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Computer Ergonomics

Posted on November 30, 2014 at 11:20 PM



Desk and Computer Ergonomics

By David B. Starkey D.C. M.S.


According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ergonomics is the science of fitting workplace conditions and job demands to employee capabilities. In other words, the easier it is to do a job, the more productive and happy the worker will be.

While physical labor employees usually receive training about how to properly lift large or heavy objects, very little ergonomic training is given to employees who sit at desks all day long working on computer screens.

The following ergonomic tips should help you avoid the aches and pains associated with long periods of performing desk and computer work:

• Choose a desk that is the proper height. All things on your desk should be within easy reach.


• Your feet should be touching the floor, with the legs and body forming an angle of 90 to 110 degrees.


• Keep your body straight with the head and neck upright and looking forward, not to the side. Do not hunch over or slouch.


• Adjust the height of your monitor. Look forward with your head in a neutral position. Your eyes should be at the same height as the top of the monitor. Leaning your head forward can lead to headaches and neck pain.


• When typing, keep your wrists straight, your shoulders perpendicular to the floor, and your forearms parallel to the floor.


• When reading at your desk, use a bookstand or a paper holder to keep your eyes in the same neutral position you use to read documents on your computer monitor.


• When talking on the phone, use a headset, especially if you talk on the phone for prolonged periods. Holding the phone between your shoulder and cheek will only lead to neck pain and headaches.


• Stand up and stretch your legs with a short walk about every 20 to 30 minutes.


• Take micro-breaks often, stretching your neck, arms and wrists, back, and legs. Simple stretches include side-to-side and front-to-back neck movements, fist clenches, arm dangles, and shoulder shrugs.


• If your eyes concentrate on a particular object for long periods, relax your eye muscles by shifting your focus from objects that are close to you to objects that are farther away. This helps reduce eye strain.

Hopefully these ergonomic tips will make your workday more comfortable and more enjoyable. However, if headaches or neck pain persist, consultation with a doctor of chiropractic would be indicated.



Dr. David B. Starkey is a former high school, college and professional athlete that received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Florida and his Doctorate Degree from Live University in Atlanta, Georgia.


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