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Computers and Body Fatigue
Computer users sometimes experience such discomfort as back pain, stiff neck and shoulders, sore hands and wrists, or tired legs. Much of this discomfort can be prevented because the symptoms often arise from pushing the body beyond its natural limits. In addition to improving the setup of your workspace, it's also important to consider your lifestyle. Healthful food, exercise, and rest can help improve your health and comfort. Seek medical assistance for any persistent discomfort.Minimize the following actions:
- Sitting in awkward or twisted postures.
- Maintaining the same posture for too long.
- Reaching frequently.
- Using too much muscular effort, even for relatively easy tasks.
- Pressing on the soft tissues of your body - for example, leaning your arms against a hard desk edge.
- Performing repetitive tasks that require awkward body positions or forceful exertions, without allowing the body a chance to recover.
Maintaining Good Work Habits
When you're not typing, rest your arms and wrists on a palm rest, rather than on a hard desk edge. If you use a palm rest, try to rest only when not typing. Alternatively, move your keyboard well in from the edge of the work surface so that you're not resting on the edge. Consider support for your lower back.Performing different tasks gives your body a chance to recover while you keep up your productivity. Alternate among several different tasks so that you don't do the same task for long periods at a time.Incorporate these tips into your lifestyle:
- Adjust the height of the chair back so that there's contact between the seat back and the most curved part of your back.
- If your have a chair with armrests, they should be height-adjustable so that you're not hunching or slouching your shoulders to use them.
- Alternate between the mouse or other pointing device and the keyboard. This provides a recovery pause from both.
- Use a light touch when pressing the keyboard keys and holding the mouse.
- Keep the mouse or trackball close to the keyboard to minimize reaching from the shoulder.
- If you use the mouse or trackball more than the keyboard, place the mouse in front of you and the keyboard slightly to one side.
- If your chair needs to be positioned high to accommodate a straight wrist position, use a footrest to support your legs.
- Place your monitor 18 to 30 inches away from your eyes.
- Use a document holder to position papers, large books, or printouts.
- Let your arms fall relaxed at your sides to avoid shrugging.
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