Computer Ergonomics and You

Computer Ergonomics DiagramIn this Internet driven world we live in, it is vital to be somewhat familiar with computer ergonomics.  Many of us are “trapped” in front of a computer all day at work and not using a fundamental knowledge of computer ergonomics can create physical problems that will haunt you for life.

So what are computer ergonomics? Well Wikipedia defines ergonomics as follows: “Ergonomics is the science of designing user interaction with equipment and workplaces to fit the user. Proper ergonomic design is necessary to prevent repetitive strain injuries, which can develop over time and can lead to long-term disability”.  In the work place it can include your computer and desk set up and the arrangement of your tools and the type of tools as well as the way you sit in your chair and even the type of chair you sit in.

Below is a brief video of some of the things you can do to improve the ergonomics of your workspace:

Here is a checklist that can help you set up the computer ergonomics in your workstation.

You should look at these points and, if they are out, work on trying to get them to become habits. They could help you avoid future pain, and almost nobody likes pain.
Body Position:
1. Your head and neck should be held upright and in-line with your torso, so that you are not bending your neck forward or backward.
2. You had, neck, and trunk should be facing fourth, and not twisted at an angle.
3. Your trunk should be perpendicular to the floor.
4. Your shoulders and upper arms should be relaxed and in line with the torso.
5. Your Arms and elbows should be close to the body and not extended outwards.
6. Your Wrists and hands should be straight and in line about 90° to 100° to the upper arm.
7. Your wrists and hands should be Straight and not bent.
8. Both of your thighs should be parallel to the floor and the lower leg perpendicular.
9. Your feet should rest flat on the floor and if they do not reach you should use a foot rest.

The above covers some of the essential guidelines for body position, however there are many more factors in workstation which need to be taken into consideration. A more sensitive list can be found on the guidelines page. It costs you nothing to implement these guidelines, though it can be difficult to break that habits. However, your future quality of life can be at risk if you do not do so. Prevention is more effective and less costly than correction. Office Chairs for bad backs can be pricey, and while you may not need a Miller office chair, you will find that any good ergonomic office chair will run you a fair amount of cash. You will find that having a good ergonomic workstation will usually be less expensive.

Now this doesn’t mean that if you have the disposable income, that you should not invest in a Herman Miller Chair, if that’s what you want. However, I suggest that you research this type of product very thoroughly, because even though they are great chair, they are not for everybody. In fact some people find “the most comfortable chair in the world” to be downright uncomfortable (see user reviews). We will present you with the information and the data on these chairs, but only you can fit in one and decide whether or not you find it comfortable. Bodies are different as are people sitting habits, and these factors will often determine what you find to be comfortable.