Are you reaching up to a high keyboard? In order to sit correctly at the
keyboard are your feet dangling from a chair that is too high. Is your
chair so big that the backs of your calves touch the seat edge? By
making the furniture fit you instead of you fitting the furniture, you may
reduce tension and feel no longer VERTICALLY CHALLENGED.
HOW TO AVOID BEING VERTICALLY CHALLENGED:
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
you cannot sit that way because the keyboard is too high, then change your
Regardless how you change the ergonomic situation, take charge and listen
to your own body. Check in with your body throughout the day to 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 every minute (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 for movement and not immobility.
- The best option is to lower the surface upon which the keyboard is
sitting. Cut a few inches from the legs of the table or install an
adjustable keyboard tray beneath the desktop (be sure it does not
- Raise the height of your body so that your arms are in the correct
position. Usually this requires raising the height of the seat of your
chair (pillows often work well). Raising your chair height often leads
to dangling feet. Raise the floor level so that your feet can rest easily
on that surface (telephone books make a good floor cover/footrest).
Copyright 2003 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
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