You may have heard the term “ergonomics” and may even be convinced of its value. But have you actually taken steps to set up an ergonomically-correct workspace, either at home or at your office or both?
When it comes to ergonomics for computer users, many factors are involved, including decisions made on selection and placement of common components like a computer desk, computer monitor, and chair. However, when thinking about ergonomics, it’s also important to consider your mouse, the height and position of your keyboard and monitor, ambient lighting, glare, document holders, and even leg and foot support. When all of these components are set up just right, you can lower your risk of injury, strain, fatigue – and tension!
Before designing an ergonomical work space, remember that there isn’t any “one-size-fits-all” guideline. Every computer user is different, both physically and in how each uses his or her computer. That means work space ergonomics is really more about achieving certain goals.
For example, you can reduce neck tension by ensuring your elbows are properly supported. Here, proper elbow support is the goal. Making adjustments to your chair’s height until your elbows are properly supported is one way to achieve that goal.
Something you may want to invest in, especially if you will do a lot of touch typing, is a document holder. This desk accessory holds your working documents close to your monitor. In fact, the ideal place to put a document holder is right beside the monitor so your source document is at the same distance and height as your monitor. Proper positioning of source documents helps reduce eye strain, headaches, and fatigue, and will keep you from putting your head and neck in awkward positions.
It’s important to consider ergonomics when setting up your workspace. Many employers are open to suggestions on how your desk area should be set up in order to suit your body and work style. After all, they want to keep you at work, not out with back pains or stress injuries! In fact, many offices will pay for special keyboards, mouse components, and chairs in order to benefit their employees.
Note: If you experience musculoskeletal pain and discomfort now, or while completing the Typesy Course, you may need to seek professional help. Only someone with the proper training can accurately diagnosis the source of your pain or discomfort and recommend a treatment plan that may or may not include ergonomics.
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