If you are like many people, you may find yourself using the computer for a large part of the day. It is key to include ergonomic factors in the design of your workspace to help reduce possible injuries. Simple things such as correct chair height, good posture and the right ergonomic tools can help.
This is part 1 of a 2 part article with tips on how to optimize your workspace:
Your desk needs to allow for enough space where your computer monitor can be placed an arm’s length away. Things you use most often should be the closest to you easily within reach. Do not overextend to get items that are further away, but rather stand up. A shiny desk can create too much glare.
Your Computer Monitor
Place your computer monitor is an arm’s length away with the top of the screen at eye level or just below. If you wear bifocals position the monitor lower than normal to compensate for needing to look through the bottom of your lenses or use a pair of single-vision lenses with a focal length designed for computer work.
Glare and reflections can cause eye strain. Be sure that neither you or the monitor is facing the window. Adjust the monitor’s brightness to a comfortable level as well. Rest your eyes every 10 minutes or so by looking away into the distance.
An ideal set up would use a swivel chair with 5 feet fitted onto carpet. Castors are too unstable for a smooth floor. In that case, the chair should be fitted with glides (flattened smooth egg-shaped feet).
Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet rest comfortably on the floor with your knees at a 90 degree angle and about level with your hips. If this makes your chair too low in relation to the desk, use can use a footrest and raise the chair up to the proper height.
Your backbone should be straight and your shoulders back. Place a cushion between the curve of your lower back and the back of the chair if needed to achieve this.
If you are on the phone with frequency and taking written notes or typing on the computer while doing so, you should use a headset. Otherwise, while using the phone, be sure you are not twisting or cradling the phone on your shoulder. Get a longer cord if needed.
An ergonomic pen has many benefits besides pain free, comfort writing. A lighter pen with smooth ink and a grip that grips you, is easier to use allowing you to exert less force to write. Less force will ensure less strain on the tendons and therefore reduce the possibility of pain. Plus, if you type at the keyboard a lot, using a comfort pen when you take the break to write will help alleviate possible issues surrounding carpal tunnel syndrome.
For more information see Ergonomic Set up Tips for Your Workspace – Part 2.
(Photo provided by myDr.com)