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Home>Discover VersaTables> Ergonomics > Quick Tips > Quick Ergonomics Tips For Computer Users

Quick Ergonomics Tips For Computer Users

In 2008 there were more than 1 billion personal computers in use worldwide. And experts estimate that the number will surpass 2 billion by the year 2014. Not only is our society progressively using more computers each year, we are also progressively spending more and more time at our computers.

While this may be the current trend, the simple fact of the matter is that our bodies have simply not been designed or evolved to sit for extensive periods of time, especially in the unnatural positions that computing forces on users.

There are, however, some easy ergonomic principles you can implement in your routine in order to make your computing at home and work safer, more comfortable and more efficient.

The following tips are adapted from the University of Pittsburgh Environmental Health and Safety organization, and break computer use down into the following categories: Posture, Technique and Environment.


  • Maintain good posture when working at your keyboard. Utilize a chair with back support.
  • Keep your feet supported on the floor or on a footrest when you work to reduce pressure on your lower back
  • Avoid twisting or bending your body’s core or your neck. Frequently used items should be positioned directly in front of you.
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed with your elbows close to your sides.
  • Avoid resting your elbows on the hard surface or edge of your table. Pads can be used to protect your elbows if necessary.
  • Elbows should be positioned at 100 to 110 degrees when working in order to keep a neutral position at the keyboard. This could require you to tilt your keyboard when working in upright positions.
  • Your wrists should be in a neutral or straight position when typing. Wrist rests can help you maintain a neutral position. Float your arms above the keyboard and wrist rest when keying. Avoid planting your wrists on the table or wrist rest. This can result in bending the wrists either up and down or side to side, causing injury.
  • Take breaks. These breaks can be brief and should include stretches for optimal results. If possible, take a one or two-minute break every 15 to 20 minutes, or a five-minute break every hour. Every few hours, get up, move around, and do an alternative activity.


  • If your job requires you to do a lot of typing you can reduce keystrokes with the use of macros or software programs allowing “sticky keys.” Use scroll locks and keystroke combinations to reduce pointing-device movements.
  • Alternate tasks to make changes in your working position to avoid making the same movements for prolonged periods of time.
  • Keep your fingers and knuckles relaxed when working at the keyboard.
  • Never hold a pen or pencil in your hand when keying.
  • Avoid hitting the keyboard with excessive force. Studies have shown that the average user hits the keyboard with four times the required force when keying.
  • Rest your eyes by refocusing on distant objects intermittently when working.


  • Avoid excessive reaching across your workspace. Your keyboard, mouse, files, telephone and other frequently used items should be within easy reach.
  • Use a keyboard tray to properly position your keyboard and mouse.
  • When writing at the computer, avoid excessive reaching over the keyboard or work materials.
  • Position the monitor so that the viewed part of the screen allows you to keep your neck in a neutral or straight position. The monitor should be centered directly in front of you. The top of the computer screen should be slightly below the top of your head, so that you are looking at it with a slightly downward gaze. Determine if you could benefit from multiple monitor use.
  • Position your monitor to eliminate excessive glare or reflections from windows and lighting.
  • Customize your computer by using your software. The screen font, contrast, pointer size, speed, and color can all be adjusted to maximize your comfort and efficiency.
Posted in Quick Tips
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