Why Computer Ergonomics Matters
Most people spend most of their day in front of a computer screen without thinking about the impact on their bodies. They stress their bodies without realizing it by slouching, extending their wrists, sitting without foot support, and straining to look at poorly placed computer screens.
This can lead to cumulative trauma disorders or repetitive stress injuries, which can have a long-term impact on your health. Computer ergonomics addresses ways to position your monitor correctly. And it optimizes your workstation to reduce workplace injuries, including computer vision syndrome (CVS), carpal tunnel syndrome, neck and back pain, and other disorders affecting the joints, muscles, and spine.
Factors That Influence Computer Screen Positioning
1. Screen Height
The ideal screen positioning varies from person to person, and it depends on their height, amongst other factors. If you have to tilt your chin, or otherwise bend or tilt any other part of your body, then your screen position is incorrect. Such positions may cause strain, discomfort, and pain. Also, it may affect your productivity.
2. Viewing Distance
Viewing distance determines how far you’re from your computer screen. If you’re too far away, you won’t be able to read text on your screen properly. And if you’re too close, your eyes will strain. When it comes to viewing distance, the key is finding the right balance; where you’re not too far or too close to the screen.
Not only is viewing distance an issue for your eyes, but also if you’re too close or too far away, you may lean forward subconsciously. Further, you may under or over-extend your arms. So, a small miscalculation in viewing distance can disrupt all your attempts to improve your ergonomics.
To achieve perfect viewing distance, consider ocular accommodation and convergence, which causes involuntary eye functions when you’re too close to the screen. These are the causes of eyestrain. To correct this and other issues, when sitting in front of a computer screen, make sure your screen is an arm’s length away.
3. Viewing Angles
Viewing your computer screen from the wrong angle for too long can cause neck pain and fatigue.
The screen’s angle is also more or less dependent on your height. Thus, a six-foot-tall person shouldn’t have their screen in the same position as a five-foot-two-inch person.
Place your computer screen between eye level and thirty-degrees below your line of sight. This range is based on the fact that our eyes naturally look ahead and downward when at rest. With that in mind, the best trick to determining the best angle perfect for you is simple. When staring at your monitor, your eyes should be at rest when viewing a browser’s address bar. If that’s not the case, and you’re gazing at the trash bin or upper toolbar, then you should adjust your viewing angle.
4. Monitor Glare
A monitor’s viewing distance and angle are not the only factors that should influence monitor positioning. Although at this point your monitor’s position may be perfect for your height, it ignores the effect of external light sources.
If you ignore windows and other sources of light, you’ll end up with a fair amount of glare. Glare can cause eyestrain and may cause a shift in your sitting posture.
To minimize glare, change your screen’s tilt to reduce effects from overhead light sources. Further, you can reduce window-related glare by placing your screen at a ninety-degree angle from all nearby windows. Or you can use window shades. Alternatively, wear anti-glare glasses to minimize computer screen glare.
5. Font Size
Although your monitor may be at the right viewing distance, it’s possible that you have not taken the effect of font size into account. Sometimes, even when everything else is perfect, you may wish to move your computer screen closer so you can read more comfortably. If this is the case, change your font size.
In most cases, a font increase or decrease will have a tremendous benefit to your eyes than a change in viewing distance and angle. The best font size is roughly three times larger than that of the smallest font you can read legibly.
A keyboard has a lot more influence on monitor positioning than meets the eye. It has a tremendous effect on the position of your arms, elbows, wrists, shoulders, and back. Thus, you should always make sure that your elbows remain beyond a 900 angle extension from your body. Your keyboard should be as close or far away as possible to achieve that.
So, you should always keep the keyboard in front of you and you should adjust its position based on the part of the keyboard that you use frequently. Using a keyboard tray can help you make sure that your keyboard remains in the right position.
Get an Ergonomic Monitor Arm
An Ergonomic monitor arm takes the guesswork out of proper ergonomic monitor positioning. Complete with a retractable and tilt-able arm, a monitor arm eliminates angle, viewing distance, and glare problems.
By mounting your monitor to a monitor arm, you’ll have more desk space. Using the Autonomous monitor arm, you’ll have a wide range of height and angle settings to help you find the perfect positioning for your computer screen.
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