Office ergonomics updated
Ever come home from the office feeling tired and sore? Wonder why? Perhaps you are not working in an ergonomic office. There are two main elements to consider. First, Static Work, or holding a certain position (even a comfortable one) for an extended period of time. And second, Force, which refers to the amount of tension our muscles generate.According to http://www.office-ergo.com, recent studies suggest some changes in the conventional wisdom of office ergonomics.Here’s the latest on how to set up your computer workstation:
– It is widely believed that monitors should be 18-24 inches away. Actually, longer distances relax the eyes. Your monitor should be as far away as possible while still being able to read it clearly. – Monitor height – we are frequently told that the monitor should be at eye level, while this may be fine for some, lower is actually better.- Keyboard distance – the keyboard is usually placed at the front of the work surface, but this position can prove limiting. There is nothing wrong with pushing the keyboard back farther, as long as the forearms are supported and the wrist is kept straight. – As for the angle of the keyboard, we are often told that it should lie flat. This is also wrong. The keyboard angle depends entirely on the forearm angle and should be on the same plane as the forearm. Again the wrists should be straight.
– Many believe that ergonomic keyboards are the best. This isn’t necessarily true. Keyboards that work well for some people may harm others. If you decide to purchase an ergonomic keyboard, look for one that can also be configured to be a traditional keyboard.- Wrist rests – it’s believed that it is best to use a wrist rest. This is false; using the wrong rest can cause tremendous harm. A rest that is too thin, too thick, too hard or has sharp edges can be damaging. Remember, the Carpal tunnel is below the wrist/palm and any added pressure to this area is bad.- Wrist placement – this is one area where conventional wisdom holds true: The wrists should be straight. Also, limit the pressure placed on them.- Mouse placement – we usually place it a ways away. It should actually be closer, and getting it next to the keyboard is best.
– The chair – many people claim the chair should be at a height that allows the feet to be placed flat on the floor. This may not be best. The legs should move as often as possible, and if possible, the chair should be low to allow the feet to reach the floor even when extended. – Much has been said about “correct posture,” but posture change is just as important (if not more). People who stand all day often have back problems, but so do those who sit all day without moving. So get up and stretch every once in a while. And remember that shorter, more frequent breaks are better. For more information visit http://www.ergonomics.org or http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/computerworkstations/.
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