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ealthy Computing Tips

Healthy Computing: Symmetry in Movement

© 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
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.

Our body is designed for symmetrical movements. Performing repetitive one sided movement or sitting in a skewed posture increases the risk of injury. Alternate your movement patterns or rearrange your workstation so that there is SYMMETRY IN MOVEMENT.


Observe your movement patterns and analyze your workstation layout for the presence of asymmetry such as:

  • Twisting to look at the monitor
  • Mousing with the same hand
  • Reaching for the phone with the same hand
  • Tucking the phone between ear and shoulder on the same side
  • Rotating the chair in the same direction when getting up
  • Twisting to the same side to greet people entering the office
  • Reaching to the same side for reference materials
  • Reaching to the printer
  • Crossing the same leg on top of the other
  • Carrying work materials or purse/briefcase on one side


Rearrange your workstation so that your movement alternates from one side to the other. For example, move the location of the monitor from one side to the other; carry your work, purse or briefcase in alternating hands; get up from a chair by rotating in alternating directions; re-arrange commonly used reference material so that it is closer to the center of the desk; get up and walk over to the printer.

Use equipment which avoids unilateral movements such as a headset for the phone. Practice physical movements to counter balance the asymmetry (e.g., if the monitor is placed to the left, rotate your head to the right a few times an hour).

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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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Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.