How do I prevent strain at my computer desk? What are computer ergonomics?

Many of us sit in front of a computer throughout our workdays or in the evenings while browsing the Web. Unwanted side effects of our excessive time in front of those screens can include muscle aches, eye strain, and tension headaches. Below are some tips to help avoid these unwelcome physical stresses.

  • Place the computer screen directly in front of you at eye level
  • Sit up straight, keeping your head and neck in line with your trunk
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed
  • Use arm rests, keeping elbows bent at 90 degrees with forearms and wrists supported
  • Keep the computer mouse within comfortable reach
  • Use a lumbar support roll for your low back, placed just above your belt line
  • Keep legs supported with feet on the floor or a footstool with hips and knees bent to 90 degrees
  • Take frequent rest breaks to stand, stretch and/or walk around

Kristin Collins, PT, DPT, COMT