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Safe Computer Use and Ergonomics

When you work at a computer for long periods at a time it is important to consider your own health and how working with a computer affects your health and your body. Most careers in the

modern world involve using a computer and sitting at a desk for most of the day, but sitting and starting at a computer screen is not exactly how nature intended us to spend our time. Sitting in one position can create bad habits that can cause problems that can range from headaches and eyestrain to back aches and muscular problems.

In order to keep yourself protected from harm, you need to make sure that your work habits are in line with having a long healthy and problem free career. Here are a few guidelines to help you try and keep yourself protected from unnecessary pain and keep your time off for vacations and not for medical appointments.

First, try and keep your chair at a height where the top of your monitor is at your eye level and directly in front of you. This help you keep proper neck alignment and prevent you from tipping your head forward or backward to see the computer screen. Keep your shoulders relaxed and even. Try to stay upright instead of leaning on one side or another. If you don't you will be forcing your body to sit in a bent position for eight hours or more depending on your job. I don't know about you but I can feel the neck pain just thinking about it.

Next, keep your feet flat on the floor. You can help your spine stay in proper alignment by keeping your feet flat on the floor and your neck in a straight upright position. Crossing your ankles in front of you or below you can cause your body to try and compensate for any balance issues instead of using your feet as stabilizers. If possible adjust your keyboard and mouse such that your elbows at a neutral position. This means that the position of the mouse and keyboard should be at or below the level of your elbows. Your arms should remain at your side and beside your body. Adjust the position of the keyboard and the mouse to trying and achieve a straight wrist position. This should help minimize wrist and forearm strain that can develop over time.

Aside from body position, remember to take breaks from your computer. If possible, get up and walk around and stretch to help foster circulation. Not only with this help with the physical aspect of your work day. A nice walk can refresh your mind and give it a truly needed rest from the stresses of work. In the end, remember work is important and you should always try your best. However, to stay at your best sometime you need to remember that you can always save your work, take a break, and return to it later.

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