Humans have evolved from hunter gatherers and since the 1950s our lifestyle has become increasingly sedentary. The graph on the right shows what the Department of Social Security paid out for back pain up to the late 90s, the increase in back pain since the mid 80s mirrors computer sales in the same period see the second graph.
Our spines have not had time to adapt to computers in this minute period of evolution, resulting in a huge increase in health problems such as back and leg pain, sciatica,headaches and migraines, neck, shoulder and arm pain, pins and needles, whiplash and poor posture. To help your spine adapt better to these stresses Richard Lanigan has produced a 2 page Spinal Care information pdf for you to download page1, page 2.
Ergonomics is the study of the interaction between people and machines and the factors that affect these interactions. There are many factors to consider when improving human-machine interactions, above all the users should benefit from ergonomic improvements rather than making the user fit the system. Much of the emphasis of ergonomics is on human capabilities and limitations and the need to design systems that reflect these limitations. However despite all the developments in ergonomics there has been a dramatic increase in low back pain since the introduction of computers to the workplace.
The most helpful thing you can do to prevent and manage back pain is to keep your back fit and healthy by leading an active lifestyle. When people ask for recommendations for a “good chair” I will often advise the least comfortable one because you are less likely to sit in it for hours. When you have to sit on something try a Swiss Ball because its instability enables the stress of sitting to be spread over a broader area.
Better to change lifestyle before treatment becomes necessary