Computer Ergonomics, Office Comfort
Good ergonomic practice is important to avoid discomfort and to reduce the risk of Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This means that your equipment and your workplace should be arranged to suit your individual needs.
We have compiled some ergonomic guidelines to help you minimize discomfort and the risk of computer related injuries due to bad posture and repetitive motions.
Listen to Your Body
Our body tells us that something is wrong through those aches and pains. But often, we choose to ignore the neck strain, headaches, tight shoulders, fatigue eyes, and occasional wrist pain. Be aware and acknowledge the signals and alerts from your body by improving your body posture, work habits, and ergonomics.
- Have sufficient desk space to allow you to position your monitor, keyboard, mouse and other items such as documents or a a telephone in the way that works best for you.
- Your body, monitor, and keyboard should form a straight line. Adjust your setup if you have to rotate your trunk or neck to type or view your screen.
- Take periodic breaks and/or vary your tasks. This helps you to reduce discomfort, fatigue, or repetitive strain injuries.
The chair is one of the most important parts of your workplace. It determines the posture of your back, arms, and legs and encourage good posture and circulation. Select a chair that is comfortable for you. Adjust your chair so that:
- Your thighs are horizontal.
- The seatís back supports your lower and middle back, especially in the lumbar area.
- The back angle between your trunk and legs is a bit more than 90 degrees.
- Your feet rest flat on the floor when you are seated - if they dangle, use a footrest.
- Your forearms and wrists are about desktop height when your elbows are at 90 degrees.
Trays and Wrist Rests
The following setup tips can reduce awkward positions and help minimize the risk of injury.
- Adjustable the angle of keyboard trays to keep your keyboard in a flat or slightly backward-tilted position, which is safer.
- Adjust the height so you donít have to angle your wrists to read the input devices.
- Only use wrist rests during rest periods, not when youíre typing. Else the constant pressure on the nerves and tendons may cause injury such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Mouse and Keyboard
Here is how your keyboard and mouse is placed correctly:
- The keyboard is positioned so that your forearms are horizontal.
- Your shoulders and arms are relaxed and comfortable. Don't hunch up your shoulders.
- Your wrists should form a straight line with your forearms. Leave them in a neutral position - don't bent them up, down, or to either side.
- Place the mouse close to the keyboard. Make sure that you can use it without leaning over to the side.
Poorly placed monitors may put extra strain on your eyes and upper spine, especially the neck. Set up your equipment in a way most comfortable to you:
- Position the screen to minimize reflections and glare from lights and windows.
- The screen should be slightly below eye level for comfortable viewing. This can help to reduce neck strain.
- Your head in an upright and comfortable position.
- The monitor should be angled slightly backwards.
- Maintain a comfortable viewing distance of 18 to 30 inches bases on your preference, the size of your screen, and screen resolution.As
- Clean your screen and eyeglasses on a regular basis.
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