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Computer Health and Ergonomics

If you spend any amount of time working with a computer, you know—instinctively, if not cognitively—that computer ergonomics are very important. The strain on your eyes, on your wrists, on your back muscles—all of it is very important for people who use a computer for long periods of time. The problems can be minor (like small aches, pains, and general discomfort) or more serious concerns (like carpel tunnel syndrome). The good news, though, is that most—if not all—of these problems can be prevented by small adjustments made to your workstation, and these adjustments do not require hi-tech adjustable equipment or specialized constructions.

Computer Ergonomics: Practical Tips

Depending on who you are or who will be using the workstation, the basic computer ergonomics will change. Computer ergonomics basically refers to the science of designing work spaces and positioning equipment to allow people to work and use the equipment as comfortably and safely as possible. One of the first concerns of computer ergonomics is basic posture. It is important that the computer user have eyes level with the monitor, hands and wrists straight, neck slightly bent, head slightly straight, shoulders and arms relaxed, and elbows level with keyboard. Regardless of the user’s size, this posture is the best position to place the least amount of strain on the body.

It is amazingly easy to achieve the maintenance of this posture. For example, you can make a small document-holder to affix to the computer screen to keep the user from looking down frequently. For small children, a booster seat made of phone books or other materials can help keep elbows level with the keyboard and the neck in the proper position. Providing a footstool will cause less stress on the back due to dangling feet. A practical suggestion on how to avoid injury, stress, and strain is just to minimize the time spent in front of a computer. Take frequent breaks, get up and take a walk around the office, room, or building, and stretch your muscles. Make sure you have proper lighting and try to make yourself as comfortable as possible while at your workstation.

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