14 Tips for Healthy Computing

Do you know how to avoid a stiff neck, back aches, burning eyes, and repetitive stress injuries when you spend a lot of time in front of your computer?

14 Tips for Healthy Computing:

  1. Make your workstation fit you. Since we all come in different shapes and sizes, you need to know what is the optimal ergonomic setup for your body. Here is a tool which will help you find out what is right for you.
  2. If you use a laptop for longer than two hours without proper ergonomics it can wreak havoc on your body. You can minimize these problems by using a laptop mount or lift arm.
  3. Position the monitor no closer than 20 inches (508 mm) from your eyes. A good rule of thumb is an arm’s length distance.
  4. Adjust your monitor height so that the top of your screen is at or slightly below eye level. Your eyes should look slightly downward when viewing the middle of the screen.
  5. Adjust your screen position to eliminate glare from windows and ceiling lights.
  6. If lighting conditions permit, tilt your monitor back 10° to 20°: this maintains the same distance between your eyes and the screen as you scan it from top to bottom. Exception: If using bifocals, lower the monitor below eye level and turn screen upward,tilting it back 30° to 45°.
  7. The center-line of the keyboard should be level with the height of your elbow.
  8. Tilt the keyboard back 10° so that your wrists remain flat.
  9. Use an adjustable chair. Get comfortable with its features and make adjustments regularly.
  10. Rest your eyes periodically by focusing on an object 20+ feet away.
  11. Stand and stretch your back and arms from time to time.
  12. Position whatever you are looking at most of the time (the screen or reference material) directly in front of you to minimize turning your head.
  13. Remember that even if your workstation is set up properly, you can still get muscle fatigue from being in the same position for too long. Be sure to periodically adjust your monitor, keyboard or chair to stay flexible.
  14. Minimize the amount of time you spend using a laptop without proper ergonomic height adjustment. I know you own a laptop because it allows you to work in the coffee shop, on a park bench, at the swimming pool or from any room in your home and it’s okay in moderation, but prolonged use of a laptop in a non-ergonomic environment can have long term consequences.

My Day Job

When I’m not blogging, I work for Ergotron, so I have access to a wealth of information about healthy computing.

At some point I wanted to introduce you all to my day job so I want to thank Jeff Atwood for giving me the opportunity by starting a conversation about ergonomic and healthy computing. Jeff Atwood at Coding Horror recently posted some great information about ergonomic computer workstations and it got me thinking… (HT to Riley McArdle)

As many of you know I am no evangelist for the corporate lifestyle, but some corporations are improving people’s lives and Ergotron is one of those companies. Ergotron is a different kind of company – we are green, entrepreneurial, innovative, and compassionate and that’s why I work here.

What we do at Ergotron… In my own words…

We create products that promote the wellness of each unique individual.

As our CEO Joel Hazzard said, “We’re improving people’s lives – you can be proud of what you do – it’s not like we’re selling cigarettes here.” 🙂

17 thoughts on “14 Tips for Healthy Computing”

  1. You would really love a day at my job. I look at 7 screens and 4 keyboards at once. This is at the same time as I’m eating, listening at 50 voices, 10 brokers, speaking on the phone, surfing the net, and having a conversation with three other people at the same time. My rescue is that I’m super fit and work out a LOT.

    All this stress comes in really handy now when I’m on 6 month of paternity leave. Being home with two kids can be really stressful and lifting an infant in and out of bed repeatedly is NOT good for the back….

    Nice weekend


  2. Thanks for sharing these tips.
    I always stand up and stretch my arms, especially when I feel sleepy. It’s also a nice way of avoiding muscle fatigue..

  3. Fantastic tips about healthy computing…thank you soo much for sharing … 🙂

    Main causes of neck pain:

    The position of arm rests too high or too low.

    Telephone headset holding tightly


    The height of the monitor too high or too low

    Repetitive head movements

    Improper head support

    Frequently looking up and down

    Continuous shoulder elevation

    Improper lumbar posture

    Sitting at very lower height


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