Ergonomics

Ergonomics

Floating around at the back of the mind of most writers is the knowledge that we should use our computers ergonomically, but how many of us do it without being prompted?

Computers have slipped so quickly into everyday life that sometimes it’s not until our bodies start to rebel that we remember the importance of correct posture and positioning.

The classic symptoms we need to be alert for include eye strain, monitor glare, sore back or neck, headaches, tiredness, dizziness and unexpected pains/sensations in the hands or wrists. But in theory, any pain felt whilst, or after, typing should make us consider how we are sitting and moving. So here are some gentle reminders of the basics.
When using a computer you need to be sitting straight backed, with your head and arms facing forwards. Arms should hang straight down from the shoulder, forearms at a right angle to the body. Hands should follow through on this line when using the keyboard.  

When using a mouse, have the heel of your hand resting on your desk. Wrap your fingers around the mouse with 2 or 3 fingers resting on the buttons for easy clicking.
Both feet should rest firmly on the ground, or a footstool for those of us with little legs. Crossing your legs can cut off blood circulation to your lower legs and feet.

If possible, the computer screen should be no less than 45cm or 18” away from your eyes, and at a height where your eyes are level with the top of the monitor. Obviously this last item is not relevant to those using a laptop or tablet, unless you choose to plug in a separate monitor or keyboard.

Following these rules often only takes a little forethought and conscious effort. Isn’t that worth it, though, to avoid the pain or frustration of not being able to write?
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