Even users who spend only a moderate amount of time at a computer are reminded that health issues can develop if the work area is not properly designed. Problems with hands and wrists are commonly suffered by computer users, but back, neck and eye problems can also occur. To minimize the chances of computer-related injuries, there are a few items that should be addressed.
Don’t Work for Long Stretches Without a Break
Too often, computer users work for several hours at a stretch without a break. Get up and move around often to prevent health issues from developing. Workers in office settings may feel self-conscious about getting up and walking around, but doing so can actually make you more productive. Those who work from home need to get up and move around as well. Take the dog out for a short walk or simply walk around the house to loosen and use muscles.
Use an Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse
Virtually all manufacturers now offer ergonomic keyboards and mice to minimize the potential of carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive stress injuries. Keyboards in many configurations make it possible for virtually everyone to find ones that fit their body shapes. The mouse should also be designed to minimize stress on the hand. Mice come in many sizes and shapes to fit the needs of users. Some users have abandoned the traditional mouse design and use trackpads or trackballs, claiming they are much easier on hands.
Try A Standing Desk
Standing desks are becoming more and more popular as the benefits can be clearly seen and felt. You can eliminate slumped shoulders and poor posture as standing often encourages people to have more of a correct posture automatically. Even better, standing actually helps you burn more calories during the work day, meaning you’ll be more fit and have fewer postural problems! It’s a win-win situation and some computer desks are now adjustable so you can either sit or stand whenever you feel like it by adjusting the height of the desk. You don’t have to move everything over to another desk if you want to change positions. I highly recommend trying this method as it has saved me quite a bit of pain in the last few years.
Even the best keyboards will continue to create health issues if they are not properly positioned. The keyboard should be at a level that allows the user’s arms to be parallel with the floor. A mouse should be at the same level and located within a few inches of the keyboard. Better computer desks allow a variety of adjustments to accommodate the needs of users, and manufacturers recommend carefully setting up the desk system prior to use.
Obviously, there are other computer ergonomics issues individual users may have to address but, when the basic tenets are followed, the odds of developing or exacerbating health issues are minimized. Make sure your workstation is properly designed to reduce your potential for developing repetitive stress injuries or other health issues.