Ergonomics, or IBBETT MOSEL just a bad back?
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WITH many more people using computers at home a common source of back problems is your computer. There are so many more of us using a computer for email, camera pictures, eBay, Facebook, Amazon, and so many other things that we do not realise just how much time we can spend sitting in front of a computer.
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Ergonomics is defined as the study of efficiency of workers and working arrangements. Take a look at your PC/laptop and ask a few questions. Let’s start with your chair. It should be on castors to allow you to get up close to your working area. The castors should be on a five wheel spoke to prevent the possibility of tipping. The chair should give support to your lower back and support you sitting upright. It is important that the chair is free to move easily so the flooring should allow this.
Many people with domestic carpet find a purpose made clear plastic over mat allows a desk chair to move well whilst keeping the domestic
appearance in a home office. Your chair should fit comfortably under your desk or work area and the desk or work area should have a comfortable height about 75 cm (or 30 inches). Your hands should fall comfortably on a keyboard without your wrists bending backwards. A wrist support can help give the correct position for your wrists.
If you use a laptop it is difficult to get the screen height and the keyboard correctly positioned for extended periods so a remote keyboard is a must for your home office. Screens should be at a height so that the top of the screen is just below your eye level, if using a laptop a good idea is to by a laptop stand to lift the screen to a good level. The screen should be close enough to be seen easily and comfortably. Today’s flat screens do make positioning so much easier and you can add a remote screen to most laptops for working at home.
Finally there is lighting, good lighting is a must so arrange your lighting to make screen viewing comfortable and bright.
Care in the Community ~ Autumn 2011
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