Ergonomics - Simple Tips for Computer Comfort

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Dear Subscriber,

This month our article is related to something we all should be aware of... Ergonomics.

It's something that I'm aware of (and agree with), but don't always realize I'm doing it.

I'm sure a lot of you can relate to working at a desk all day. It's definitely not as dangerous as a lot of occupations out there, but if you have a poor working environment, or have bad posture habits -- it can take its toll over time.

Our featured article this month has some good tips for setting up your computer workstation correctly, and other adivce for breaking bad habits.

We hope you get some good information from it.

FEATURE ARTICLE: Ergonomics - Simple Tips for Computer Comfort

A friend of mine recently had a visit from an ergonomic specialist at his place of employment. The specialist recommended little adjustments to just his desk at work, which in turn inspired me to do a little research on my own for our newsletter loyalists.

So with a little help from the OSHA website, here is some fast reading on making your desk easier on your body.

  • Reduce repetitive stress on your body

    How's this for some advice? Take a break. Get out of your chair and walk around for a couple minutes each hour if you've been working on the computer.

    Keeping your blood moving will reduce fatigue and increase productivity along with clearing your head. Most people agree that taking a few moments to stretch your legs helps when working for long periods of time.

  • Position you monitor at the correct distance and height

    To ensure you are minimizing stress on your eyes and body, position the computer monitor at the correct height. When looking at the monitor at eye level, be sure you're direct line of sight is roughly 2 inches from the top of the viewable screen. It is less stressful for your eyes to look down than to look up.

    Be sure that the computer monitor is positioned directly in front of you not to the side and roughly 20 - 40 inches away. This distance should be in accord with your ability to easily read text.

    If you are lucky enough to have a window nearby, look out periodically to rest your eyes. If you are like me and don't have a window view (hint hint) look down the hall or at a wall at least 20 feet away occasionally.

  • Have a seat

    Your chair probably has the most significant impact on your body when working on a computer for extended periods of time. In general the chair needs to provide support for all parts of your body, not just your posterior.

    Position your chair height so that your feet sit flat on the ground while your knees are roughly 90-degree angle or less.

    The lumbar (lower part of your back) should optimally have support for the natural S-shape of your spine.

    The armrests on the chair should comfortably support your arms and elbows to minimize stress on your shoulders. Your forearms, wrists and hands should be straight and parallel to the floor.

  • Are you always on the phone?

    If you are like me and are always on the phone, consider buying a headset. There is nothing worse than getting a neck cramp while trying to pinch the phone between your shoulder and your head as you try to write or type. It also sounds terrible to the person on the other end of the phone.

  • Create a work friendly desk

    The keyboard and mouse should be positioned so that your wrists are roughly parallel with the floor and body is supported in the chair you are sitting.

    Make sure that there are no sharp or 90 degree edges on the desktop that could cut off circulation in your wrists or create discomfort. A good remedy to sharp edge is to put padding or invest in a gel wrist pad for your keyboard and mouse.

    Reduce wrist movement with your mouse by moving your shoulder more than your wrist when moving the mouse.

    Try to use both the mouse and the keyboard instead of relying exclusively on the mouse for Internet navigation. If you're unfamiliar with keyboard short cuts, here is a link to a past newsletter that has some great ones.

  • A clean desk is a happy desk

    Keep your desk clean or at least keep enough open space to either side of your arms to allow for a work area for daily tasks. Don't let paperwork, personal items and your lunch, squeeze your work are into a 6-inch square.

    You should never be stretching for frequently used items. Work necessities used most often, should be positioned closest - the least often items furthest.

    Unfortunately, carpal tunnel surgery is becoming a common term in the English vernacular, but it can be avoided with some preventative changes to your work environment.

About The Author

Bob Stephens writes for ASAP Inkjets. ASAP Inkjets offers ink cartridges & toner at up to 80% off.Signup for their free newsletter for tips & discount coupons at: or email:

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Ok, that'll do it for our September edition.

We love hearing your feedback on our newsletters, so if you have any comments or topic ideas, let us know. We'd love to hear your ideas.

Until next time...

Eli Fry
ASAP Inkjets

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