As the world moves into an age of technical advances and mechanical innovation, people are spending more time using technology and less time moving around. This results in a lot of static body-positioning and that too for extended periods of time. To ensure that our human body can sustain itself in this kind of an environment requires us to do dwell in the world of ergonomic design techniques.
Ergonomic design technique is a concept that revolves around creating equipment and machines to suit the shape and posture of the human body, its cognitive capabilities and its movements. Sitting in front of the computer for long hours requires you to sit in an appropriate position. Here are some tips for ergonomic computer use that can change your entire computer usage experience.
Fix your Chair
The first thing you need to do is make sure your hips are as far back as possible on your chair. The seat needs to be at the right kind of height – that means, your feet should be able to reach the floor and fall flat on it. Your knees need to be either level with your hips or slightly lower in height, for complete comfort. The back of the chair needs to be reclined at an angle of 100 or 110 degrees.
Use pillows if you need to, behind your back, to ensure that you get that angle. Finally, your chair’s arm-rests need to be at a height where you shoulders can sit relaxed when your arms rest on it.
The keyboard is something that you cannot avoid using when working on your computer. Accommodating your keyboard is important and making sure that it’s close to you is important to maintain good ergonomic discipline. The keyboard is placed directly in front of your body and you need to re-adjust its positioning based on the part of the keyboard you are using.
The height of the keyboard is also important and placing it at the right height means to allow your shoulders to relax even when they are placed on the keyboard. That will also allow you to place your elbows in an open posture while your wrist and hands remain absolutely straight.
Tilting the keyboard towards you is also a great way to improve your typing speed as well as maintaining a good posture for your wrists and hands. If you have a wrist-rest on your keyboard, then you are likely to have a much more comfortable typing position. The same concepts follow for the mouse and putting it into a position where its slightly inclined towards you, right next to the keyboard is the best way to keep it.
Finally, there is the thing you stare into at all times – the monitor! Positioning the monitor at the wrong height or place can make a whole lot of difference to the way your body responds. Make sure that the position of the screen is right in front of you while the top of the screen needs to be just a couple of inches lower than your eye-level.
The screen shouldn’t be more than an arm’s length from you and you might even need to change the direction it faces depending on the glare that hits your eyes. Make sure that your screen is not placed opposite a light-source because that will throw the glare off the screen, onto your eyes. You can even use a secondary glare-reducing screen to ensure that your eyes aren’t hurt by that glare.
The concept of ergonomic computer usage isn’t restricted to the positioning of the equipment around you, but also about your habits. You need to take a few minutes’ break every 20 or 30 minutes while constant blinking will ensure that your eyes stay moist at all times. When you use the right kind of posture, you will improve the way you sit and work and, therefore, live a happier and healthier life in the long-run.
Carlos Santi Etxeberria -author
A chiropractor by profession, Carlos has written many books about the way people can improve their lives by making small adjustments to their lifestyle. His tips for ergonomic computer use, amongst other things, are amongst the most common truths that people know but tend to ignore. Carlos has been a part of training sessions in many organizations and companies like Evolve Computers, amongst others, are known to heed his advise religiously, to ensure employee safety measures.