Monday, December 20, 2010

The Right Ergonomics for the Winter Blues

It's Christmas time, which usually means colder weather (unless you live in Texas). Cold weather can mean lovely blankets of snow and warm cups of coffee in the classic red Starbuck's cups. There are a lot of pros to winter, but there are a few cons, as well, such as dark winter days and being too cold. Fortunately, there are solutions for feeling too dark or too cold.

* Light Therapy. Extra light is especially important for those living farther north since the winter brings on terribly short days. Many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) where they feel increasingly isolated and depressed as the dark and cold lengthen. Light therapy is an easy remedy that literally provides more light so that the brain and therefore the emotions are tricked into feeling that there is more day light.
* Heated foot pads and mice. Poor circulation and being too cold make you feel miserable, especially at work when you aren't in charge of the thermostat. Therefore, bringing your own warmth is a must! Your feet and hands will thank you!

Winter can be brutal, so do what you can to make it more bearable.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How to Survive in a Cubicle

Office Sardines

Whoever decided that more people in the same amount of space (or even less space) would save money never worked in a cubicle a day of his life. Office sardines is not exactly the most productive plan in that most workers report alarmingly high levels of distraction, which lead to loss of productivity directly and increased levels of stress indirectly. Stressed, unproductive workers make more mistakes and fewer ergonomic adjustments, becoming increasingly less engaged. Disengaged workers miss work more frequently and turn over faster. The cost of time lost due to simple lack of productivity in addition to retraining new workers more frequently costs businesses around $600 billion a year.

However, some genius decided that cubicles "save money." That being the case, no one is asking your (or my, for that matter) opinion on cubicle farms. So, one worker to another, here are a few tips for surviving in your cubby hole.

Tips for Surviving in a Cubicle

  • Clear the clutter. Nothing cramps a space more than a general lack of tidiness. Take some time, and get organized. I like to clear my desk from 4-5pm on a Friday- I'm not going to be productive then anyway, plus it also serves to help me get reacquainted with lost papers.
  • Get rid of knick knacks. A framed photo or two is perfectly appropriate, but a whole collection of miniature cows, for instance, really knocks down your level of professionalism, especially if you entertain clients in your work space. Not all conversation pieces are "good" ones. Choose one or two tasteful items, and keep the rest of your knick knacks at home (or better yet, get rid of them. You're not 12 anymore, you don't have to collect things.).
  • Rearrange your work space if necessary. Your monitor should be at eye level and at least 20 inches away from you. Your keyboard and mouse should be next to each other for fast, comfortable typing and mousing. If desk space is minimal, mini keyboards are a great option for freeing up a few inches.
  • Adjust where you can. Most chairs have some sort of adjustment, if only up and down. Do what you need to to get your feet flat on the floor and your back as well supported as possible. Adjust the arm rest if possible to keep your arms in a straight line from your elbow to your middle finger.
  • Keep your posture and positioning neutral. This means sitting straight with your arms by your sides, and starting at your elbow making a straight line through to your wrists and hands. Your wrists should never be cocked, especially when typing. Rather, your hands should hover over your keyboard, in a curved position so as to avoid repetitive stress injuries.
  • Try white noise. The options are endless, and so is office noise. If you are frequently disturbed by office shenanigans or overly zealous sales guys, turn on a little white noise. You can try this free online white noise generator or you can try a desktop system-either way, it's important to keep you mind on work and not in other people's business.
  • Take breaks. If you feel overly cramped, take your coffee break outside, or at least out of your small space so you can stretch out. Speaking of stretching out, make sure to take hourly stretch breaks.
  • Take care of your eyes. Whether you wear glasses or not, make sure you rest your eyes often by taking them off the screen and focusing on an object farther away. You should also blink them regularly to restore moisture. When possible, rotate your computer and other tasks so that you're not on the computer all day. Lastly, consider a good pair of reading glasses just for work. Computer users often find that high quality reading glasses require a lower prescription and allow them to work more efficiently.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Top 5 Bad {Ergonomic} Habits at Work

Workers often build up bad habits in the office and at their desks they aren't even aware of. I don't think I can sum up all bad habits in one post, but I can tell you the top 5 bad ergo habits that put undue strain on an already stressed body.

Top 5 Bad {Ergonomic} Habits at Work

1. Cluttered desk.
  • Problem: Besides poor aesthetic appeal, a cluttered desk keeps important items out of reach and your back, shoulders, and arms pay the price when you strain for them.
  • Solution: Tidy it up, and get organized. Pitch unnecessary trash and take home your knick knacks, especially if you have limited space. Re-organize your desk top so that all key items are in an easy arm's reach.
2. Poor keyboard/mouse alignment.
  • Problem: Most people put too much space between their keyboard and their mouse, and some even place them on different surfaces.
  • Solution: Tuck you mouse in right next to your keyboard and definitely keep them on the same surface. If space is an issue, consider a mini keyboard for a smaller footprint.
3. Low monitor height.
  • Problem: The typical worker keeps his monitor on his desk, which requires him to bend his neck to look down to actually see it. This can lead to headaches and neck pain.
  • Solution: Raise your monitor. You can invest in a desktop lift like Hercules, or you can raise it inexpensively with rysers. Another way to keep from straining your neck is to use a document holder. It's so much nicer to have your notes right in front of you while you type from them.
4. Too few ergonomic breaks.
  • Problem: Usually break time means a trip to the bathroom and a little chit chat with coworkers over a marginal cup of coffee. These are not bad ways to spend your breaks, but there are other, more strategic ways to take smaller breaks.
  • Solution: Enjoy your coffee and empty your bladder, but you also need to take periodic breaks at your desk to stretch and to rest your eyes. To avoid eye strain, take time every day, every few hours, or more often, to blink your eyes so they can rest and re-moisturize. Also, as you're working, take your eyes off your screen and focus on something farther away to allow your eyes to recalibrate and focus.
5. Too few ergonomic adjustments.
  • Problem: The typical worker usually does not make enough ergonomic adjustments to make his work station and environment conducive to better focus. She also loses 2 hours of productivity every day due to distractions.
  • Solution: Adjust your desk and chair if possible so that you fit under the desk comfortably with your feet flat on the floor and your elbows and forearms rest comfortably to type without any awkward bending or cocking. Additionally, try some white noise, like this free generator, for noise control.
Here's to you not making these same ergonomic mistakes in the office! {It's up to you to figure out the social stuff...good luck.}

Friday, June 25, 2010

Big Keys Keyboard for Kids

Einstein Never Used Flashcards

Have you ever noticed how many computer games are marketed for kids? Way before most children can recognize letters, let alone read, a myriad of of games are supposedly "age-appropriate." While it's tempting to buy into the idea that we, as parents, need to cram as much as we can into our wee ones' little minds, forcing learning may not be in their best interest. According to several excellent books, "The Power of Play" and "Einstein Never Used Flashcards," it is play and not forced learning that enables our children to succeed. These authors tell us to stand strong against the peer pressure to literally buy into the marketing that we need to buy this book and that program and those flashcards. On the contrary, they urge us to teach through play and contextual learning. Instead of flashing cards for rote memorization, why not talk to our children through ordinary, everyday circumstances.

Furthermore, these books suggest that most computer games are marketed way too young, meaning that if it says age 6, most 6-year-olds won't actually be successful with the game. A quick rule of thumb, if the back says Age 4-6, round it up in your head at least 2 years. That's not to say that all computer games are bad or not worth buying. Just be careful that you don't buy into the marketing without thinking about how that particular product will serve your child.

Big Keys Keyboard

One helpful tool I literally stumbled across was the Big Keys Keyboard. While t reminds me of my grandmother's bejewelled and grotesquely large calculator, this keyboard serves the same function- it enlarges the keys to 1 square inch so that little fingers can find them. Plus...Read More

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Why you need a Double Wide

You may not realize it, but you need a double wide...for your feet. Most workers complain of back pain and other aches and pains after sitting at a desk from 9-5pm 5 days a week. It's no wonder when most desks don't fit their users. As a result, most workers, and presumably you, strain all the wrong parts and bend awkwardly to make the desk work for you. The problem is that the desk never really ends up fitting, and by the end of the day, you're stiff and irritable. So, here's what you need to know about desk ergonomics from a bird's eye view:
  • You should be able to sit with your legs under the desk and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Your keyboard and mouse should sit right next to each other and on the same surface, while your monitor should be raised to eye level.
  • You should keep all important items within arms' reach so you don't have to strain to get to your stuff.
  • You should never cock your wrists as you type or mouse...Read More

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ergonomics for Educators

Educator Work Spaces

Educators spend a lot of time at their desks: grading papers, lesson planning, printing, or doing office hours. Unfortunately, most teacher work spaces aren't ergo-savvy. The result is that once planning and classes are finished, your work space has taken its toll on your body: from you neck and shoulders, to your back, all the way to your wrists and hands. Many educators feel this stress throughout their bodies and even develop repetitive stress injuries, such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. If you're on of those teachers, check out these ergonomic tips and solutions so you can decrease stress and stress-related injuries, while also increasing productivity.

A few work space tips for educators

Look at your work space design. Is it set up for ergonomic comfort and ease of work? Consider the following factors:

  • Your neck feels tight because you strain to see your monitor, which should be at eye level.
  • Your keyboard and mouse should be on the same surface as each other, but not on the same surface as your monitor (the exception being if you raise it). Additionally, your mouse should be next to keyboard (not far away from it or in front of it)
  • Your body should always feel relaxed and positioned neutrally . You should never cock your wrists or have to angle them to type or reach the mouse (see above for keyboard and mouse placement).
  • Your feet should rest comfortably and flat on the floor. This is usually an issue of a poorly positioned desk and chair.

Bottom line- you should not have to overextend your reach to get to anything!

Ergonomic solutions for comfort and productivity

Just rethinking your work set-up can help you be more comfortable and even more productive. Try a few of the following solutions to resolve your ergo issues.
  • To get the very best ergonomic advantage, many workers and educators alike use an ergonomic desk and/or chair that facilitates easy and comfortable reach of all essential items, while still providing the structure and support you need. Adjust-ability is key here. Being able to raise and/or lower your chair and desk will enable you to get the best position for your body so that it can be relaxed and neutral. Even adding back support to your current chair will ease back discomfort.
  • If an gonomic desk is not in the budget, try redesigning the space you have. One of the best things you can do is get your keyboard and mouse lined up correctly. You can use a left-handed keyboard (which puts the rarely-used number pad on the left) or even a mini keyboard to free up some space to allow you to pull your mouse in closer.
  • A wrist rest is a simple and affordable solution for wrist or forearm discomfort, which allows you to type in a neutral position by resting your palms at the same time, thus alleviating strain on the actual wrists.
  • White noise generators create peace and quiet during office hours or a planning period (or even when giving a quiz, test, or exam). White noise generators (aka sound machines) provide a low-level hum so that you can tune out otherwise distracting noises and just feel more relaxed. The result is less stress and increased productivity.
Just by reworking your space and implementing some new resources, you can get more done in less time, and feel better doing it!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Choosing & Using a Wrist Rest

There has been some debate over wrist rests and whether they do more harm than good. The question really comes back to proper usage, as do most ergonomic questions. If, for example, you buy a a travel pillow and then cock your head awkwardly to use it, it's not really the pillow that is at fault- it's your usage.

The purpose of a wrist rest

As more and more workers type for long stretches at a time, the number of complaints about RSI, such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, has gone up as well. That is because most people do not know how to type ergonomically: they drop their wrists to the desk surface, cock their wrists to type, keep the mouse too far away, and do any number of things that put strain on their wrists, hands, and forearms. A wrist rest is a padded strip of material meant to meet your wrists and heels of your hands so that they don't have to drop down to rest. Essentially, a wrist rest catches the heels of your hands so that you don't feel pain in your wrists.

How to use a wrist rest

Ergonomic studies tell us that wrist rests should be used between periods of typing to rest your wrists. So, line up the wrist rest in front of your keyboard so that there is not a drop off between it and the desk. Then, as you type, try to float your hands over the keys and not cock or hyper-extend them. As you pause, rest your wrists on the wrist rest.

How to Choose a Wrist Rest

When choosing a wrist rest, look for the following features:

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ten Tips for Relieving Shoulder Pain

The shoulder is a complex joint. It has the widest range of motion for any joint in the body, and is carefully held together by muscles and other soft tissues, such as tendons and ligaments. Because of the high mobility and immense complexity, this joint is very susceptible to discomfort and injury. One of the leading causes of shoulder pain is poor posture and overuse, often associated with everyday computer use. Try these ten tips for relieving shoulder pain.

1. Take a break. Make it a habit to stop your regular activity for a few minutes every hour. Get up from you chair and walk around. If you have non-computer tasks, spread these throughout the day to provide longer breaks from your computer.

2. Stretch the sore muscles. During your breaks, or even more frequently, stretch your shoulder muscles. Try these stretches recommended by the National Institute of Health, or these quick stretches.

3. Apply hot or cold compresses. Heat will increase blood flow to the area and relax tense muscles; do not apply heat to an inflamed area. For inflammation, cold packs can numb the pain and reduce swelling; do not to apply ice directly to the skin. Use this treatment no longer than 20 minutes at a time and only once an hour.

4. Adjust your chair. This is the foundation for good posture at your desk. First, assess the back rest of the chair. If it does not properly support your lower back, additional lumbar support may be needed. Next, change the height of the chair; your feet should rest flatly on the floor. Finally, lower the armrests in order to allow free, relaxed movement of arms and shoulders while using a keyboard or mouse.

5. Customize your work space. Shoulder pain is frequently caused by improper placement of keyboard and mouse. An adjustable tray can help place the keyboard at the optimum position slightly below elbow height, one to two inches above the legs. Place the mouse as close to the keyboard as possible, to avoid stretching to reach it. An ergonomically designed mini keyboard would allow the mouse to rest in the best position.

6. Re-situate your monitor. It should be directly in front of you at eye level. A monitor stand can provide the required height. The screen should only be 15 to 25 inches away from your eyes, so you don’t lean forward to read.

7. Try a phone headset. Frequent phone use can cause neck and shoulder strain, especially when holding the phone between your shoulder and ear. A headset can allow hand-free operation without the muscle strain.

8. Dock your laptop. It is impossible to achieve good posture while using a laptop. If you use a laptop for long periods of time, use a docking station that allows for the proper keyboard and monitor positions.

9. Build shoulder strength. Regular exercise can relax muscles and relieve stress. The National Research Center for the Working Environment used these five strength-building exercises to provide relief for shoulder pain.

10. Get medical advice. If your pain is related to an accident or fall; or if you also have chest pain, nausea, or shortness of breath, consult your doctor immediately.

Shoulder pain is often caused by poor positioning and overuse of the muscles. These ten tips can help restore proper posture at your office desk, relieve current discomfort, and prevent future injury and pain.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Choosing the right keyboard for you

You’ve probably heard that choosing the right keyboard is essential for ergonomic comfort. The fact of the matter is that the right keyboard (i.e. the one that fits your work space and style) can help you avoid stress-related injuries and be more productive at the same time. That said, you will need to consider several factors as you choose the most effective keyboard for you.

Tips for picking “the right” keyboard online

1. Evaluate your work area

Look at the surface space you have to work on. How much room do you actually have to house both your keyboard and your mouse? It’s important to keep the keyboard in the right position so you are not reaching to get to it and where your wrists are in a neutral (not bent or angled) position. Lastly, keep your mouse on the same height surface as the keyboard.

2. Think about what keys you really use

Think about how much you use all those extra keys on your keyboard. How often do you really use your 10 keys, arrow Keys, home keys? It may be that you don’t really need them, at least not regularly enough to prioritize them.

3. Consider your keyboard vs. mouse usage

Think about how much you use your keyboard in comparison to how much you use your mouse. Users who don’t use a their mice much can usually employ a keyboard with an Integrated Pointing Device, which cuts down on shoulder and hand pain as well as work space.

Those who use their mice frequently need to take care in not over-extending their arms too much when using mice. It might be wise to consider an Ergonomic Mini Keyboard to bring everything close together. If, however, you still need your 10 Key, then try a standalone 10 key to use when needed.

4. Try it out

If you really can’t quite decide, try to narrow it down to two keyboards and purchase both. Use our 30 day money back guarantee and try them both for a week and see which one benefits you the most. We won't even charge you a restocking fee if you don't like either of them.


The main goal is to assess your specific needs and find the keyboard that fits them and ultimately you. Be careful to maintain good posture, especially by not over-extending your reach for either your keyboard or your mouse usage. Finally, if you are not using those extra keys, switching to a Mini Ergonomic Keyboard may be the right decision for you, thus bringing in your work area so your mouse can easily be used without the extra reach.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Improper posture and lead to shoulder pain.

The Shoulder is a wonder combination of several joints that are connected with tendons and muscles for a wide range of motion of the arm. Pain in the shoulder region is due to various reasons. Most painful shoulder problems have a link with injured soft tissues, muscles, ligaments and tendons, rather than just bones. Pain in shoulder falls in three major categories namely Tendinitis, injury and Arthritis.

Shoulder pain is also caused by tumors, infection and nerve-related disorders. A tendon is a cord which connects muscle to bone or other tissue. The splitting and tearing of tendons due acute injury causes pain. Excessive use of the shoulder leads to inflammation and swelling of a bursa, known as Bursitis.

Treatment of shoulder pain depends on the injury and gravity of the injury. The shoulder joint is the prone to frequent dislocation and is referred to as shoulder instability. Technically, shoulder dislocation is referred to as Luxation and partial dislocation as subluxation.

Dislocation of the shoulder is treated by putting the head of the humerus back into the joint socket called the Glenoid Fossa of the scapula by manipulation and reduction (M&R) procedure followed by an X-ray study. The arm is then immobilized in a sling or a shoulder immobilizer device. Severe dislocation injures the surrounding tissues or nerves and is treated by surgery.

The Glenohumeral joint or the shoulder joint stability depends on a group of muscles called the Rotator Cuff. The Rotator Cuff muscles help shoulder stability and control during joint rotation. The Rotator Cuff Muscles include Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor and Subscapularis. Sports that demand active and vigorous rotation of the shoulder joint often put these Rotator Cuff muscles under strain causing pain. Pain due to Rotator Cuff muscles strain can occur either due to tears of the muscles or inflammation

The Shoulder Joint is the area where the collar bones Clavicle and shoulder blades Scapula are connected. Pain in this region could be due to Ankylosis,Arthralgia, Cartilage Disorders, Infection, Shoulder Joint Dislocation, Shoulder Joint Capsule Damage, Acromioclavicular Arthritis, Bicipital Tendonitis, Rotator Cuff Tendonitis, Subacromial and Subdeltoid Bursitis. There are three common problems associated with shoulder pain namely, Instability, Subluxation, OveruseandArthritis Degeneration.Instability is a condition where the joint is completely out of position and subluxation is partial dislocation.

Arthritis is a painful inflammatory condition in the joint region. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of Arthritis. Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis and Septic Arthritis caused by infection, Gouty Arthritis caused by Uric Acid deposits in the joint region and Pseudogout, caused by deposition of Calcium Pyrophosphate crystals also cause painful inflammation. Periarthritis, Adhesive Capsulitis, also popularly known as frozen shoulder also cause chronic pain in the shoulder. Physical therapy is useful as a treatment option for people with shoulder pain.

Physical therapy includes daily walking and stretching exercises. Traction and massage of joints enhance joint mobility and flexibility. Information regarding the treatment options can be obtained from a doctor based on the signs of the disease. Investing in a back support for your chair can alleviate shoulder pain.

Shop for the Right Tools for an Ergonomic Workstation!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

5 Tips for Keyboarding Health

Keyboarding can lead to problems such as carpel tunnel syndrome or contact stress if done improperly for a long period. Use these tips to reduce the possibility of hand and arm aches and pains.

Number 1
If you are left handed, use a left-handed keyboard. Using the key pad by crossing or turning your hands is not ergonomically healthy.

Number 2
The keyboard should be placed directly in front of you at a height that you do not have to keep your arms angled from your elbow to your wrists.

Number 3
Use a wrist rest pad these are found to help support your wrist at the proper position for extended amounts of time. This helps you avoid contact stress by keeping your arms away from the edge of your desk.

Number 4
Choose a keyboard that can be height adjusted. This helps if you need only to raise or lower your keyboard just a little.

Number 5
Maintain a neutral position of your wrist and hands at all times.

Your keyboard is only a part of this you must have the right knowledge and tools to keep up healthy keyboarding.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Is Your Desk a Good Fit For Ergonomics and Productivity?

When it comes to your desk one size certainly does not fit all. Let’s face it, we all come in different shapes and sizes and what fits one may not necessarily fit another person. Is like going over to Grandma’s and trying on her clothing at the age of seven. Even a seven year old knows that Grandma’s cloths are not going to fit. Your desk and office equipment you use is no different. For optimal ergonomics and productivity, your desk, chair, and equipment should be designed and arranged so that it suits your body and the work you do.

When you are sitting at your desk ask yourself whether or not it is adjusted right to match your build. Also determine whether it is ergonomically designed to allow for adjustment. There is no one-size-fits-all desk, so you need to pick a desk that can be adjusted to suit you and your work habits.

A well adjusted desk allows your legs to move freely around without colliding into other objects. The height of the desk should be such that it has room beneath the desktop to allow your knees plenty of space. If your desk is too high and cannot be lowered then consider getting a footrest so that your legs will be comfortable and not have to dangle in the air.

Also be sure to keep the area under you desk clutter free. When the area underneath your desk is uncluttered your legs will be unrestricted; thus, minimizing pain in the ankles and joints. To reduce the probability of injury you can also get an organizer.

An organizer keeps all your documents and electronics in an easy to reach and out-of-the-way location. I often see a lot of desks that look as though they just got hit with a tornado and I wonder how one ever functions productively in such an environment.

A good fit between you and your desk will do wonders for your productivity. You can find things that much faster and avoid needless bumps and bruises caused by clutter underneath your desk. You can save yourself tons of headaches by keeping your desk ergonomically friendly.

View all Ergonomic Table Top Solutions!

Monday, February 15, 2010

What’s Different About Alternative Ergonomic Keyboards?

If you’ve spent hours and hours using a keyboard without relief, you know just how much strain it can place on your hands, wrists, and upper body. Most traditional keyboards have their design with little thought to ergonomics. That has changed with the arrival of alternative ergonomic keyboards.

These alternative ergonomic keyboards have been designed not only for functionality but also to help maintain the upper body including the arms, wrists, and hands in a neutral position. This neutral position reduces stress and strain on muscles tendons, and nerves to eliminate possible injury from repetitive stress of using a keyboard. The different designs of the alternative ergonomic keyboards help the user to change their posture to a more neutral and comfortable position. For example, a split keyboard is designed to straighten the wrists by increasing the distance between right and left keyboard sides or by allowing the rotation of each half of the keyboard to position it so it is aligned properly with the forearm. Another keyboard design is the tented keyboard.

A variation of the split keyboard, each half is tiled up thus reducing the rotation of the forearms. Still another type of keyboard design allows the user to raise the front edge of the keyboard. This provides you with a backward slope that straightens the wrist in a more neutral position.

Perhaps one of the most popular alternative ergonomic keyboard designs is that of built in wrist or palm rests. Some researchers question whether these increase the pressure on the wrists or interfere with typing. Still there are those who much prefer a keyboard with wrist rests.

When you try a new keyboard give yourself enough time to adjust to the differences. Once you try it for a few days you’ll know the usefulness of ergonomics on your keyboard.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

15% off our Left-Handed Keyboard..RIGHT NOW!!

First 10 People to purchase our Left Handed keyboard you save 15%. Don't wait buy NOW!

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Why Left Handed?

If you’re one of the many people considering making the switch to a left handed keyboard, it could be a very wise choice, especially if you spend hours each day using your keyboard. Left handed keyboards have a different layout design than the traditional style keyboards.

These layout changes help to create an efficient ergonomic keyboard. There’s one major change that contributes to the improvements. Traditionally keyboarders spent a lot of time using the numeric keypad. Thus, it was conveniently placed on the right side of the keyboard. Today, most people using a keyboard don’t spend a lot of time with the numeric keypad.

Left handed keyboards have moved the numeric keypad to the left side of the layout. This allows users to place their mouse closer to the alpha keypad. Closer positioning of your mouse helps to promote straight, inline positioning of your forearms, wrists, and hands. This neutral position helps keep tendons, nerves and blood vessels in this area from being compressed.

Compression occurs with many keyboard users. This compression causes what is known as Repetitive Stress Injuries. The main symptoms of Repetitive Stress Injuries include numbness of the fingers, tingling, and pain in the wrists continuing up the forearm or down through the hand. The pain can be chronic and often requires medical treatment. Left handed keyboards can help to prevent this type of injury.

Another popular layout of the left handed keyboard is to remove the numeric keypad and replace it with a touchpad. Since the touchpad performs every function of the mouse, you can get rid of your mouse. Not using a mouse will eliminate the awkward positions occurring when you go from keyboard to mouse and back. You also won’t have to worry about placing your mouse close to your keyboard as the touchpad is built right into your keyboard. So it is not only ergonomic efficient, it is also a space saver.

If you are a constant keyboard user you may not even realize the stress you’re placing on your wrists and hands by using a traditional keyboard. You also may not realize just how much time you spend on a keyboard. At work and at home the computer has become a major part of everyday life. That tired achy feeling, or the tingling could be a big warning sign that you’re damaging the nerves and tendons in these areas. Switching to a left handed keyboard is a wise choice to help prevent further damage.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Set Up Your Desk to Reduce Strain and Stress at Work

Learn these good ergonomic practices for a relaxing workday.

Just the normal stress and strain of the work you do is plenty. However, do you know that the way you sit and use your desk space can add to physical stress and strain at work? You’re probably not aware of just how much strain may be on your body by just being at your desk. Make these few changes and you will begin to see results.

That’s right, you’ll see results in the form of less stress and strain, and most likely you’ll even have more energy than ever after your day at work. Setting up your desk for good ergonomics means the goal is to keep your body in a neutral position as you go about your daily tasks.

Your desk or workspace should allow you to place your monitor at least twenty inches from your eyes and so it is centered with your body. The top of the monitor should be at eye level to prevent eye and neck strain.

Height of your desk should be about elbow height when you are sitting at your desk. Usually this is between twenty and twenty-eight inches from the floor. If you have a fixed desk height, you may consider using a keyboard tray to place your keyboard and mouse at the proper height for optimal ergonomics.

Avoid glass desktops or any finish that could cause a glare. Even a small amount of glare at your workstation can place undue stress on your eyes.

Also make sure there is sufficient space under your desk for your legs to be in a comfortable position no matter which way you are sitting. Minimum under desk clearance for your legs should be fifteen inches from your knees. Making a few simple changes to your desk can produce a much more comfortable and less stressful work environment