Ergonomic Computer Desk Suggestions
At Hands Free Poker, we are proud to show you a list of ergonomic computer desk suggestions that we have found through the years that can help dramatically with computer use and preventing overuse injuries. This list is meant to help out our community that is in pain or is starting to recognize a problem and wants to do preventative maintenance.
1) Wireless Trackball Mouse – Traditional mice require your hand muscles to grip the mouse consistently to get proper control and direction on the pointer. Over time, this “death” grip on the mouse will cause you pain to the muscles and tendons around your wrist and forearm. Trackball mice eliminate this gripping pressure as you simply have to lay your hand on top of the mouse and manipulate a roller ball with your thumb. We also heavily recommend the wireless version of the trackball as you are not tethered via the mouse cord to the trackball mouse.
2) Natural Keyboard – Keyboards were not designed with a human’s anatomy in mind, because why would they make the keyboard lines all straight when our hands and arms clearly are the most comfortable at an angle? We are especially weary of the keyboards on laptops which are more cramped than normal and can create pain and discomfort over short periods of typing.
3) High Quality Computer Chair – We highly recommend a computer chair with ample lower back (lumbar) support, vertical adjustment (up and down), and seat adjustment (forward and back). Getting a chair with proper upper and lower back support will help your tired, aching back muscles to get a little bit of a rest during the long day of computing. Don’t forget, when you sit at a computer all day working, your neck and back muscles are doing most of the work holding up your upper body and head. These muscles get tired just like other muscles in your body and need rest and relaxation for full funtion.
You must be sure to have adjustable arm rests or even better get them removed all together! This recommendation will sound strange, but let us explain. The arms on a computer chair should truly only be used for breaks when you arms will rest on these arms for a brief period of time, think in a board room listening to someone else talk. To often we see users pressing their arms onto these rests for most of the day and still holding onto the mouse! In that scenario we are asking our hand and wrist muscles to perform full, yet we are cutting off the blood supply by pinching down on the arm rest. The easiest solution is just to remove the arm rests all together and you will be sure to be sitting in a natural position without any pinch points.
Take the pianists for example, they never have chair arm rests and are known in the industry as having some of the best ergonomics and posture despite the demanding nauture of their “typing” or piano playing.
4) Keyboard and Mouse Tray – It is critical that you get the keyboard and mouse at a comfortable level for computing where you forearms are at a 90 degree angle from your upper arms without reaching up or down to the keyboard.
5) Monitor at eye level – Your neck muscles work very hard when you are in front of the computer to keep your head up. Getting your computer monitor at eye level can reduce the amount of effort that these neck muscles have to do as well as improve your eyes ability to see the screen. Clearly positioning the monitor or laptop screen at a low angle will create a downward bend in your neck and promote neck stiffness. We recommend boosting up your monitor or keyboard with something as simple as a phone book, which can make all the difference in the world over the long haul of computer use.
6) Software to combat eye strain – Computer monitors are meant to be like the sun, very bright. The problem is, they do not need to be nearly that bright all the time. In comes, software from f.lux which will automatically adjust the light levels of your computer so that you have the least amount of eye strain as possible.
You can download the software here: http://www.stereopsis.com/flux/