Ergonomics Matter

Published Thursday, October 14, 2010 3:24 PM

October is National Ergonomics Month (who knew?) but smart workers pay attention to ergonomics every day. People were made to move and bend, not sit tapping away at computer keyboards day in and day out. Carpal tunnel, back aches, neck pains, these are just a few of the modern maladies that might be prevented or mitigated with proper attention to ergonomics.

 Sitting Pretty

 Given that so many American workers spend their days at desks, careful attention to sitting alignment and computer use is essential. The helpful article 7 Ergonomic Tips for Desk Workers  provides useful advice to keep you sitting pretty. Tips include:

A Good Chair is Key: An ergonomic chair supports your back, legs, buttocks, and arms; typically an adjustable chair is the best option for maximum comfort.

Lumbar Support: Use a chair that supports your lower back or a rolled up towel or small pillow between your back and the backrest of the chair.

Posture Please: When sitting, your posture should be in neutral body positioning: hands, wrists, forearms, thighs and hips are parallel to the floor; head is level, shoulders are relaxed with elbows close to the body. Be sure feet are supported by the floor or a footrest and back is fully supported with appropriate lumbar support.

Monitor Matters: Place the monitor directly in front of you and at least 20 inches away from your face. The top of the monitor should be eye-level or below.

Improve Lighting and Avoid Glare: Arrange your desk to minimize glare from lights and windows and use well-distributed diffused light.

Keyboard and Mouse: Keep your mouse next to your keyboard and be sure your keyboard rests securely on a flat surface. You also want to use a wrist or palm rest to avoid contact with the sharp edges of your desk.

Comfort is King: Make sure your legs have enough room, you can reach everything you need access to, and you can read without strain. Aaah, now that feels good!

Wrist rests, glare shields and other work station accessories can easily be purchased to help create a safe, comfortable working environment. Two sites that we like include and Finally, keep in mind that ergonomics isn't just about the office. Daily activities in the home can also benefit from ergonomically designed products. Check out the OXO Good Grips line  for everything from spoons to can openers, ergonomically designed to be both comfortable and attractive. Now that's good design!

 Do you use ergonomic products at the office or at home? Do you have a favorite ergonomic aid? Share your thoughts here and on the Beyond Folders Community's Facebook and Twitter pages.

by Candie Harris

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# Lori42010 said on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 5:21 AM

I have to "run around the desk" all day long to answer the phone, granted there is something to be said for looking busy, but really?  As a bonus, I am provided a stool to sit on, but wind up pushing it out of the way the whole shift.  I am short and it is more ergonomic to stand when working at my computer.....

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