One of the things that gets the least attention and care in the tech industry is the user themselves. I personally sit in front of a computer for 8 hours a day 5 days a week doing my desk job, I leave and can then sit for a further 2-3 hours at my computer at home. There will be pauses in between getting blown up by creepers or brief spells away from my desk to get a coffee (or away from the next call in the queue). But I haven’t really taken into consideration my own health and wellbeing while sitting at my computer.
At the office I am provided with an adjustable office chair, which I have set for comfort, laying back chilling with the seat as low as it goes. Comfort, that’s what I’m after, I sit at my desk in what I think is comfort, slouched down, dealing with the work as it comes. After a few hours I start to complain about my back being stiff or my neck having a mild ache. Never do I make the connection that if I sat with the correct posture I would be doing myself a bit of a favour.
Since choosing the topic of this article, I have raised my seat, straightened the back, and made all the necessary adjustments according to how the NHS suggest, never did I think that I needed to be told how to sit at a computer, something I have done for the majority of my life. What I have come to realise that through these small changes to my desk, chair and monitor, along with a considerable amount of effort from myself to sit straight in my chair and minimise the amount of time spent slouching. After a long shift I can say that I do not actually feel as drained leaving work, my back and neck aren’t as stiff, so there may be something to this correct posture thing after all.
At home I do not have the same luxury of an all sing all dancing adjustable chair, I use a sturdy wooden dining chair with a straight back. I have noticed that over longer periods of time gaming at home I wouldn’t have been as fatigued as I would at the office for the same duration. Maybe this chair has been keeping me sitting in a more correct posture than my office chair, but again I have to remind myself not to slouch.
From this I have begun to wonder; what else have I been missing? I don’t think that it’s time that I will be turning vegetarian (I like steak too much) or running marathons. Although maybe it’s the little things; take the stairs, walk to the shop and cook fresh food instead of a takeaway, or maybe take up a sport. I just hope that maybe this has ignited a spark, to look after the gamer, modder or general PC user instead of focusing all the attention on your machine.