The Rules For Computer Ergonomics

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by Barbara J. Feldman on February 18, 2008

If you work at a computer all day, you know that it can start to take a toll on the body. The eyes strain, the wrists ache, and slouching can lead to poor posture and all the problems associated with that.

What are computer ergonomics?

Computer ergonomics seek to alleviate these stress conditions by focusing on a number of different things, including:

Wrist support for the keyboard
Key board angle
Chair height and type
Back support
Lighting in the room
Placement of documents, phones, and other frequently used items

Each of these things, and more, have a direct affect on your comfort and the overall stress to your eyes, joints, wrists, and other body parts as you spend prolonged periods of time in front of the computer. Computer ergonomics deals with the placement and set up of desks, computers and computer equipment, and lighting so that it minimizes stresses and risks.

The Rules for Computer Ergonomics

The following are some rules for computer ergonomics to help you maintain the safest positions while working at or using a computer:

Working Positions

If you are working at a computer, the way you sit and align your body will affect you. The ideal situation and set up would include:

The top of the monitor should be situated at or below eye level.
Head and neck are balanced and in line with the torso, so you are sitting up straight in your chair and not hunched over the keyboard.
The elbows are supported and close to the body, with the wrists and hands in line with the forearms.
Lower back should be supported in an ergonomic chair or with a pillow. Stools should be avoided when sitting at a computer.
The feet should be flat on the floor.

Placement of Components

Where the components of your desk and computer are placed is also important to your overall health.

Computer monitor. Ideally, your monitor should be situated so you don’t have to strain your neck and lean forward to look at it. You don’t want to have it too close or too far from you, as this can result in blurred vision. In addition, it should be placed in an area where there is sufficient lighting and reduced glare.
Key board: The placement and support of the keyboard are also important, as continual typing puts you at increased risk for carpal tunnel syndrome. Your keyboard should be placed so that your arms are parallel with the floor.
Computer mouse: The mouse should be placed so that it allows for a straight, neutral wrist position. You can use a mouse pad with a special wrist support so you can keep this neutral position.
Desk: Your desk should have sufficient space for your computer, mouse, phone, documents, and anything else so you are not cramped or overcrowded. The desk should also be made so a chair can fit comfortably under it, and your knees are not hitting drawers or supportive structures for the desk.
Chair: Your chair should allow you to be level with the computer screen while at the same time providing sufficient support for your back.

Computer ergonomics allow you to work with a computer more comfortably. The above rules will help you to follow computer ergonomic guidelines so you will have the least amount of stress on your eyes and joints as possible.


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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "The Rules For Computer Ergonomics." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 18 Feb. 2008. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/1349/the-rules-for-computer-ergonomics/ >.