Ergonomics and Comfortably Using Technology In the Office
As users of technology we get frustrated when technology does not work the way it should. We want and we should expect for things to work right, so we can get our work done. The comfort we have when working is also important and something we should plan for. Working 6 hours on a client proposal is what business owners have to do. But working on that proposal in discomfort is something you don’t have to suffer with.
Here’s how to ensure that when you work on technology, you’ll be as comfortable and healthy as possible.
Use A Curved Keyboard
I learned many years ago that the keyboard you use is so important in determining how your wrists and arms feel when you take a break from typing. The traditional keyboards that come with your computer aren’t built for the comfort of your hands. A “natural” keyboard, such as Microsoft’s Natural Keyboard is slightly curved and allows your hands to be comfortably positioned for typing.
Lift Your Wrists, With A Wrist Rest
My typing teaching (back in the late 1990’s) would always tell me to lift my hands off the keyboard as I typed. This is a good and healthy discipline. To help elevate your hands between typing use a wrist rest. A wriest rest will keep your hands at the proper elevation – which should straight - instead of strained up or down.
Sit Comfortably With A Good Chair
Your chair is one of the most important parts of the comfort of your tech work environment. Don’t try to save money getting the cheapest chair and there is no need to spend money on the most expensive chair either. You should have a chair with sufficient padding, that offers lower back support and that is fully adjustable. Ensure the arms, chair height, chair back are fully adjustable.
Place Your Mouse and Keyboard Close
Many office workers have their mouse and keyboard positioned incorrectly. The keyboard and mouse should be relatively close together so that there is no strained reach when moving from keyboard to mouse hundreds of times a day. If you are using a keyboard tray, make sure it is wide enough to hold your keyboard and mouse, or ensure your desk has the proper accessory to comfortably position your mouse and keyboard for optimal, proper comfort.
Don’t Use A Traditional Mouse
When friends and colleagues of mine use my mouse it’s often a nice laugh. My mouse is a Logitech trackball mouse and it has a giant plastic ball which moves the cursor. Most of you use the mouse that comes with your computer – throw it out. Instead, get a track ball mouse that lets you move the cursor with minimal movement of your hand. You’ll also find that instead of need more space on your desk to move the mouse around and getting the cord tangled,
Use Plenty Of Light
When my children are doing their homework I’m often telling them TURN THE LIGHTS ON. Lighting is so important to ensure we can healthily see – reading invoices, magazines or reading the latest proposal from a prospective vendor. Ensure you have plenty of natural light and also ensure you have plenty of artificial light. A nearby desk or standing floor lamp is great for positioning light right where you need it.
Stop Using A CRT Monitor
I’m sure most of you have flat panel LCD monitors, but for those of you still with larger Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) monitors you should take a few minutes to order new monitors and properly dispose of the ones you have. Flat panel monitors are much easier on the eyes, take up less desk space and consume less energy.
We know you’re busy growing your business. But we just want you to take a few minutes to look around your desk and the desks of your peers to ensure that as your business grows you are comfortably and healthily doing it.