Beginner’s Guide to Computer Health and Safety

keyboard imageAs our culture becomes more and more sedentary, work environments have begun to embrace the  idea that the health of employees and overall productivity are directly related to the amount of time spent sitting in front of a desk each day, most often without the aid of ergonomic kneeling chairs or other posture improving devices.  This constant state of poor posture and little movement have an increasing number of companies and employees moving toward ergonomic kneeling chairs to enhance their health and safety.  This topic, that of how to keep employees healthy and happy, has developed into a science, and it is now common knowledge that with proper body posture, many work related injuries can be  avoided, employees are happier sitting at their work stations for longer periods of time, and overall productivity has risen.  Within this article, we will discuss the basic steps to ensure proper ergonomic posture at the work desk area.

Monitor Basics

  • Always position the monitor at a right angle to reduce the glare from overhead lighting
  • Position the center of the monitor in a slight downward angle. This allows the head to tilt forward slightly and the spinal portion of the neck to stack vertically
  • Use a model with adjustable height settings, especially if you are utilizing an ergonomic kneeling chair as well

Keyboard Basics

  • Your upper arms should form a straight line down towards the floor
  • Forearms should be at a right angle from the upper arms in a straight line towards the keyboard
  • In order to reduce the risk for carpal tunnel syndrome, utilize an arm rest and position the keyboard so there is a slight downward angle between the elbows and the wrists

Mouse Basics

  • Position the mouse directly to the side of the keyboard of your dominant hand
  • The mouse should be angled so that it can be reached without having to  reposition your elbow

Chair Basics

  • Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet rest flat on the ground
  • Allow approximately 2-3 inches of space between the backs of the knees and the front of the chair seat
  • Use the height adjustment feature to create a slight downward angle between the hips and the knees. An ergonomic kneeling chair is designed to help you obtain this posture
  • Lean back slightly in your chair to reduce pressure on your spine and spinal compression
  • Position arm rests so that your arms can comfortably hang in a straight line towards the floor

Studies have shown that any of the above tips can reduce the risks associated with sitting for long periods of time.  If you are in a work position where this is the daily norm for you, then make sure you take as many of these precautions as you can, and more importantly, take frequent breaks from sitting,, a top health and safety rule that has been shown to lower risks for many diseases, as well as increase your body posture.  If you have one thing you can change, try to obtain an ergonomic kneeling chair, and watch the rest fall into place, especially your posture!

For information on where to purchase an ergonomic kneeling chair, check out our Online Store.

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