Don't Forget Proper Ergonomics as You Work at Your Computer

Bill Rybinski
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Computer ergonomics are essential for anyone who spends long hours sitting at a desk and typing on a keyboard. The tools you choose and the way you use them dramatically affect your computer ergonomics. Improper tools or posture can lead to pain and discomfort as you work, and repetitive motions can even lead to injury and other problems including eyestrain. Don't forget to use the right combination of computer ergonomics as you tackle each day's tasks.

Many tech workers already enjoy the benefits of ergonomic keyboards and chairs. These tools are some of the most important components of overall computer workstation ergonomics. Adjustable chairs allow you to easily set the correct height to position your wrists and fingers over the keys, and many ergonomic office chairs feature additional options for lumbar support and armrest height. Ergonomic keyboards split the keys in a manner consistent with the natural placement of your arms and wrists while you work, enhancing overall computer ergonomics at your workstation and helping reduce the likelihood of repetitive motion injuries.

The organization of your work area can also play a big part in computer workstation ergonomics. Placing the monitor screen with its top just below eye level can help prevent back and neck pain that may arise when you attempt to adjust your posture to suit your workstation instead of aligning your hardware setup with the needs of your body. Similarly, your feet should rest flat on the ground or on a footrest—the latter is a great choice for those with shorter legs. A lightweight headset can reduce the stress you place on your body when you make telephone calls using a standard telephone handset.

The tools you use are only part of the equation: your posture is also exceptionally important when it comes to computer ergonomics. Your forearms should remain level or tilt up only slightly as you type. You should sit directly facing your computer with your shoulders squared and your lower back supported by your chair. Avoid hunched positions or those that require you to slouch your shoulders to reach keys or tools, because these can lead to pain and discomfort over time. You should also take regular breaks and move about the office to help ensure proper blood flow and keep your joints active throughout the day.

Proper ergonomics can help you feel more at ease and remain more productive throughout the day. Tech workers regularly put in long hours as projects near completion, and you should work with your employers or team to ensure that everyone enjoys excellent computer ergonomics at work. Solid ergonomics are important for preventing injuries and maximizing comfort in the workplace.


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