Healthy computer use depends on taking regular breaks and making sure your computer is set up in a way that is good for your body. This is easier said than done, particularly if you have a large amount of work to get done. If you manage to adopt good habits you will find that your concentration and productivity improves, and you will be less likely to experience negative symptoms such as eyestrain, headaches and acheyness.
The way your work station is set up has an impact on your physical health, levels of fatigue and concentration. It is also important to take regular breaks help to support muscle aches, eye strain and stress; breaks can also improve your concentration and productivity.
When working on a computer, check that your:
- Feet are flat on the ground
- Forearms are parallel to the ground (your arms should be at a 90 degree angle)
- Wrists should be relaxed and not have to flex up or down to touch the keyboard – preferably they should ‘float’ over the keyboard slightly
- Back is supported
- Monitor is a good distance from your eyes (approximately the distance given by holding out your hand to point at your screen)
- Your eyes are looking at the top part of the screen
You might need to adjust the height of your chair to make these adjustments, if your feet don’t touch the ground then you could consider using a footrest.
If you are working on a laptop, it is recommended that you use a laptop riser with an external keyboard and mouse so you are not hunched over your screen. Additionally, using a laptop riser improves airflow and helps to lengthen the lifespan of your laptop.
The recommendations above are for general advice and may not meet the requirements of people who have additional requirements related to a visual or physical issue – please speak to a member of the Learning Support and Development Service for advice about support available.