Easy Ergonomics For Desktop Computer Users

by Barbara J. Feldman on February 23, 2008

If you spend a lot of time on the computer each day, whether you’re doing homework or surfing the web or working, you should become familiar with computer ergonomics.

Computer ergonomics are a way to stay healthy and reduce the strain that comes from sitting at a desk all day and staring at a computer screen. While this may not seem like it would be harmful, spending prolonged periods of time in front of the computer may contribute to a number of different things, including:

 Eye strain. Flickering computer screens, poor lighting, and looking at the computer screen for prolonged periods of time can contribute to eye strain. This can lead to headaches and blurred vision.
 Back strain. A chair with poor back support, or having to hunch over to reach the keyboard could or see the monitor strain the back.
 Carpal tunnel syndrome. Some studies have linked the typing and positioning of the wrists while working on the computer to carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful condition that results in pain and numbness in the arm when the nerve that runs from the wrist to the forearm becomes pinched.
 Poor posture. It’s easy to begin to slouch when spending a lot of time at a desk, which can cause back pain and other problems related to poor posture.

As you can see, spending a lot of time on the computer can have a number of negative effects on the body.

Computer ergonomics can help to reduce these effects. The following are some easy ergonomics for desktop computer users that anyone can incorporate:

 Adjust your monitor. You can save yourself a few headaches by adjusting the brightness and contrast on your monitor if the screen flickers. In addition, positioning the monitor at eye level or slightly below will also help reduce strain on your neck.
 Use keyboard and mouse pad supports. Your wrists need proper support while typing and using the mouse, so consider investing in support pads and guards for your key board and mouse. These are usually under $10 each and can really help reduce the amount of strain on your wrists.
 Use a good chair. You don’t need an expensive chair with all the bells and whistles, but you should make sure your chair has a good back support to promote good posture. It should also have wheels and, ideally, five legs.
 Make sure your work space has enough room. A cramped work space that doesn’t have enough room for your phone, documents and books, keyboard, and anything else you may have on your desk or table. You should also place your keyboard at a far enough position that your elbows can rest comfortably at a 90 degree angle.

You don’t need special equipment for easy ergonomics. Other ways you can ease strain from the computer use don’t require equipment at all. Sitting up straight while at your desk can make a huge difference. When you hold the mouse, don’t grip it tightly or press down hard on the keyboard.

Taking periodic breaks to get up and walk around, and looking away from your computer screen are also ergonomics that are easy and helpful.

Computer ergonomics are important for your health and overall physical well-being when you spend a lot of time on the computer each day. The above ergonomics are easy for desktop computer users.

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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Easy Ergonomics For Desktop Computer Users." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 23 Feb. 2008. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/1356/easy-ergonomics-for-desktop-computer-users/ >.