It’s Sunday afternoon at WordCamp 2007 in San Francisco and I’ve been at my laptop an estimated combined 18 hours since booting up early Saturday morning.
There are over 395 pressers (people using wordpress) in attendance and looking around the room it is rare to see someone not using their laptop.
I have not gotten a consensus as to how many here are receiving chiropractic care and I did not bring my portable xray unit or even my xray goggles to check cervical curves but looking around the room I can see alot of forward head carriage. This is something that is not good for your spine in case you are wondering.
Joseph (super wordpress developer) is sitting two seats to my left and he just commented on the hard wooden folding chairs many of us are sitting on.
There are three types of chairs here inside the Swedish American Hall. There is the standard wooden folding chair that has about an inch of padding (after this many hours it’s not so helpful). There are some red vinyl covered theater type chairs but those run along the walls of the hall which results in people having to do quite a bit of neck rotation (either to the right or left) depending on which side of the room one is sitting. The third type of chair are these big wooden chairs that must have been used at some point for the most important of Swedish Americans.
Here is a photo of one of the more regal chairs scattered around the hall. When I first came in on Saturday I thought these chairs were really cool but after sitting in them I discovered they are not the best for laptop use (sidearms are too high to allow free arm motion).
As I have been writing this I’ve been consciously noticing people lean increasingly forward, placing further stress on their spines and nervous systems. I myself just had to sit up straight as I caught myself getting sucked into my notebook screen.
I took some more photos since I started this post so we could view some postures and see if we can offer some chiropractic tips on better sitting positions. After reviewing some images I think this next one sums it up best.
Forms of posture to avoid include what I’ve termed the “Mullenweg” which is demonstrated perfectly in the image to the left.
It is a photo of Matt (the worlds most famous Matt according to Google) Mullenweg in a classic forward head leaning position.
Understand that Matt has a fairly good reason to be sitting this way as he has been working insanely hard these past two days. (Many people volunteered at WordCamp and the event was superb.)
Looking at the photo see how Matt is supporting his head with his left hand while adeptly typing with his right hand. What is happening here is that the supporting muscles in his neck have tired and now his body is seeking another way to support the increasing pressure being placed on bones, ligaments, and discs in his spine.
Here are my spinal posture tips for traveling bloggers authoring more than 500+ words of fresh content daily on notebook computers…
- Do your best to locate a comfortable surface to sit on, preferably one with back support
- Sit up straight with your head squarely over your shoulders (not leaning forward)
- Stick in your butt slightly, creating a small forward facing arch in your low back (to release lumber disc stress)
- Keep your legs flat on the floor (resist the one leg folded up on opposite knee position to support your laptop)
- Take breaks regularly
Number 5 is the most important tip of all. You can cheat on the others a bit as long as you continue to take regular breaks. Waiting until your battery is dead is not enough. I’d recommend users get up and move around (even if just to stand and stretch for 30 seconds) every 20 minutes or so.
Blog Hard, Blog Often, Get Adjusted!