Study habits: Maintain the correct posture with tips from doctors

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Updated on Jan 10, 2014 15:10 IST

Maintaining the correct study posture with tips from doctors

How often have you heard your mom telling you to sit properly, keep your back straight and study in a well lit room? Such a statement is mostly dealt with pretending to be deaf or occasional answering back with – “Poor posture cannot be traced to pains and aches, it’s the study material which is a pain!” However, at the end of the day, you finally realise that your mother is always right. Why so? Because soon enough, you find yourself holding your back or neck and rushing to her to give you some Volini. Yes, such is the life of a student, especially during exam time!!!

All of us are often haunted by the thought of maintaining that ‘correct posture’. But the question here arises – Is it even possible to improve one’s posture? The way we sit, stand and walk are the strongest of habits that are instilled in our personality over the years. So, from experience we say that changing your posture may be even more difficult than quitting potato chips or those popcorns during movies. Thus, all the effort that goes into maintaining that perfect posture and correct study habits better be worth it.

Read on to find some study habits and postures that will help you in the coming exam season.

Maintain the Correct Sitting Posture

Maintain the correct sitting posture

Students often suffer from the after-effects of having a poor posture. Dr Yogesh Sharma, senior consultant radiologist says, “Students mostly study in a slouching position which happens as they concentrate on the book or computer in front of them and stop checking or paying attention to how they sit.” This he says results in pain in the back as well as the neck when they study. Some tips on how to sit as given by Dr Sharma are as follows:

  • Head should be in an upright position when viewing documents on your computer screen. Take deep breaths when studying whether you are sitting or standing.
  • Shoulders should be relaxed with elbows close to the sides when sitting at the desk.
  • Study material or the computer screen should be at eye level so that you do not strain your neck while reading off a book or computer.

Correct Placement of Chair and Desk

Correct Placement of Chair and Desk

Dr Vinod Sukheja, senior consultant orthopedic surgeon at Apollo Hospital states that, “A supportive as well as comfortable chair takes away the pressure from the lower back, making it easier for students to sit and study. So parents should take special care in choosing the right chair as well as desk for studying”.  As per him, the chair and desk for studying should ensure the following:

Chair

  • Should have adequate support for the back which should ideally be adjustable.
  • Do not lean forward and sit in the chair; your back should touch the chair. Try and sit in a vertical or slightly reclined position. If your chair doesn’t provide adequate support for your lower back then consider using a cushion, pillow or even a rolled up towel. Try and always use a good back support.
  • Height of the chair should be adjustable so that your feet are positioned flat on the floor. Sitting in such a way also prevents slouching.
  • Arm rests should preferably be there because they offer support and tend to relax the muscles in the forearms and elbows.

Desk

  • Sufficient knee room should be there so that you can sit close to your desk.
  • Should be big so that all your study material or computer and its equipment can easily be placed on top of it.
  • Computer on top of a study desk should be kept an arm length away.
  • Should be of adequate height, so that you do not have to bend forward or reach upwards to study from your book or computer.

Correct Placement of Computer, Keyboard and Mouse

Correct Placement: Computer, Keyboard and Mouse

“These days most students study on the computer and continuously working on the computer can lead to strain on eyes, neck pain, headaches and can even lead to excessive pressure on a student’s shoulders,” suggests Dr Gautam Jain, radiologist at Chikitsa nursing home. Guiding on how to prevent such a situation from arising, he recommends the following:

Computer monitor

  • Place the monitor right in front of you so that you do not have to rotate either your head or your body to read off the computer.
  • Place the monitor such that the top of the screen is either exactly at or slightly below your eye level.

Keyboard/Mouse

  • Place the keyboard near your stomach so that you do not have to move your hands outward too much. By doing this, you will also not overwork your shoulders and shoulder blade muscles while studying off the computer.
  • Elevation of the keyboard/ mouse should be such that your wrists are in a neutral position. You should ideally use a palm rest for your mouse as well as the keyboard. This will prevent you from suffering from the common aches of the wrist such as tendonitis or ganglion cysts.
  • Keyboard and mouse should be kept at a 90 degree angle for pain-free working.

Do not Study in Low Light

Do not study in low light

You must have often heard that studying in dim lit rooms will affect your eye-sight. Elaborating on this, senior consultant ophthalmologist at Metro Group of Hospitals, Dr. Rajat Anand says, “Sub-optimal lighting may create a sensation wherein you may feel it difficult to focus on your study material. Studying in such conditions also decreases the rate of blinking which leads to discomfort because the eyes dry up”. In order to save yourself from some nasty headaches, Dr. Rajat suggests the following study habits so that you do not strain your eyes when studying for long hours:

  • Ensure that you study in a well-lit room
  • Use a study lamp while studying

If you are studying on a computer, then ensure that:

  • There is no bright light coming from behind the area where the screen is placed because this may make it difficult to read off the screen and force you to lean forward and read.
  • Use a screen filter to save your eyes from the glare on screen.

Other Posture Tips

Other Posture Tips

Dr Shuchi Sharma, Consultant Dermatologist at Apollo Hospital lets students in on her tip for maintaining the perfect study habits and says, “Most people recommend you to sit straight and maintain the right eye-level while studying. But I lay more emphasis on taking regular breaks; like try to stand or walk a bit after every half an hour to one hour. Doing this will increase your muscle activity and improve blood flow to those areas which have been kept in a cramped or stretched position due sitting in a particular position for long hours”. She also recommends that students should go out for a walk or even play outside. This she says is essential to prevent muscles in your body from going stiff as well as relaxes your eye muscles and in the end gives you that much needed change.

Doctors also recommend that students should regularly do stretching exercises for the neck, back, fingers, wrist, arms and shoulders. This helps remove muscle tension and relaxes the body so that you can divert your attention from bodily pain to the syllabus you have to cover.

Now when you know how to maintain the best possible study habits, all you need to do is be thorough in your exam subjects. So, we at shiksha.com are signing off here wishing all the students sitting for exams in the coming session – All the very Best!

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This is a collection of news and articles on various topics ranging from course selection to college selection tips, exam preparation strategy to course comparison and more. The topics are from various streams inclu... Read Full Bio

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