In this second part of the article series, we will focus on bad posture, and long-term sitting in general, to answer the question of how do screens cause headaches. We will go through how it all affects the entire upper part of the body, what it does to the brain and our focus, and how water also plays a huge role in this problem.
If you still haven’t, you may read all about how our eyes affect our headaches in terms of pain after a long period of work and looking at screens. We genuinely think that splitting articles into two parts will provide better clarity for those who experience these issues and we would love to see both of them be of use to our readers!
How do screens cause headaches?
In general, as we have already discussed, too much screen time is one of the main causes of headaches. In the first article we talked about:
- Pain coming from dry eyes
- Eyes getting tired and straining muscles
- Possible issues with “Blue light”, pain from too much screen glare, and bad lighting in the room
However, all of these issues are also connected to the problems we will talk about in this article – long-term sitting at work or at home, as we are yet to encounter someone who works on a PC or watches TV while standing.
Bad posture headache
We can experience two types of headaches due to long-term sitting:
To explain it, we will rule out any medical aspect of this and will not guess if a person is in any way built differently, injured or sick at the moment. The focus will be only on how the body feels and acts when we sit too much in general conditions, to simply help understand the issue better.
While we are in a sitting position, we are putting a big strain on our upper back and neck muscles – and they are getting exhausted. After some time, of course, they give in, due to a lack of strength, and let the soft tissues take over.
However, soft tissues are not supposed to take on this role and hold our neck and head in place and are starting to get soar, sending the signals to our body, putting tension on the nervous structure of our head – creating pain over time.
Another sub-category of the same type is also a spasm in our upper-body and head muscles. After 8 hours in the same sitting position, our body begins to spasm muscles to save our muscle integrity and health, and also help our body stay in the position it is in.
When that happens, the entire upper body and head muscles are tightened, and they do not let blood flow through them as easily. Our Basilar artery (the one that goes through our vertebra), and our two Carotid arteries (that are on each side of the neck) are blocked from normal functioning in this case.
Once this happens, the brain simply doesn’t get the fresh influx of blood and oxygen as it is supposed to, and is in pain after its receptors are triggered. The brain then becomes tired of fighting with this state that it is being put in, and pain is present for a long time.
Our body is 70% water, which means that it constantly needs enough water to operate properly. The brain follows that principle, and simple cognitive functions are harder to perform, to begin with. People at work simply forget to drink it, putting their bodies in a bad state.
There is a case study showing that participants in a work environment, where they have to work for the full 8 hours constantly, were simply forgetting to drink water. They needed an app to remind them that that should be done – and it was very effective.
While we are at that, the Eudaemonio app also has a water drinking reminder, amongst other great features that it offers to users!
To elaborate: After a few hours of not drinking water, our brain and its cells are simply not revitalized after stressing about work and being active all the time. Our blood pressure also gets higher as blood thickens and moves through the body slowly.
Along with a spasm of our upper-body muscles, this can end badly in some cases, but in general, it causes less productivity and massive head irritation – leading to pain.
Headache relief and pain prevention exercises
To relieve ourselves of pain, we can simply start stepping away from the PC/laptop every once in a while. That way, most of these issues will not be present.
Also, drinking water every now and then helps enormously, as explained before.
What we recommend the most for headache relief, are massages in the upper body and neck region, and short, preventive exercises. The Eudaemonio app is specialized in these kinds of exercises, and you can even read about some of them in this article.
We recommend having these preventive exercises every now and then, even while at your desk at work, as they take no longer than 4-5 minutes, and will help you regain vitality in your body and brain, and work better in general.
If you would like to know more about the Eudaemonio app, you can visit our about us page and find all the info!