Monday, October 23, 2006

Ergonomics and You

Before I left the workforce in 2004, I was employed by a company that had a Health and Wellness Program. This program included one of the best things I had ever heard of - an ergo audit. A person from Health Services came down to review your workstation and instituted changes to make your work area ergonomically correct.

A day after my workstation was audited, Maintenance had come in and lowered my writing surfaces and installed a keyboard tray. They adjusted my office chair and purchased a footrest. I felt the effects almost immediately.

We don't all have the resources to make such changes, but as writers we know the importance of taking care of our bodies so they can keep up with our creative minds. Here are some ways to keep your body healthy while your mind spins a good yarn:
  • Use a writing surface that is 30 inches off the ground for long-hand and 26 inches off the ground for keyboarding.
  • Adjust your office chair so your elbows are at a 90-degree angle when your arms are resting on the work surface.
  • Your bottom should be against the back of your chair and there should be a cushion which causes your lower back to arch slightly to avoid slumping forward or slouching down.
  • Your computer monitor should be placed in front of you at a distance of at least 20 inches away.
  • Use a wrist rest to reduce injury.

It is also important to understand your body isn't meant to sit for extended periods of time. Get up and walk around for at least a minute every half an hour.

The links below contain additional information about ergonomics. Stay healthy and keep writing!



Jean said...

I had an ergonomic keyboard and loved it. I think I mourned for about a month when it died.

Maybe I'll get another for Christmas:--)

Sarah said...

I miss my ergonomic keyboard as well. Despite the fact it didn't fit on my desk, I loved it.

I wish we could afford a real computer chair and desk so I can stop being so achy half the time...but I'm not letting it get in the way of my writing *G*

Cheryl said...

Don't tell anybody, but I stole a chair out of my kitchen to put at my writing desk. Can you say, Lower back pain?"


Sarah said...

*LOL* That's exactly what's at my desk, too! A chair from my kitchen table is in front of a desk from the early 50's (making it way too high to type on)...and here I am *giggle*

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