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ealthy Computing Tips
 


Healthy Computing: Keyboard Height

© Erik Peper PhD

The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Healthy Computing Tips by Erik Peper PhD. View all columns in series
Are you reaching up to a high keyboard? Working at a keyboard that is too high may contribute to neck, shoulder and arm tension. Make the furniture fit when you adjust the Keyboard Height.

How to Adjust the Keyboard Height
Begin by checking your position at the keyboard. Let your upper arms hang straight down, bend your elbows at about 90 to 110 degrees, and keep your forearms and wrists level as you extend your fingers to the keyboard. If the keyboard is too high lower the surface upon which the keyboard is sitting or raise the height of your chair. Explore the following:

  • Install an adjustable keyboard tray beneath the desktop (be sure it does not bounce).
  • Cut a few inches from the legs of the desk.
  • Raise the chair height so that your arms are in the correct position (pillows work well); however, if you raise your chair avoid dangling your feet by creating a footrest so that support your feet (another use for telephone books).

    Regardless how you change the ergonomic situation, take charge and listen to your body. Check in with your body throughout the day and observe unnecessary tension when typing and mousing. Become proactive! Stop your shoulders from inching upward. Relax your neck, shoulders and arms. Integrate breaks and movements into your computing routine by taking micro-breaks (e.g., drop your hands to your lap at every opportunity, such as at the end of a paragraph or when waiting for the computer to process your input), and get up from the desk and walk around. Remember, human beings are made to move and not to freeze in place.


    The Institute for Holistic Healing Studies and Human Resources sponsor the distribution of Healthy Computing Email Tips.

    Copyright 2008 Erik Peper, Ph.D. and Katherine Hughes Gibney.
    Permission to copy and distribute Healthy Computing Email Tips for personal use is granted. Distribution or copying of Healthy Computing Email Tips for commercial purposes is prohibited without prior written consent of the copyright holders.

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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 State University. He is President of the Biofeedback Foundation of Europe (2005) and past President of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback.......more
     
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