TUCOWS ARTICLE

How To Position Your Computer

Many of you have written me asking how you should position your keyboard, your monitor, and your chair. Here is a brief tutorial on how to position your work space.
Published: Jun 16, 2008
Author: Michael E, Callahan
Related OS: Windows

Position Your Computer

by Michael E. Callahan aka Dr. File Finder

I've received a lot of emails asking about this particular topic. So, just for you, here is the information you need.

As someone who spends many hours each day at a computer I know how important it is to have your space set up correctly. If you don't you can end up with sore shoulders, a sore neck, tension headaches, and more. I've found from talking to people that many don't give much thought to how their computer should be positioned. Or how the monitor should be in relation to the computer and your eyes. So, here are some helpful tips for you to remember. And don't just remember them, but put them into practice. You'll enjoy using your computer a lot more.

One thing you want to do is make sure that your computer and monitor are sitting so that you face them straight on. Don't have the monitor at an angle, off to one side as this causes you to strain while you work. You shouldn't have to twist your body, or your next, in order to face your monitor and work.

When it comes to your monitor you want to have it so the top of the monitor is either at or just below eye level. If you have to look up at your monitor it's going to give you a neck ache. I know this from first-hand experience. So, when you're looking at your monitor make sure you don't have to tilt your head up even a little. It relaxes the muscles of the neck if you're looking slightly downward.

There are a number of ways to adjust the height of your monitor. In the "old days", when computers laid horizontally, we used set the monitor right on top of the computer. I suppose you could still do that if you laid your tower on its side, but there are better options. If you look at stores like Office Depot or OfficeMax you can find accessories meant just for this purpose. Many have place for storage so you can store cables, paper clips, pens, and the like. Pretty slick. Some of the newer monitors actually sit on a post that lets you adjust them up and down easily. My main monitor can move up and down and it also tilts, so these are things you should consider when buying a monitor.

When you look at your monitor you shouldn't see glare. This is more of a problem if the room you're in has windows. Glare can be very hard on your eyes and result in things like "dry eye." To reduce glare you can try positioning your monitor so it's at a 90 degree angle in relation to the source of the glare, like a window. With your monitor at right angles to the windows you shouldn't have glare. You can also buy anti- glare screens that will attach to your monitor and these work very well. Another way to eliminate some types of glare is to tilt your monitor screen. And how far should your monitor be away from you? For most people it should be at about arm's length. I've found it's best to move it around until it seems right to you.

Most monitors today emit much less radiation than monitors did in the past, but looking at one all day can still tire your eyes. For those of you who wear glasses, ask your doctor or optician about a UV coating on your lenses. This is a clear coating that effectively blocks ultraviolet radiation and it can make an amazing difference when you work at a computer.

Nearly everyone has heard about Carpel Tunnel Syndrome in association with computer keyboards. This syndrome is caused by the tightening of connective tissue around the medial nerve in the wrist. This compression of the nerve causes numbness and tingling in the fingers and hand. In relation to computers Carpel Tunnel Syndrome is usually caused by poor positioning of the arms and hands while typing. The main thing to remember is to keep your hands, wrists, and arms straight when you type. For this reason you want the keyboard to be at about the level of your elbows. To attain this level you might want to consider getting a keyboard tray that you can attach to your desk. These can also be found at office supply stores. What about foam and gel wrist pads? If you don't position your arms correctly these things will only help a little bit. The best way to avoid ending up with Carpel Tunnel Syndrome is to make sure you're positioned in the right way. A number of keyboards are now available that have been specifically designed to help combat Carpel Tunnel Syndrome.

With your computer set up the right way, you can work at it for many hours without aches, pains, dry eye, and other problems. You can also try things like ergonomically designed chairs with things like lumbar support to help make your day more comfortable.

If you have a question on how to do something on the computer you can submit it via email by clicking HERE You will not receive a reply, but all topics will be considered.


About Michael E, Callahan

Michael E. Callahan, known around the world by the trademarked name Dr. File Finder, is regarded as the world's leading expert on shareware. Dr. File Finder works with software programs and developers full-time, and in the average year he evaluates 10,000 programs. Since 1982 he has evaluated over 250,000 software and hardware products. Mr. Callahan began evaluating software online in 1982 and no one has been at it longer. He currently works doing online PR and marketing for software companies, and is the Senior Content Producer for Butterscotch.Com.

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