It’s official, Hunching over a computer all day beats lifting & carrying heavy things as the number one cause of the back trouble, says a recent survey found by the British Chiropratic Association. The survey found that perople who sit in front of a screen all the day are more likely to suffer back pain than manual labourers.
But that’s not all. There are other joys that come with starting at the screenall the day, chart toppers being the ever faithful eyestrain, twisted ailments & neck trouble
Rest easy, though, for here are a bunch of smart gizmos & tweaks that promise to ease the aches & pains of the digital world.
Ergonomic keyboards and mouse
Jabbing away at your keyboard is the fastest way to bring on the carpal-tunnel syndrome, a condition that creates pressure in the fingres, hands & wrists. It is caused by repetitive & strenous use of fingers & hands, which inflammation the median nerve that runs through the wrist area.
If you can’t avoid typing all day, at least make sure that you use best-of-breed ergonimic keyboards.
Kinesis Maxim or Microsoft, for instance, have models that you can adjust, to split & rise in the middle, keeping your wrists in a more natural, less stressful position.
Safetypes takes this one step further, and brings split halves keyboards that stand vertically. These might look starnge, but they promise to eliminate all kinds of the keyboard-related stress.
Wrist ailments are also common with people who make heavy use of the mouse. Easy-on-the-hands mice that require more thumb than index-finger use are good alternatives, as are trackball models. Try varities such as vertically-oriented mice from 3M Ergonomic Mouse or Evoluent VerticalMouse 2, which also comes in a left-handed version for lefties.
Displays often come with their refresh rates set to too low–60 Hz, or 60 screen refreshes per second–which makes the screen flicker. Turning up the rate to about 72 or 85 Hz will reduce flicker and in turn, eystrain.
But trying to set the rate right can get confusing. That’s were a program like RefreshForce (www.pagehosting.co.uk/rf/) can come in handy. A free tool RefreshForce will let you set your monitor’s refresh rate ina blink.
Next, if you’re still using a CRT monitor, consider switching to an LCD. Not only are LCDs flicker-free, but they also produce less glare than the CRTs. Samsung Synchmaster, Dell Ultrasharp or Viewsonic are good options to consider.
While you are at it, make sure you turn in ClearType to see a remarkable improvement in your display’s font resolution. This feature is available in Windows XP. By default ClearType is switched off, but its simple to turn it on: just Right-click the desktop & select the ‘Properties’ option, then select ‘Appearence’, followed by ‘Effects’. Check ‘Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts. Now select ‘ClearType’ from the drop-down list & click ‘OK’ twice.
A phone can be a real pain in the neck, especially if you are on kinds who cradles a handset between your shoulder and ear as you type. For those die-hard multitaskers, we suggest hands-free haedsets from companies such as Labtec that let you switch between you PC’s audio & your telephone at the push pf a button.
Alternatively, you could look at the wireless, option such as Plantronics’ CT-10, which will allow you to take a small walk while you speak on the phone.
Finally there’s a right way and a wrong way to position yourself for long spells in front pf the PC. Proper monitor placement tops this ‘correct posture’ chart. First, the beast placement for your monitor is where it is stting directly in front of you, it shouldn’t be placed off centre to any one side, as then, you would end up turning your neck to view the screen. Do that all day long, and you are bound to end up with a crick in the neck.
The thumb rule is that your eyes should be level with a point about two inches below the top of the monitor. Most monitors come with adjustable stands, but if your doesn’t, stack up a few journals under it or get a monitor stand to get the height right.
While on the keyboard, type with your elbows at your sides, with shoulder relaxed, and wrists straight. Experts also recommend arm angles greater than 90 degrees for added comfort. It’s best to keep your mouse at the same height as your keyboard and within easy reach; try not to stretch more than s few inches for it.