Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Low-Cost Computer Ergonomics

When using your computer, it should never be painful or uncomfortable to use. Your workstation needs to be a comfortable place for you to work because you may have sit there for several hours everyday. Below are some suggestions to help make your work area more comfortable.
  • Adjust the height of the chair to make sure your feet can touch the floor or a footrest (use a large book if necessary).
  • Adjust the height of the keyboard tray and chair to make sure your forearms are parallel to the floor with your wrists and elbows angled slightly down or in a neutral position. Your elbows should also be at the same level as the workstation.
  • The chair's armrests should not interfere with your typing or using the mouse, and you should not have to rest your arms on them to type.
  • Your face should be about 18 to 24 inches from the monitor. Also consider changing the resolution (higher or lower) of the monitor to make it comfortable for you to view. The topmost line of the displayed should be eye level.
  • When using the mouse make sure your hand is relaxed and in a neutral position.
  • You should take frequent breaks from the computer, such as getting up and stretching, getting coffee or water, etc.
  • All regularly used items around the workstation should be within a 16-inch radius of your reach.
  • It's a good idea to avoid using wrist pads to support your wrist when typing, this promotes bad habits. It's better to float your hands above the keyboard while typing.
If your hands, arms, or neck continues to hurt you should consult a doctor as soon as possible.

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