Though 30 years ago, the computer was a rare and complex machine, a professional machine without access to the public of the “mortals,” the explosion of microinformatics in the 1980s, micro informaticsormed it into a modern high-tech instrument, and a consumer item of everyday use.
Both the users and the hours they spend workers – or for entertainment – with the keyboard and the mouse in front of a screen have grown significantly.
This results in more and more cases of musculoskeletal and visual problems due to incorrect body postures during long-term use of the computer and in inappropriate equipment. In particular, the most common problems reported are exhaustion / discomfort, tension and eye irritation, headaches, neck pain, back pain, arms, wrists, hands and muscles.
When working (or entertainment) with a computer, it is important to avoid strange positions and adopt a correct posture. So you can improve your overall comfort and productivity. Below are some tips to help you set up an ergonomic workstation.
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Who Will Use Computer
If the computer is used by only one person, then the layout can be optimized to measure that person, as some features – such as a height-adjustable chair – may be unnecessary. If it is going to be used by different people, you should create a layout that best meets the needs of the users who will use this workstation. For example, all users may not have the same height, so you may need an office chair with adjustable height and / or depth for individual needs.
How many hours will you pass in front of the computer?
If you use the computer a few minutes a day, ergonomic issues may not be a high priority. But if you spend a lot of hours in front of your computer (even over an hour a day), then you should consider applying an ergonomic layout to the place you work / entertain.
Laptop Vs Desktop
Many guidelines for arranging an ergonomic workstation require the use of a desktop system where the computer screen is separate from the screen. It should be noted that with your laptop you can not get the right ergonomics, and the reason is the short distance between the keyboard and the screen. This means that both the hands and the head are more stressed.
However, if the laptop is one way for you, there are alternatives for improved ergonomics. For prolonged use, you should consider buying an external display and an external keyboard that will be height-adjustable. It is also preferable to use a mouse as the touchpad is not suitable for long-term use.
With the mouse, your work will be more relaxing. The forearm, wrist, and hand should be aligned when the mouse is used. Also, the arm should remain close to the trunk while you do not need to extend the hand or lift it when you use the mouse.
Ensure that the computer (screen, keyboard, mouse) is mounted on a stable surface (free of vibrations) with sufficient space for the user in relation to the workload required, while the flat surface should be between 71 to 76 centimeters from the floor (ideal height for most adults). The seat, display and other work surfaces should be adjustable to allow you to place the keyboard in such a position that the upper parts of your arms are resilient and as close as possible to the body while not lifting the fruit when using the mouse.
Ergonomic office chair
If you ‘spend’ hours in front of the computer, you will need a comfortable, ergonomic office chair. If the chair is used by a person at home or in the office, you can adjust it to a fixed height provided the seat is comfortable and has a comfortable back that provides lumbar support.
If the computer is used by more than one person, you should consider purchasing a chair that will provide more ergonomic features. Studies show that the best body posture when sitting is a 100-110 degree sloping stand, which means that the 90-degree attitude often occurs. Figures show that – with the sloping stop – there are significant reductions in the load received by the intervertebral discs.
In addition, research has shown that limiting ourselves to a single posture and sitting firmly on the chair adds much more to our musculoskeletal system than changing our attitude often by relaxing the stresses. Also, there are office chairs where the connection between the chair chassis and the chair is dynamic and not static.
In this way the seat of the chair moves in all directions depending on the position of the user’s body on it. This movement activates another muscle group in every movement, allowing the rest to relax. In addition to supporting the hands and back, just as important is the correct leg posture. So, if the soles do not touch the floor comfortably, you can use a footrest to rest the legs.
Where and how should the screen be placed?
Some of the most common symptoms that come from the long-term use of the computer are tired and / or irritated eyes, accompanied by cervical pains and headaches. Before using the computer, be sure to:
- The screen should be placed vertically and in front of the face without turning (to the left or to the right).
- The top of the screen should be at eye level or slightly below, at most 2-3 centimeters, so you do not have to bend the head upward to focus better on the screen. If the screen is too low, you will have to tilt your neck in front, and if set too high you will tilt your head back – ending with pain in your neck and shoulders.
- The screen should be in a comfortable horizontal distance, which is usually equal to the user’s arm. Sit on the chair, stretch your hands straight and your fingers should touch the screen. At this distance, you should be able to see the display area of the screen without having to move the head.
- If data is to be typed from a document, use a retainer. These are special braces that hold the document on the side of the screen. It should be at the same distance from the eyes – as the screen – to avoid frequent changes in the focus of the eyes and tension in the neck muscles.
Room lighting and screen brightness
- Adjust the screen brightness and resolution according to your needs. First, you can adjust the image from the settings menu of the screen itself (brightness, contrast, white temperature, etc.), but also through the operating menu. For example, in Windows, there is the relevant tool to choose the ideal display settings for space and lighting you are working on.
- There should be no reflections of light on the screen. To avoid reflections or flashes, the lighting in the room should be mild and not very intense, and under no circumstances should there be lighting behind the screen, ie against your eyes.
Apart from the correct attitude of the body when working with a computer, to protect your health and to get less tired, it is very important to take frequent breaks. Every fifty minutes in front of the computer screen you need to rest for at least ten minutes.
Exercises for the eyes
The constant focus on the screen is terribly painful for the eyes. To make your work more relaxed and comfortable for every 20 minutes you pass in front of the computer screen, try for 20 seconds to focus on a distant object/background, for example, the opposite wall. In addition, those who work on a computer open their eyelids less often than normal (at least 50% less often than when they look at something else), causing them to “dry” the eyes, causing various problems, perhaps years, such as dry eye.
Try to open the eyelids at regular intervals, if you feel your eyes dry, take longer breaks or you can contact an ophthalmologist if you need artificial tears (available at pharmacies). Finally, users wearing eyeglasses will have to make sure they are properly positioned on the head and do not need to look at the angle so they can focus properly on the screen.
You should remember that these principles apply everywhere: at work, at home, at school, on a fixed or laptop computer. Proper body posture, eye exercises, frequent solutions, also apply even if we use a smartphone, tablet or watch TV. For example, long-term use of your smartphone or tablet (for example, browsing the web or gaming) inadvertently changes your body’s posture and helps to visualize fatigue.