Have you ever left work after sitting at your computer all day with a staggering headache? Do you fight through these headaches all through the workday? There are many reasons that you may be getting those headaches, and a few simple ways to get rid of them. We’ll explore both.
Before you spend time using every strategy under the sun to get rid of your headaches, you can do a quick assessment of why you might be getting them in the first place. Sometimes there is a very simple fix that will go a long way toward making your work time more enjoyable.
Monitor Refresh Rate
This is becoming less and less of an issue as more workplaces have laptops or LCD displays. If you have the old CRT (tube) type of screen, ensure that your refresh rate is set to a high number (ask a tech, or techie coworker to help.) Often a simple change of refresh rate to one that is easier on the eyes, it can make a huge difference!
Height of your monitor
If your monitor is too high or too low, the required tilt of your head can make a huge difference to the muscles in your neck. As a rough guideline, the top of a common monitor should be at the level of your mouth. If it isn’t there, try adjusting the height of the monitor up or down until it finally falls at a comfortable viewing angle.
Position of your monitor
If you’re like me, you have a fairly ‘active’ desk. While it may be tempting to move the computer off to one side for that great desk real-estate, think again. By moving a monitor from the center of the desk, you must make continuous sideways motions to look at the work you are doing. By keeping the computer front and center, you relieve that motion and may be able to keep working away longer, without that growing pain.
Simply changing how you sit can make a huge difference to your health at work. If you sit at the computer with a hunched back, you will put undue strain on your neck muscles as they work to hold your head up. If your back and spine is in alignment as you type, your head is positioned at the top of the neck, and balances with a minimum of effort. There are added benefits of increased blood flow, better breathing and better positioning for your arms and hands as well.
Linked to the posture point, but different in some ways is the seat you use at work. It is far easier to maintain that good posture if you seat has lower back support and you don’t have to push yourself up all the time. Also, if the seat swivels, it can alleviate some of the repetitive turning that can strain your neck muscles.
It is surprising how many of us forget that simple hydration can have a huge impact on headaches. If you feel a headache coming on, drink a couple of glasses of water. Too much coffee, soft drinks, even sugary juices and sports drinks can do more harm than good if not accompanied by water during the workday.
These are some simple ways to make a big difference in your work day. Even if you don’t have computer headaches now, putting these adjustments into place may help you ensure you never do!