Tips and techniques to help those who want to be more technologically savvy but may need a little more hand holding.

Using a Computer Doesn’t Have to be a Pain

Lisa Niday - Wednesday, September 16, 2009

For this week's tech tip, I wanted to include an article about posture and using your computer. I found this to be useful and hopefully you will to.

Do you suffer from shoulder, neck or arm pain while working at the computer? The good news is that with some minor adjustments, you can alleviate those aches and pains and enjoy work a lot more.

“Your best position while using a computer is your next position,” said Mark E. Benden, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health. “You need to change positions frequently while working as opposed to typing while holding a static position for an extended period of time.  Also, seated work at the computer should be mixed in with standing work at the computer whenever workstations can accommodate it.”

According to Dr. Benden, other tips for comfortable computer use include using your arm rests to relax your neck and arms, relieving your dominant hand by moving your mouse to the other side of the keyboard, and placing your keyboard on a flat or slightly downward surface. Do not prop up the feet at the back of the keyboard, as doing so encourages poor wrist posture.  “Having your head tilted slightly downward 20 degrees is the relaxed or neutral position, so a good rule of thumb is for the top of the computer monitor to be slightly below eyebrow level and at least 24 inches from your eyes,” said Dr. Benden, a certified professional ergonomist.

Posture and wrist position are just a couple of the factors that influence our health when working with our computers.

Finally, laptop computers were not designed for all-day use. "Connect them to a docking station; add an ergonomic split keyboard and comfortable mouse sized for your hand; and utilize a larger, more adjustable monitor on an arm that provides finger-touch monitor positioning", Dr. Benden said.
By Texas A&M Health Science Center of School of Rural Public Health

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