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Ergonomic Computer Set Up Tips

Posted Aug 23 2008 3:20pm
Tips for setting up your ergonomic workstation:



Correct placement of you monitor and keyboard can reduce eye, arm, back, shoulder and neck fatigue. Improper posture caused by an inadequate chair or a chair that is improperly adjusted along with awkward hand and keyboard positions can result in early day fatigue. Long periods of repetitive work can lead to hand, neck, and back pain and ultimately injury. Ergonomics is the applied science focused on human use. Ergonomics provides an array of information critical to the design and proper use of office equipment, furniture and computer accessories .



Chair Position:Adjust the height of your chair so your upper thighs are parallel to the floor. Adjust the back support so your back is firmly supported and angled slightly backward while your feet are fully supported on the floor or a footrest. ErgoRehab, Inc will be offering a selection on Ergonomic office chairs shortly.



Keyboard Position: The height for your keyboard and mouse, should be set so your hands, wrists and forearms are in a straight line and are level with your elbows when your arms are comfortably at your sides. Some ergonomic experts suggest a negative tils it best, this means to position your keyboard so that there is about a 1 to 2 inch decline, where the front of your keyboard is higher than the back of your keyboard, another reason why using adjustable keyboard trays are so important. Your shoulders should be relaxed, your elbows should be near your body and with a 90 degree angle between your shoulders and handes.



Computer Mouse: Your mouse should fit your hand, see our computer mouse sizing chart to ensure the proper fit. Lastly, support the palms and wrists while typing, but avoid too much direct contact on the wrists.



Monitor Position:The top of the monitor screen should be even with your forehead and directly in front of you. Your head weighs about 9 pounds, or the weight of a bowling ball. So it is essential to make sure you are not looking up or down at your computer monitor. A monitor arm provides an effective solution to ensure proper posture. A good rule of thumb is an arms length distance. Your eyes should look slightly dowward, approximately 15º to 30º. If you use bifocals, lower the monitor below eye level and turn the screen upward, tilt the screen back 30º to 45º.



Use a Head Set:Never hold the phone between your head and shoulderm this puts excessive strain on your neck and shoulders. If you use the phone frequently, use a headset to reduce the strain on your neck.



Use a document holder:Use an adjustable document holder , preferably in-line with the computer, this will improve your sitting posture and reduce the tendency to look down or to the side to read a document while typing. The document holder will also reduce eye strain.



Use a forearm rest:A forearm rest can reduce the load on your shoulders by supporting your forearms (not your wrists or elbows) when using the computer. ErgoRehab will be adding ergonomic office chairs with arm rests shortly.



Take a 3-minute break every 30 minutes:During your break, breathe deeply from your abdomen. Relax your arms in your lap, and then stand up and stretch your neck and shoulders.



Remember that even thought computer accessories improve your posturing, even if your workstation is set up properly, you can still experience muscle fatigue from being in the same position too long. Muscles are meant for movement not to hold static positions. It is important to periodically adjust your chair, stretch your muscles, rest your eyes, drink plenty of water and change positions to help avoid fatigue. Be sure to stand and stretch your back, neck, legs and arms periodically.



For more posture tips.
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