Watch What You Carry

Health is a very important part of our lives and being in poor health can be detrimental to one’s quality of life and affect greatly our lifestyles. It can also affect our postures and our characters. Imagine someone who is constantly at pain when walking or their arms and shoulders give them continued problems. If you watch them, every now and then they’d stop walking, maybe walk crooked or suddenly rotates their shoulders in an upward movement as if some strange tick was making them move. No matter how good looking they are, or how well dressed you are, this sudden tick of the shoulder can give the person next to you some doubts to your sanity.

Shoulders used to be a big problem area for me and I realize also for my colleages. Afterall sitting at the computer ten hours a day typing and clicking away on the computer isn’t exactly what humans were designed to do. We’re supposed to be hunters and gatherers. That’s how our ancestors lived. Nowadays, we sit, eat, and sleep.

My shoulders used to be perpetually tight and whenever I go have a massage, the lady would shake her head and tell me I have to come more often. (I always wondered if this was their way of making me a regular customer, but it felt good nevertheless.)

Now massages are a great way to relieve tight shoulders and heal those aching muscles, but they are not getting to the root of the problem.

What I discovered to be my main problem was the height of my keyboard, mouse and the bag I carry. The first two I am sure you all know what I am talking about: Ergonomics. Make sure you are sitting ergonomically when you work. Keyboards should be at level where you can just drop your arms down and your shoulders are relaxed.

If you do a lot of powerpoint and excel, like me, I suggest you invest in a mouse of your own. For awhile I had lots of trouble with my hands. I didn’t have energy to write with my right hands and they felt somewhat out of place and twisted. It was awful and annoying. Luckily, Alex got me a wonderful ergonomically friendly mouse by logitech called “Trackman.” I got the cordless optical version and I have to tell you it works wonders. Your wrist stays still the entire time and I no longer have any problems with my right wrist and hand.

Another problem that was causing me trouble was my handbag. (Yes ladies, if you are reading this, handbags can be a big problem for your shoulders.) I like to put a lot of things into my handbags and throw it on my shoulder. If I’m out walking around, I can be carrying it for hours on end. My shoulder ends up carrying all this extra weight and unknowingly, your shoulder has to lift a little to keep the handbags from falling off.

I switched to a handbag without a shoulder strap so that I won’t throw it on my shoulder. I went through my belongings and threw out things I didn’t need. Discount cards are now left in my car. Nowadays my shoulder is less tight and I feel much better. I don’t need massages as often and it feels more balanced.

To be even better would be to take up Yoga and stretch the tightness away. I keep doing it on and off, but if you can do it regularly, your body will thank you for giving it a good workout.

Now I better go stretch my shoulders..it’s been a long day infront of the screen for me. Take care everyone!!

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