COMPUTER AWAREMESS: As many of us spend more and more time at our computers, taking the time to set up our work stations/studies becomes more important as well. The purpose of this e-mail is not to teach you work station ergonomics. There are many good sources for that. Two of my favorite sites are:
My point is to encourage you to pay attention to your body when you are on the computer. Where are you holding/bracing yourself? Shoulders? Neck? Wrists? What feels achy or in need of more support? Using the messages your body gives you will make it easier to “know” where to start when making adjustments in your study/works station or in your computer habits. Remember to check in with your body frequently through out any time on the computer and relax, breathe, stretch or adjust your work station settings as needed. Also, make sure you start each and every computer session sitting in your chair directly in front of your desk/station, even if you think you’ll “only be on for a minute”. Last weekend, I signed on to check for an e-mail I was expecting, and stood leaning over the back of my chair to read it. The e-mail mentioned an appointment I had later in the week, so I checked my calendar to make sure I had the right time and place, then checked Mapquest to make sure I had directions. Another e-mail came in, by the end, I had spent over 15 minutes in that position. My low back, neck, left shoulder and wrist were all complaining.
If you share your work station with a co-worker, family member or roommate, take the time to readjust your chair and desk to work for you and encourage them to do the same. Your body will love you for it.