Electronics & Ergonomics:
4 tips to set yourself up for success
From early morning into the evening, most of us find ourselves using our electronics. Texting messages, completing computer work, perhaps watching webinars or joining virtual meetings. Chances are you might have the hallmark stiff neck or strained back as a result of all of those online hours catching up with your body.
The good news is you can minimize those pains with a few simple adjustments to ensure you are viewing your electronics in an ergonomically appropriate way.
Tip 1: Keep both feet flat on the floor, and sit back in your chair.
Doing this can help minimize slouching and promotes a better posture for your back, neck and shoulders while looking at a screen. Similarly, when using a phone for texting, strive to keep your back straight and hold the phone out in front of you to minimize looking downward and causing neck strain.
Tip 2: Adjust your screen.
A computer screen that is too low, will require tucking your chin and head downward, which may cause neck and shoulder strain. Ideally, a computer screen should be placed arm’s length away with the top of the screen lining up with the top of your head. This will keep your gaze at eye level while viewing the screen. Also, keep in mind that portable electronic devices are best for short projects. For projects that require more time at the screen, use a larger device like a desktop computer or laptop.
Tip 3: Assess your keyboard.
A keyboard should sit at elbow height, so hands and wrists can be held straight out to easily move over the keyboard. Another tip is to type gently to alleviate stress to your fingers. The computer mouse should be positioned close to they keyboard and at the same height. If you primarily work on a laptop, consider getting a wireless, external keyboard and mouse, so that they can be positioned at the proper height for extended use.
Tip 4: Get up and move.
Sitting at a screen – be it a computer, tablet or phone – too long is the primary cause of sore muscles and back pain. The easy solution is to get up and move. A good rule of thumb is to take a short stretch break every 30 minutes. Your back will thank you.
Sources: WebMD.com and health.mountsinai.org