Students spend long hours sitting while reading, studying, playing video games, etc., often in prolonged, awkward, and static positions. They often sit in poorly designed seats, at awkward desk arrangements and they frequently use computers for extended periods. Prolonged sitting during these activities may cause muscles and other soft tissues to become stretched or shortened compared to normal. Muscles may be overworked or become constantly contracted.
The abnormal stresses placed on the student’s body may cause discomfort ranging from minor pain, which subsides overnight, to debilitating longer-term pain. Pain from the poor or prolonged postures may present as headaches, neck and low back pain, pain in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hands.
Many of these aches and pains can be avoided by following simple guidelines, which will decrease these increased stresses placed on a student’s body.
Change your study habits, work style, and study or computer work area frequently are often sufficient to alleviate significantly the pain, which may arise.
Keep the computer or books in front of you, not off to the side.
Keep the shoulders relaxed while studying. Periodically perform shoulder shrugs, rolls, and squeezes to reduce the tension in the shoulder blade and neck muscles.
Do not sit with legs or knees crossed for extended periods of time.
Study in well lit areas to avoid eye strain and to avoid bending in order to see the reading material or computer.
Take frequent breaks
Alternate computer or study time with unrelated activities to allow different muscle groups to be used.
Perform periodic stretching exercises of the back, neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, and fingers.
Build in some time during most days of the week to get exercise to keep muscles healthy and better able to withstand stress.