Ergonomics – for your own good

Before you start touch typing or doing any other work on your computer, you should first take care of yourself. What do I mean by that? Ergonomics.

Ergonomics is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.

Some tips for you, when working with a computer:
1) Stretch your wrists and fingers before starting some serious touch typing exercises or work.
2) To reduce your risk of developing overuse injuries you should follow best practices in posture, technique, workstation set-up and take regular breaks.
3) Your wrist, elbows and keyboard should be on the same horizontal plane and at a 90 degree angle to your upper arms.
4) The top of your screen should be near eye level. Make sure your back is straight and the computer is not too near to your eyes.
5) Check your distance from the keyboard. Adjust your chair to avoid a common problem - sitting too close to the keyboard. Adjust the angle of your monitor to minimize glare.
6) If typing causes you pain, stop immediately and take a break. See what you can do to adjust the working space to your health needs.

Take a break after every 30 minutes of serious work. Here is a relaxing exercise:
1) Hold your arm outward, with the palm facing down.
2) Drop the hand downward at the wrist.
3) Using the palm of the opposite hand, apply pressure to the back of the dropped hand.
4) Hold pressure for five seconds, then relax.
5) Repeat three times per hand

And another exercise:
1) Stretch both arms outwards with fingers together and draw a circle with your hands, rotating them at the wrist.
2) Five circles in one direction, then five in the opposite direction.

Aaaand another one:
1) Spread the fingers of both hands far apart.
2) Hold for five seconds, then relax.
3) Repeat for a total of three times.

Make sure you are following your own health. If you are a teacher, make sure the kids are getting the best environmental circumstances they can and please take into account if they are complaining about hurting fingers, wrists or even eyes.