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Home>Discover VersaTables> Ergonomics > The Equation > Ergonomic Equation Part Two: Voluntary Movements

Ergonomic Equation Part Two: Voluntary Movements

As you begin to implement The Ergonomic Equation into your habitual computing movements at home, school and work it is important to arrange your computer station in a manner that supports your body’s neutral positioning. However, while neutral positioning is certainly a healthy placement for your fingers, wrist, arms, elbows, shoulders and head, it would be foolish to assume that remaining static in any of these positions for an extensive time is conducive to your health and comfort. This is where the Voluntary Movement portion of The Ergonomic Equation comes in.

The Importance of Voluntary Movements

Staying still in any position, neutral or not, for too long can lead to a build up of toxic waste within your muscles. Our bodies are designed and have evolved to move nearly continuously throughout the day. Because of this, it is physically counter-intuitive for us to sit still for long periods of time.

Voluntary Movements refer to movements of the body that occur unintentionally during your work period. While some might initially think these movements only contribute to a loss of efficiency or fidgetiness, the opposite is true. These movements play a crucial part in not only The Ergonomics Equation, but in maintaining top comfort, safety and productivity in your work.

Voluntary Movements relieve the toxic build up in static muscles and, consequently, also relieve stress and tension. These movements can be maximized when coupled with effective computer display products.


One of the most common complaints from those who work extensively with computer screens is acute eye strain. However, by using products that support the voluntary movements of regularly adjusting and shifting your computer screen, you can change the way light reflects from the screen, minimizing viewing strain on your eyes.  Using a well-lit keyboard also helps to minimize eye strain.

Products that Support Lighting Voluntary Movement

Stand, Arm or Cart

To further facilitate your voluntary movements at your workstation, you should choose a computer mounting technique that offers adjustable screen height, tilt and pan. This will allow you to shift your working position throughout the day, while still maintaining neutral placement of your body parts. Special computer stands, arms or carts can also create a work station that is more conducive to sit and stand workflow—one of the most healthy and efficient working techniques.

Products that Support Stand, Arm or Cart Voluntary Movement

Keyboard and Mouse

Because nearly all computer users interact frequently with the mouse and keyboard, these items provide numerous opportunities for voluntary movements, and are an important part of the human and machine interfacing. To best support both neutral positioning and voluntary movements, the keyboard and mouse should be positioned at elbow height, with the back of the keyboard sloping away and down at a 5 degree angle.

Products that Support Keyboard & Mouse Voluntary Movement


If you have ever sat hunched over a computer station for hours, you are familiar with the stress and strain that can set in to your back and shoulder muscles. While learning to relax your body with neutral positioning, using a chair that offers adequate support is equally important. Your chair should provide both lumbar and arm support, meet minimum seat and depth guidelines and slope slightly forward to provide neutral knee positioning.  You should be able to easily voluntarily twist and lean in your chair.

Products that Support Chair Voluntary Movement

Foot Rest

Periodically moving your legs is also a good way to incorporate voluntary movements into your computing. This does not mean you should swing your legs at your desk or tap your feet, rather you should move your body in ways that promote good neutral positioning and posture. For example, if your feet do not touch the floor when you are sitting in your chair you should use a foot rest. If working while standing, using a rail or a foot rest helps you maintain good balance and promotes further voluntary motion.

Products that Support Foot Rest Voluntary Movement

Allowing your body to naturally and properly move throughout the day is an important part of The Ergonomics Equation. By taking measures to develop habits and use equipment that functionally allow for these movements, you do not lose any work productivity. It is crucial you take steps to provide your body with opportunities to rest from static positioning. The final component to The Ergonomics Equation is closely related to this concept, encouraging you to incorporate productive rest periods into your computing time as well.

Posted in The Equation
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