Is Sitting in Front of the Computer Causing Pain?

Computers have forever altered the workplace environment and, for home-based workers, the home office. While computers have made it possible to accomplish a wide variety of tasks that, at one point, required more people and time to accomplish, their use does not come without problems. There are health-related issues that routinely result from spending hours in front of a computer, but most problems can be avoided if the proper precautions are taken.

Take Time to Organize the Workspace

Ergonomics are important when designing a workspace, whether that space is in a large office or is home-based. The layout of the work area must provide a comfortable space, including a quality chair and desk designed to improve the user’s position. Even the best office equipment must be adjusted to fit the user’s needs. That means the chair must allow the user’s feet to sit flat on the floor and the keyboard tray should allow the user to have their arms level with the tray surface. Since each user is different, the equipment must be adjustable to accommodate those differences.

standingdeskTry A Standing Desk

More and more people are embracing standing desks these days due to the automatic improvement in ergonomics.  It’s a lot harder to slouch if you’re standing up, and many desks these days offer height adjustments in order to preserve your workspace if you’d rather stand or sit.  Many desk manufacturers offer these new options so check them out.  Standing also burns more calories per hour of work vs sitting, so not only is your posture better but you’re also burning more calories!

Ensure that you’ve got your keyboard and monitor at proper heights if you’re going to try out a standing desk.

Get the Best Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse Available

Generic keyboards are straight and flat. While a narrow-shouldered person may find the use of that keyboard style comfortable, others will suffer from repetitive stress injuries if they use typical keyboards extensively. Virtually anyone who spends several hours per day using a keyboard will benefit from exchanging the standard keyboard for an ergonomic design that fits their body shape. Some of those may take a while to get used to, but the reduced stress on the hands makes the time well spent. Computer mice are another issue. Because there are several designs available, try different models to determine which best suits your specific needs. Many users also report using trackballs reduces pain levels.

Keep Your Head Level

This is crucial for reducing neck and back pain. The top of the monitor should be, roughly, at eye level, and the monitor should be tilted to reduce glare. If you wear glasses, especially bifocals, consider getting computer glasses that eliminate the need to constantly move or tilt your head while working. Design experts often recommend positioning the monitor approximately an arm’s length away, but many office configurations do not allow that much space.

Proper computer ergonomics plays an important role in staying comfortable and healthy. Take the steps needed to ensure the likelihood of repetitive stress injuries is reduced.


About the Author

Roger Feinstein has grown up with computers his entire life and strives to help others understand what goes on behind the scenes in their PCs. He's been writing tech articles for websites for over 5 years.

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