Magazine article Sunset

Ergonomically Speaking

Magazine article Sunset

Ergonomically Speaking

Article excerpt

Guidelines for a comfortable and healthy workspace

The goal of ergonomics is to get the best fit between body and tools in order to avoid physical stress and injury. Size counts-a lot. Make it easy to suit the setup to the user-especially if there will be more than one-with adjustable equipment (chair, keyboard tray, monitor stand, footrest). If funds are limited, invest in a good, adjustable chair; then supplement with inexpensive homemade supports (raise your screen with a sturdy box, use a plastic crate "footrest," roll a towel for a lumbar support or wrist rest, pile pillows to elevate the chair seat for a child).

Pay attention to the body angles produced by the interrelated heights of your keyboard, monitor, and chair. To get your body into neutral positionwith the angles that cause the least physical stress-follow these guidelines to position keyboard, monitor, and chair:

* ALL EQUIPMENT should be in front of you.

* KEYBOARD should be at waist height, your arms comfortably at your sides, forearms parallel to the floor, and wrists straight when you're keying or using the mouse.

* MOUSE OR TRACKBALL should rest next to and at the same height as the keyboard.

* CHAIR should support the lower (lumbar) spine-and if you recline even slightly, also the base of your shoulder blades.

* MONITOR should be approximately arm's length from your body, with the top few lines of print about level with (but not higher than) your eyes (lower for bifocal wearers). …

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