Ergonomic Tips For A Perfect Computer Workstation
If you spend hours each day staring at a computer monitor, whether at work or home, it is essential that your workstation is set up in a manner that minimizes the stresses put on your body in terms of muscular aches and pains, and even eye strain.
One of the key issues, which can be rectified without any expenditure and within just a few minutes, is your posture. Do you tend to sit with your shoulders tensed or slouched in your chair? If so, you may have experienced discomfort in your wrists or even suffered from RSI (repetitive strain injury). The solution is relatively simple: by adopting a more upright position and adjusting the height of your chair by just an inch or so, you will be surprised by how much more comfortable you are, even after several hours.
Equally importantly, don’t forget to stand up and take a break at regular intervals throughout the day.
It goes without saying that your chair should be comfortable; if the seat is hard, think about adding a cushion. You should also ensure that it has armrests for use when you are taking a break. When resting your arms, your elbows should be bent at an angle of around 90° with shoulders fully relaxed.
Adjust the height of the seat so that both your feet are perfectly flat on the floor, with your hips a little higher than your thighs.
Screen and keyboard height
To ensure minimum stress on your arms and wrists, the keyboard should be positioned approximately two inches above your thighs. As a rule of thumb, position the keyboard so that the letter ‘B’ is directly in front of you.
In order to achieve the perfect height for the mouse – level with the keyboard – it should be located on the keyboard tray, if you have one, rather than on the desktop.
The monitor should be located at arm’s length distance, and its height is critical: the top needs to be about three inches above eye level. While most modern monitors do have a degree of height adjustment, you may find it necessary to embark on a little DIY exercise to make a stand of some description.
One of the most important items to consider is the positioning of the workstation in relation to windows and artificial lighting. The monitor must be sited to minimize reflections and glare from natural and artificial light sources. Reflected light is one of the prime causes of eye strain, so should be avoided wherever possible. It may not be practical to close the drapes during the day, so installing window shutters, which can be adjusted to allow indirect light into the room, can provide a great solution – what’s more, they look great. Artificial lights can be shaded to also help overcome the problem.
An ergonomic workstation can be yours without spending huge amounts of money. With a little time, thought and imagination there is no reason why you should not be able to say goodbye to those niggling aches and pains from sitting at the computer all day.