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CREATING A COMFORTABLE WORKSTATION

Avoid being one of the numerous victims of pain and discomfort caused by sitting at a computer by creating an ergonomically correct workstation.

Thousands of workers each year are forced to go on disability when they are injured on-the-job.   A good deal of these injuries are repetitive motion and back/neck injuries that are the result of being in a workstation that is not ergonomically correct.   Ergonomics is the science of fitting jobs to workers. So, if your neck always hurts after a few hours in front of the keyboard, you can utilize some basic ergonomic tips to help you redesign your workstation to reduce injuries.

Many people have their chair too high.   Adjust your chair height so that when you put your fingers on the middle row of the keyboard your forearms and hands are horizontal , with your elbows vertically under your shoulders and no angle at the wrist.   Once you have adjusted your chair, you may notice that the undersides of your thighs are compressed.   If so, you need either a footrest or a lower desk. Most desks are a standard height that was created before computers, so many people will benefit from a footrest. A footrest can be bought, or made from a box, board, cushion or a piece of stiff foam.

The next step is to adjust the height of the monitor so that you are looking horizontally to slightly down at it.   Many people have their monitor too low. Your head should be in balance on your neck most of the time, while your eyes look slightly down. Generally this means having the top of the visible area at eye height, when you are sitting upright.    You can raise the monitor on anything suitable that you have on hand - a box, some books or a special computer stand- if you have the budget to purchase one.

You can continue to make adjustments to the armchairs and back of the chair and the computer and the mouse until you are most comfortable.   In order to reduce worker's compensation costs, many offices allow employees to order special ergonomic equipment and consult with experts to ensure proper workspace set-up.   Talk to your IT person or Human Resources Representative to take advantage of these options.  

To continue making adjustments yourself, follow the tips and suggestions in this article http://www.openerg.com/dse/setup.html