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8 Tips for Pain Prevention at the Computer

Woman in pain from poor posture at her desk

If you’re a frequent computer user, eyestrain, neck fatigue, back pain and Carpal Tunnel syndrome can greatly reduce your quality of life. The following helpful suggestions can make your workplace safer, more comfortable, and less stressful.

  1. Top of screen needs to be eye level (or lower, for bifocal wearers). Screen should be 15 to 32 inches away, with sharp, steady display.
  2. Display should be free from glare and reflection.
  3. Documents should be displayed close and level with the screen, and should be properly lit.
  4. Hold your wrists straight and horizontal using a padded wrist rest.
  5. Leave space for knee clearance under the desk.
  6. To ensure comfort, keep your feet flat on the floor or use a footrest.
  7. Your arms should be loose to the sides, with elbows at right angles.
  8. The lower back should be supported in the shape of its natural curve.

Avoid Eyestrain at the Computer

Adjust lighting level to reduce glare, set screen contrast, position screens at right angles to natural light source (windows) and parallel to overhead lighting. Rest your eyes by focusing on an object 20 feet away. Blink often. Be sure to advise your doctor that you work with a computer.

Proper Posture Makes a Big Difference

Good posture can be maintained with proper back support, head held erect, shoulders relaxed, wrists held straight and supported with wrist rest, and feet flat on the floor or on a footrest.

Sit Well, Reduce Stress

Having a chair that is adjustable four ways can reduce stress caused by sitting: height, back, seat and arms. Your chair should fit the lower back in a natural curve, have a seat with a rounded front edge, and swivels smoothly. Arm rests need to support the elbows.