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 Healthy Computing: Good Working Positions 
 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Healthy Computing Tips by . View all columns in series
Optimize your performance and prevent computer-related injuries with Healthy Computing Email Tips. Each week we provide hints to help you stay healthier while working.


Incorrect working positions increase the risk of stress and strain on the muscles, tendons, and skeletal system while computing. To maintain health and reduce your risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders, place yourself in GOOD WORKING POSITIONS.

How to Place Yourself in Good Working Positions*
Do the following to maintain neutral body postures--comfortable working posture in which your joints are naturally aligned--while working at the computer workstation:

  • Hands, wrists, and forearms are straight, in-line and roughly parallel to the floor.
  • Head is level, or bent slightly forward, forward facing, and balanced. Generally it is in-line with the torso.
  • Shoulders are relaxed and upper arms hang normally at the side of the body.
  • Elbows stay in close to the body and are bent between 90 and 120 degrees.
  • Feet are fully supported by floor or footrest.
  • Back is fully supported with appropriate lumbar support when sitting vertical or leaning back slightly.
  • Thighs and hips are supported by a well-padded seat and generally parallel to the floor. vKnees are about the same height as the hips with the feet slightly forward.

Working in the same posture or sitting still for prolonged periods is not healthy. You should change your working position frequently throughout the day in the following ways:

  • Make small adjustments to your chair or backrest.
  • Stretch your fingers, hands, arms, and torso.
  • Periodically, stand up and walk around for a few minutes.

*Adapted from: www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/computerworkstations/positions.html

      
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 About The Author
Erik Peper, Ph.D. is an international authority on biofeedback and self-regulation. He is Professor and Co-Director of the Institute for Holistic Healing Studies, Department of Health Education, at San Francisco......moreErik Peper PhD
 
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