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Ergonomics 101 September 17, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Gadgets, Work.

If you sit in front of a computer for 8 hours a day, then you have surely heard of ergonomics and repetitive strain injuries (RSIs). It’s all about the height of your monitor, the distance you sit from your keyboard, the position of your feet on the floor. I mean, there’s even a diagram that shows you all the correct angles. Clearly, someone has mastered the use of a protractor. All of this looks like one of those GUIs from Stranger Than Fiction.

I try to be conscious of my seated position at work, but the reality is that I ususally look like this guy to the left.  How you sit at your computer is only one aspect of ergonomics.  There are other ways to prevent RSIs, like giving your eyes a rest, walking around, and stretching your neck and shoulders.  I discovered a site called Workrave a couple of weeks ago. It’s a program that you upload to your computer that informs you, through pop-up windows, when to take a “micro-pause” (30 seconds) and when to take a “rest break” (5 minutes). During the “rest break”, it shows you different exercises and stretches for your shoulders, back, neck, and even your eyes. I’ve been using the program for about a week.  It can be a bit annoying when the window pops up in the middle of something you’re working on, but it is a good reminder to take care of yourself first.


1. Michelle Judd - September 18, 2008

A friend frequently reminds me that good health begin with yourself; being aware of what your “bad habits” in computing might be doing to your physical state. Taking it a step further like you are doing is taking ownership of your health. Kudos to you!

2. Brett Pharis - September 19, 2008

I rely on my ergonomic office chair to keep my posture during the day. Good tips to keep yourself in check though!

3. smooregasbord - September 19, 2008

Apparently, our company has a contract with Herman Miller. Maybe I should look into getting one of those fancypants chairs to see if it makes a difference?!

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