The Aches and Pains of Computing
Posted by Clarke M on 03 April 2006 08:27 PM
Anyone who uses a computer for long periods of time knows things aren't always comfortable. Maybe you don't have a comfortable chair, or the sun is shining in that window over there. Both of those are examples of things that can make using computer a little annoying. Sore shoulders and wrists, headaches, backaches, and neck cramps. These are all things that are caused by things around you, while on the computer.

This tip isn't really about Technology. It's more about keeping the time in front of the computer as comfortable as possible, so you don't feel the pain when you're elsewhere.

Aching wrists can be caused from resting the heel of your palm on a hard surface while using your mouse for an extended period of time. A mouse pad with a gel wrist support has worked very well for many people I know, resulting in long term computing sessions much more enjoyable. The gel pad keeps your hand in a more upright position while redirecting the pressure points within the soft gel. There are also keyboard wrist supports available for the heavy duty typist like myself.

Headaches & eye strain may be caused from staring at your monitor for a long period of time. I’m no doctor, but these are mere suggestions which I've gathered from the internet, as well as what I've been told in the past.

- Lower the contrast and brightness settings of your monitor to reduce the bright glare effect of white screens.

- Increase the size of the text you are reading, or reduce your screen to a lower resolution. Also, if you've got some extra coin, you may want to consider the purchase a larger monitor.

- Purchase anti-glare/anti-radiation screens that you place over your monitor that help to protect you from radiation and glare.

- Occasionally take a break away from your computer to get up, stretch, or walk around. If you're at home, then it the perfect time to do those agonizing little chores that no-one likes... like taking the garbage out. If you're in the office, try to work away from your computer if possible.

When it comes to being in front of the computer, on a scale of importance, most folks’ chairs would be listed on the bottom (no pun intended). Your computer chair is your throne and it's the very "foundation" of computing. An inexpensive, uncomfortable, and hard as a rock chair will leave you scolding yourself for being so cheap. A beautiful expensive computer without a good chair is like a sleek sports car with a bench for a seat.

So there you have it. A quick guide to making computing easy on all your bones and joints. Remember, don’t forget to wear your helmet! (just kidding!)
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