Magazine article USA TODAY

How to Prevent Computer Pain. (Ergonomics)

Magazine article USA TODAY

How to Prevent Computer Pain. (Ergonomics)

Article excerpt

Feeling achy and sore, with back pain, after using a computer? If so, you are among the thousands of Americans who are challenged ergonomically. The following tips from Anthro Corporation, Tualatin, Ore., producers of technology furniture, on how to alleviate causes should provide relief:

* Monitor surface too low. The monitor should be placed at about eye level so a user can keep his or her head in a relaxed position. Remember, the human head is as heavy as a bowling ball. Dropping it forward (or craning it up) puts a major strain on neck muscles.

* Typing surface too high. Most desks and tables are around 29 inches high, which is great for doing paperwork or writing. It's terrible, though, for typing. The ideal keyboarding height for most people is around 26 inches. Experiment until you strike the "concert pianist pose"--arms close to body, elbows bent at 90[degrees], and forearms extended in a straight line from elbow to fingertip.

* Binders, printouts, and books out of line of sight. Never twist your neck or head to look at documents when typing. Working at a computer shouldn't be like following a tennis match. Keep reference materials close to the monitor and at about the same height. …

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