In a world where an estimated over 2 billion people use computers today, it’s apparent that some effects that may emanate from the misuse of computers or wrong workspace affect very many people. That’s why we have decided to look at the importance of computer ergonomics in our daily use, We shall discuss what you are supposed to do and the effect on the computer users’ health.
A comfortable workplace can ensure that you have maximum output within a short period. It also ensures that workers are motivated to go to work since it’s a comfortable place to be in, this can be easily be reflected in the revenue increase for the company.
Computer Ergonomics Definition
Computer ergonomics deals with creating a working environment/workspace that ensures minimum strain to the user when using a computer. Workplace because it does not only deal with the ideal computer setting but also all other items involved in the use of computers, including table, chair, and even the floor as well as general lighting.
Areas of Concern in Ergonomics
The ergonomics issue can be looked at in two categories, i.e. the computer part and the workplace part.
Standard Computer in use
On the part of the computer, you need to be concerned more with devices that come into direct contact with the user at a more frequent rate and not all devices. Some of those devices include a keyboard like the one I am using now, monitors like the one you are looking at right now, and mouse or any other input device in use. While the user does come into contact with several other devices like printers and speakers, they have a low impact on the user though they may be considered in some special cases.
Having an ergonomic keyboard can be an added advantage for the user. Selecting a keyboard that is designed to minimize user strain is something you should consider especially if you shall use a computer for a prolonged period. These keyboards are designed with V-shaped keys to allow a more natural placement of hands as well as a resting place for the wrist. This will prevent repetitive wrist stain and stain on the fingers. You can also modify a desk to have a soft place to place your wrist when using a normal keyboard.
While there is no special mouse for use but you should ensure that you make use of mouse pad/mat. Mouse pad offers a soft landing for a hand while moving the mouse to prevent wrist strain and blocking of blood flow from the lower part of a wrist. Have you ever noticed your hand becomes red on the wrist and numb after long use of a mouse? If your answer is yes, you are already a victim and you need a good.
Ensure the mouse buttons are working without the need to apply excessive pressure and the sensitivity is high when moving it. If the keys are getting stuck just clean it or replace the mouse. Depending on the type of mouse you use ensure the surface is best for movement free of any dirt.
Your monitor is key to the comfortable use of a computer. Ensure that the light on the monitor is not too bright or too dull for your eyes. Most monitors allow for adjustments of brightness (amount of light) and contrast (sharpness of the image), just confirm with a manual. Good monitors will also allow a large number of colors to be displayed as well as a high resolution-rate.
This will ensure a high level of clarity and less strain. Depending on the type of monitor, some will require a protective screen to filter excessive glare on the screen. Ensure a monitor is adjustable in the way it tilts so as to prevent reflection of excessive background light and ensure it has an adjustable height to match an eye level.
A good monitor will protect you from eyestrain, blurred vision and other eyesight problems and headaches as a result of eye problems, and fatigue. Also ensure you are not very far away or too close to the monitor, to prevent you from bending or injuring your eyes. I have often seen people place their monitors at their side, however, this may not be recommendable when working for long hours since you will move a neck so often and ends up with a stain. However, for short term use or with an adjustable chair to rotate, it may not be a problem.
For those who are regular uses of other devices such as printers, you want to ensure you have them within reach and easy to use.
Standard Workplace for Computer
Observe a sitting posture and ensure you are upright to prevent back pain. This can also be made possible with a good backrest with lumbar support for a chair. Your chair should have an adjustable height so that match the height of the table, adjustable armrest to ensure arms are parallel to the ground, and at the same level with the table-top. This will protect you from arm strain. Your feet should be able to lye flat on the ground and in case you are too short, you can introduce a footrest, to protect feet from the strain.
The combination of your chair, desk, and monitor should ensure that your eyes are at the same level as the monitor, to protect you from neck injuries and back strain.
The overall lighting of a work table should be good enough to ensure you don’t switch your eyes within two extreme lights and hence cause eyestrain.
Final Thoughts on the Importance of Computer Ergonomics
The most important thing is to ensure a comfortable workplace with excessive cost. Some items can be modified where possible while others are better off buying new. Others will opt for some protective glasses to filter excessive light instead of anti-glare screens.
Take regular breaks and create a proper workout plan to stay healthy. You can also consider acquiring some workout software that reminds you to take a break and gives you several exercise ideas for various parts of a body. You also consider installing a massage chair to release you from strain now and them.
Whichever solution you get to ensure that you are safe. Your health is important and so is work, don’t neglect one for the other, and the importance of computer ergonomics can not be overemphasized.