Ergonomics

After the fulfilling post on RSI and the troubles and pains it can cause you, I’m sure most of you should be getting concerned about it. But how can we avoid this? How can we prevent the pain in our eyes and wrist from overusing our laptops and PCs?

Simple.

Pay more attention to your environment.

Ergonomics is all about studying people’s efficiency in their working environment. So, not only could you prevent strains, but also work better in your office. Everybody wins! Having a good position at the workstation can make you more comfortable during the long hours of work, being more beneficial for your eyes, wrists and back.

So how can we make this happen?

We’ll cover some simple ideas to get you doing this.

1. Height and Orientation

Having your keyboard, for example, flat on your desk would mean you would need to ‘over bend’ your wrists or keep your arms unnecessarily elevated. An easy solution would be to bring your keyboard up at an angle. Key boards now a days have small legs at the back of each corner. Another way to do it is to elevate your chair, making your elbows or wrists slightly higher than the desk. Shoulders should be kept relaxed at all times.

 

2.Placement

This is probably very over looked. Something as simple as your mouse being slightly further up and away than the keyboard means one would have to stretch out, affect elbow and back. You could even have your mouse too close, leading back to over bending of your wrist.

Instead the keyboard should be placed directly in front of you. The mouse close to that with the arm close to the body. Again, everything should hang loose and easy. A great little thing is a mouse platform, which rotates above the keyboard while keeping the same plane.

 

3. Use

Bending your wrists at sideways or up as you type can affect and wear away at your joints. The solution is more of a memory thing here as it means you need to keep in mind that you should reduce bending of the wrist and instead using your entire arm. Wrists should be kept straight, not up or down, using a mouse pad can be used with this. There are also trackballs.

 

So that’s pretty much it. Much of the prevention of computer related injuries comes down to the user remember how to position themselves correctly. If you can do this, you’re mostly in the clear.

Happy computering(yes I know that’s not a word)

 

–Alex

 

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