Office Ergonomics - Using Ergonomics to Prevent Injury
Many people use laptop computers as secondary workstations.
You should not use a laptop as your primary computer. Using a docking station
that provides an adjustable keyboard can help keep your wrists in a neutral
position to reduce stress and strain. If you use a laptop often, try the
following to improve ergonomic factors:
Take 10- to 15-second breaks often throughout
your task. For example, look away from your computer monitor, stand up, or
stretch your arms. Short breaks reduce eyestrain and the buildup of muscle
Keep your head and neck in a neutral position and about 18
to 30 inches away from the monitor screen.
Position the keyboard so
that it is at elbow height, and try to keep your wrists relatively straight and
your fingers slightly curved while you are working. You may need to use a
pillow under your elbows to support your arms if you are sitting on a couch or
chair while keying.
Use an external mouse instead of the small
touch pad or trackball that is on the laptop keyboard.
have to carry your laptop with you:
Carry only what you need with
Use a carrying case with a padded strap and handle. Backpacks
with two straps are the best. If you use a case with one strap, it's best to
put the strap over the opposite shoulder to help distribute the load you are
carrying, or to switch hands regularly.
Use a luggage cart with
wheels when possible.
Parents can apply all these ideas when children use a
computer. To adjust a workstation for a child, you may want to:
Make sure the seat is high enough so your child
can see the monitor without looking up and so your child's shoulders are
relaxed when he or she types. You may want to have your child sit on a thick
book, a firm pillow, or a booster seat.
Use a footstool (or a thick
book or a backpack) to support your child's feet if they don't rest comfortably
on the floor.
Use a firm pillow behind your child's back to scoot
him or her toward the front of the chair.
Adjust the keyboard and
mouse or other input device to keep your child's wrists