My DVD “Stretch Away Back Pain” guides you through the stretches, showing you proper pace and technique.

1 thought on “Stretching for the Computer Athlete”

  1. Your website is thoughtful, clear and the information I need is easy to find and accessible. I’m sending this article to my duaghters (all-day keyboarders) because I think it’s really important information for them. Thank you! -Susie

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