When I was younger my mom and I would make a weekly trek to the local library.
I remember every visit walking by the sign advertising the Large Print Books section. I never understood why the sign didn’t just say Old People’s Books. After all, in my mind that’s who the large print was for.
Well, turns out that large print has come in quite handy in helping me to mind my Posture and my Use, and I am nowhere near being Old yet…at least not by my definition.
Humans are visually dominant creatures. Your attention is often focused primarily on what you are looking at. As opposed to what you are hearing, smelling, touching, tasting.
And nowadays what you are looking at tends to be more and more computer and phone screens in front of you.
Your body tends to follow your attention. Pick up your phone, open your laptop—and before you know it, you have allowed your body to shape itself over your device.
Notice I didn’t say your body has shaped itself over your device. I said you have allowed your body to shape itself over your device.
You do have a choice in the matter, after all.
One useful tool to help you stop curling yourself over your devices, is to practice letting the images on your screen come to you.
Often, you literally reach out toward the images instead as if you need to grab them somehow with your eyeballs.
You can try this right now.
Let your head balance high up on top of the spine, right between your ears. Leave your head poised and imagine the images you are looking at floating from the screen up to your eyes. Your eyes can be soft as they accept the images.
How is that different?
To help me practice the above I also often increase the font size on my screen. Especially on my laptop, when I am using it as a true laptop, as opposed to having it plugged into a larger remote monitor at my desk.
Right now, for example I have set the font at 175%. I can see it if it is set at 125%, but it is much easier for me to have soft eyes, not strain forward and allow the images to come to me if the font size is just a bit bigger.
The increased font size has the effect of bringing the screen to you, without physically moving it closer—which would then cause issues with your hands, arms and wrists being cramped and not having room to work on the keyboard.
As with everything you do, there are compromises.
If you increase the font size, you give up valuable real estate and are not going to be able to fit as much on your screen. But as an Alexander Teacher, I think this is a worthwhile inconvenience if it helps me from dropping my 12-pound head forward and constantly straining my neck, upper back and shoulders.
I encourage you to give this idea a try.
- Allow the images on your screen to come to you.
- And if it helps, no matter what your age, increase your font size. It is so easy nowadays, with the click of a button or the swipe of a finger.
No need to visit the Large Print Books section at the library.
Image of man at computer: Shutterstock/pathdoc