We live in the technological revolution were time spent sitting in front of a computer is at an all time high. The Internet and various video games have put people in front of the screen for countless hours. Prolonged computer usage at work or at home is one of the most common causes of spinal pain and headaches. The following are some basic ergonomic rules to follow when setting up and using your new computer:
• Chair – Your chair should be set at a height so that your feet are at ninety degrees to the floor. If your table is too high for this option then place something under your feet to raise your legs. The chair should always have an armrest so that you may support you elbows and avoid shoulder strain. A chair with a three quarter back is appropriate.
• Computer screen – The screen should be placed at a height so that the top of the monitor is level with your eyebrows. The screen should also be no more than an arm’s length away from you and placed in a position so you are not turning your head to see it. Light reflecting off the screen should be eliminated so you can avoid eyestrain.
• Keyboard and mouse – These items should be at the same level, in front of you, and assessable so that your elbows stay at ninety degrees and on the arm rests of your chair. A roller mouse and an ergonomic keyboard are a bonus to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome.
• Posture and positioning – Good posture is easier to achieve when your computer is positioned properly. The most common problem we see in our office is what we call “computer back”. This occurs when one slouches the shoulders and sticks their chin out. A large amount of strain goes onto the mid back and shoulders. This can be avoided by a saying from my old typing teacher “sit up tall”.
Follow these basic rules and you will avoid getting “computer back” and those nasty headaches associated with it. Enjoy your new computer and happy surfing!