Ergonomics sounds really boring. Like when someone not interested in economics shivers at the sound of the word. In fact, it is the study of how we are postured while working at a computer, with the intention to design the perfect posture so as to avoid musculoskeletal injuries.
Ok, let's simplify. Sit correctly and you won’t get any pains in your muscles, bones, and joints.
Here are the tips to a perfect posture while using technological devices:
Feet planted on the ground: Your feet should, first of all, be able to reach the ground, and second of all, be comfortably flat. It is inadvisable to wear heels as this puts extra pressure on the feet to maintain a posture. If you enjoy wearing heels, then perhaps you will also enjoy to kick them off under your desk. Unnecessary pressure on the feet is critical here. If you don’t feel comfortable then you can use a footrest or stool. The height of these can be corrected to suit the height of the user.
Now, this bear is going to have terrible back pain because his feet are not touching the floor. S/he should consider a footrest!
Thighs horizontal to the desk: So this may seem like it's already the case, but if you really look into it, your thighs may not be straight! Check your seat, does it sink at the butt area? This would raise your knees, causing your back to strain forward. Or, your chair might dip at the knees, straining your back to keep straight. And neither should you curl up on the couch with your laptop while typing. Just because you are not in an office doesn't mean you shouldn’t pay attention to your posture!
This is a great posture! But a chair is highly advisable...
Back Straight: This is the clincher of the good posture. It has been said by parents since the dawning of time at the dinner table “sit up straight!”. This entails having your spine from your buttocks to your neck in a straight line. Shoulders will need to go back, chest will need to go out, chin may need to go up. It is too easy (and seemingly comfortable) to sit slouched over your computer, phone or device. It is almost as if our bodies naturally fall into this position, like the first man. But unlike the first man, many of us need to maintain this seated position for hours on end to get the meat and berries on the dinner table.
"So easy a caveman can do it."
Of arms and mice: Your elbow should be at a 90° angle - upper arm close to your straightened side and forearm straight out ahead of you on the mouse. Your forearm though should not rest on the table, or at least not your hand while you navigate the mouse. You can get special mouse-pads that have a wrist rest (try saying ‘wrist rest’ out loud 10 times fast!) to avoid pain and injuries in your wrist.
I really don’t know how effective this would be... I guess your arm would be sore after a while… and look at his shoulders! Completely slouched.
Let your eyes look straight ahead: When our eyes are looking straight ahead then our head and necks are in a naturally good position. If we have to look up at a screen then our heads will tilt back creating a strain, and the same if we have to look down. If you are a tall person, place your monitor up on a box or large book to ensure that it is straight in front. Not only can this strain your neck, but your back and eye muscles! We have to be very careful with our eyes while looking at screens so let’s avoid unnecessary straining where possible!
Yup, no doubt about it. This person spent way too much time in front of a screen!
Other Devices: So it’s all well and good talking about ergonomics for the office, but what about at home on your PC or laptop? Or even our tablets and cell phones need good ergonomics. When you are on your cell, try not to slouch, just be conscious of your posture. If you do want to curl up on the sofa, try to straighten your back and raise your device to eye-level. Even lying in bed is not going to be the best - sorry!!