In this guide we will look at computer safety and what can be done to prevent injury when using a computer.
Prolonged immobility, poor circulation and repetitive movements are just some of the issues faced with using a computer too much. Bad practice when using a computer can result in heavy stress on your body. People who display poor posture and other bad habits can run the risk of eye strain, muscle pain, or even carpal tunnel syndrome. With the increase in the use of computers found in companies and offices the safety and correct practice when using a computer is an issue that is dealt with seriously.
Whilst most people who work in an office have knowledge on these issues It is quite uncommon for people who use a computer from home to have knowledge on computing safety and recommended computer setup; whilst all of us with internet access have such information at the click of a button a lot of us overlook such issues.
Most people will have a good idea of where their mouse, keyboard and monitor should be, but people can still be caught out and make small mistakes.
Most keyboards also features legs underneath that can be extended to add a slight incline to the back of the keyboard, if you tend to sit in a more reclined position in your chair it is recommended to use the legs to add more tilt to your keyboard.
Poor mouse habits can result in wrist damage, the mouse should be kept close to the side of the keyboard whilst still giving you enough room to freely move it. It also should not be so far away that you feel like you are reaching to use it, somewhere in the middle where it is comfortable for you to use it.
The monitor is the main area along with the chair that people are most likely to get wrong. A lot of people tend to keep their monitor low to the desk however this can cause neck pain and stress on the shoulders. To prevent these injuries it is advised to keep your monitor at eye level so that you are neither looking up nor down, this helps prevent injury. If you have a monitor that can not be raised to the correct height you may want to look into raising the base of the monitor by placing it on something to make it higher.
The monitor should also stay close to the back of keyboard to prevent eye strain.
People often overlook the position or their chair however with an incorrect setup posture can be wrong and posture can lead to many problems over long durations of time.
Firstly the seat must be raised enough so that your feet are comfortable and flat against the floor; if the seat is too high your feet won’t reach the floor whilst if your seat is too low your legs will be too close to the floor affecting your posture.
The chair should be pushed in close to the desk so that there is a reduced reach for your hands to reach the mouse and keyboard, if arm rests can be raised they should also be raised to the same height as the desk to reduce the strain on arms and wrists.
Laptops and Tablets
As ironic as the name may be it is recommended to avoid using a laptop on your lap; placing your laptop on a desk with a similar setup to the computer will help avoid injury. When using a tablet try to keep the tablet held with arms slightly held away from you like you’re reading a book. This will help to avoid eye strain.
Lastly don’t forget to take breaks! Nothing helps to prevent injury than taking a break and moving away from the computer. Stretches can also help to alleviate problems such as blood pressure.