Ergonomics is the science that studies the best working environment, postures, style in work place. It studies the relationship between human and its surrounding, machinery and tools we use, to maximize performance and minimize discomfort and injuries. Here are some tips while using computers according to the principals of ergonomics.
Best Lighting Arrangement
Important thing to keep in mind while using computers, according to the principles of ergonomics, is to reduce glare and reflections from the computer screen or any shiny objected in the room. A combination of fluorescent and incandescent light is considered best in your computer room.
Most of us have the computer at one corner of our office desk. The experts say that that’s the wrong way of doing it. If your job requires more than few minutes computer usage at a time, the best place to put the computer is at the center of your main working desk. That way you will be in a most normal position. Monitors should be kept at an arm’s length.
Monitor, mouse and keyboard placement
Top of the monitor should be at the level of your eye, as the most comfortable position for eyes to see is straight ahead and slightly down. Keyboard and mouse should be at the height slightly above the knee. This, according to ergonomics, is the right position for your keyboard and mouse placement.
Backrest of your chair should have firm support with inward curve at the lower spine and outward curve at the upper spine. The seat of the chair should be big enough to allow you to change positions from time to time. It should be firm enough to support your weight not through the thighs but through the buttocks.
The teachings of ergonomics says that you should change positions every 15 minutes or so while working on computers. You should take a short active break every 30 minutes. This is very important if you use computer for 2-3 hours a day. Active break is one when you stop using computers and do something else like use the telephone.
Perform the ‘Shoulder Blade Squeeze’ – raise your forearms and point your hands up towards the ceiling. Push your arms back, press your shoulder blades together, hold for about 5 seconds and repeat few times.
Eye Palming – Put your elbows on your table, place your hands in front of your face, close your eyes and gently place touch them on your palm. Breathing deeply and slowly, hold this position for about a minute.
Arm and shoulder shake – Drop your hands on the side, relax and shake.
Spanning – Put your arms straight in front of you, spread your fingers as far as you can, fold for about 5 seconds, repeat 5 times. You can combine this exercise with ‘ Forearm Extensor Stretch’ by rotating your hands, so that their backs touch. You can also turn your palms to face the ceiling to perform ‘Forearm Flexor Stretch’.
Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is injury occurred out of doing the same thing over and over again, like hammering, playing piano or typing. RSI is also referred to as Occupational Overuse Syndrome (OOS), Cumulative Trauma Disorder (CTD) or Work Related Upper Limb Disorder (WRULD). All these are the terms that come repeated in the study of ergonomics.