Learn to Type – Ergonomically – Part 1

If you spend a fair bit of time sitting at a computer, chances are you have at some stage experienced pain or discomfort somewhere in your body.  I know it’s happened to me.  It could be your neck, shoulders, back, legs, in fact anywhere.

How your workstation is set up has a significant impact on how your body copes, so it makes sense to minimise any resulting discomfort by following a few simple common sense ‘rules’.

Investing in a quality office chair is important and if you learn to type correctly you could be spending less time at your workstation, which is a good thing.

Some Do’s and Don’ts at your Workstation that may help neck/shoulder/upper back discomfort

  • Do try and keep your eyes vertical with the computer screen and any reading material
  • Don’t hold you phone between your shoulder and ear
  • Do use a headset or your non-mouse hand when you are on the phone
  • Do use the back rest on your chair and don’t spend long periods leaning forward
  • Don’t sit for long periods without stretching – or better still getting up for a while

Some Do’s and Don’ts that may help hand/wrist discomfort

  • Do learn to type correctly
  • Don’t allow wrists and fingers to get into unnatural positions while using the keyboard
  • Don’t use excessive force while typing

More Do’s and Don’ts that may help lower back discomfort while at your Workstation

  • Do make sure you adjust the back rest on your chair to support your lower back
  • Don’t slide your bottom forward on your chair
  • Don’t sit in one position for too long
  • Do change posture, stretch and leave your chair at regular intervals

Some Do’s and Don’ts that may help leg/ankle/knee discomfort

  • Don’t have your chair too high and have legs dangling
  • Don’t have your chair too low with legs tucked under your chair
  • Don’t cross your legs
  • Do use a foot rest if it helps support your legs and gets you in a good position
  • Do position yourself on your chair so you sit tall with your chest out

In the next part of Learn to Type Ergonomically I’ll be writing more about the workstation hardware – the computer, chair, keyboard, telephone, documents and mouse.

Until next time, why not learn to type and start spending less time at your workstation.  Keyboard Genius can show you how.

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17 Responses to Learn to Type – Ergonomically – Part 1

  1. Dino says:

    Great tips Jan. I do spend a fair bit of time in front of a computer, and it’s good to be reminded about posture and ergonomics.

    What would you recommend while sitting on a couch typing on an iPad? :)
    Dino recently posted..Welcome!

  2. I think your best bet’s a glass of chardonnay Dino :)

  3. Carolyn says:

    Hi Jan,

    You’ve got some great little tips here…. and need to be reminded of them sometimes.

  4. You’re right Carolyn, we do need to be reminded. Since I wrote the post I’ve been catching myself either slipping down my chair or leaning too far forward in it.

  5. Leo Bookham says:

    Hi Jan,

    Great topic, noticed myself sitting up straight as I read your article, so thank you for that.
    Leo Bookham recently posted..Solar Step Lights

  6. Hi Leo – and your comment just prompted me to sit up straighter too!! :)

  7. Hi Jan
    Funny as I was reading this I found myself correcting my posture as I went down the list. Then to get to the comments I just had to remark as it seems your article is having the same effect on everyone. Thank you for the timely reminder.
    Benji – passionate about Margaret River recently posted..A Wee Video Introduction to Margaret River

  8. Jazz Salinger says:

    Hi Jan,

    Thanks for the great tips. When you spend hours in front of the computer, it’s so important to sit correctly. I find that it helps me to type faster.

    However, I’m guilty of being someone who holds the phone between my shoulder and ear. It’s a bad habit that I really need to break.

  9. Jeremy says:

    Thanks for the tips!

    As an aspiring internet marketer I spend a lot of time at my computer & find that after 10 or so hours it does indeed get a bit uncomfortable.

    I actually have an elevated desk & chair, kind of like a bar & bar stool set up so that I can alternate between sitting & standing at my computer which makes for quite an ergonomically friendly work station.

    I definitely suffer from neck/shoulder/upper back discomfort & thought it was more due to other physical activities… hmmm, might be a good idea to look into this a bit further : )
    Jeremy recently posted..jlagatule- RT @JazzSalinger Internet Marketing Success – Make It Happen 247 WEALTH CREATION http-bitly-aoGB8h

  10. Wal Heinrich says:

    This is just the advice I need, Jan. Sitting still for hours a day takes its toll and learning how to type ergonomically is very important. I find I get benefit from occasionally doing some back stretching exercises during the day too.
    Wal Heinrich recently posted..EFT Extravaganza Australia 2011

  11. I have a large document holder which is set up for line of sight to my monitor and I absolutely love it!!

    Great post and great timing for me to read this after sitting at my computer nearly all day and now feeling very stiff and sore in my lower back, buttocks and legs!

    Tomorrow – shall follow the Do’s plan and hopefully will feel a little less creakier at the end of the day.
    Jayne Pleysier recently posted..Want to Start Small Business Avoid These Mistakes

  12. Hi Jan,
    It’s also important not to tense your shoulders or cross your legs. Eronomic posture is sometimes hard to manage, but if you don’t follow it you’re bound to develop muscular skeletal problems down the track. And the longer you’ve had the problem, the longer it will take to fix (by an osteopath of course).
    David Moloney recently posted..Anchor Text Improves SEO

  13. RSI says:

    Great list. I am guilty of doing some of those don’ts sometimes.

  14. Brandon says:

    Well, I’m guilty of doing a lot of “bad” things. I do tend to lean forward a lot and definitely don’t take as many breaks as I should be!

  15. Don’t be too hard on yourself Brandon – I think most of us do the same!
    Thanks for commenting :)

  16. Katrina says:

    These are great tips. I think the height of your monitor also plays a role in your posture as well. I developed many bad habits in posture after working as a software developer (sitting in front of a computer for 8+ hours a day.. not the best thing for one’s health!) so I’m trying to correct them as well as improve on my posture overall.

  17. Thanks for dropping by Katrina,
    You’re right, the height of the monitor does play an important role. Best of luck as you correct all those bad habits :)

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