• Lisa Barday

Solving For Ergonomics - If You Only Bought One thing

If you are working at home and if you are using only a laptop, whether its temporary or permanent, by now you are likely experiencing some fatigue and discomfort if you don’t have an adequate ergonomic set up of your furniture and technology. Not all of us have access to the right resources and if your company has not provided for that or if you don’t have the budget to invest in new furniture and technology, all is not lost. By investing in just one item, you can have a measurable improvement and it costs the same as a couple of fancy cups of coffee.

What is this magical item? Why, its simply a wireless keyboard and mouse set. That’s it, easy peasy! Options for keyboard and mouse sets abound and they are easy and fast to obtain. You don’t need fancy features or shapes if you don’t want to make the extra cost investment, just the basic style will do.

So, why is a mouse and keyboard so important? First, while laptops are great for portability and they allow us to work almost anywhere at any time, they are poorly designed for ergonomics. For proper posture we want to have our keyboard height level with our elbows while bent at a ninety-degree angle and with our forearms parallel to the floor. Then, we want our monitor height set, so the top of the screen is level with our eyes thus avoiding bending our head forward to view our screen. With the design of a laptop, screen and keyboard attached together, its physically impossible to meet both of those ergonomic requirements with a single piece of equipment. One will always be compromised.

If we are using a wireless keyboard and mouse, we can then take our laptop and place it up on a stand or even a box or a few books to get the screen positioned in the right spot for our eye comfort. Separating this equipment gives us lots of flexibility and allows us to get into the right posture, thus improving our comfort and reducing fatigue.

When the screen of our laptop is down on our desk, our eyes become unhappy quickly and we slump forward, rolling our shoulders so we can drop our head lower to see the screen. This is our body’s subconscious attempt to make our eyes happy, but it comes at the sacrifice of other body parts. No one would intentionally sit this way all day long as its so uncomfortable yet, we catch ourselves in this poor posture usually because our back, neck or shoulders start to hurt, then we sit up straight. Before we know it, we are right back in that poor posture again a short while later. This hamster wheel of posture adjustment can really have a negative impact over time.

The simple step of adding a keyboard and mouse can take us off the hamster wheel and get us back on the right track of sitting upright while viewing our laptop screen. Here, good alignment is our friend, and we will automatically have a better outcome. So, as you can see, a little investment can go a long way!

If you need assistance with your workspace set up or a personalized workstation assessment, contact us for more information. We would be thrilled to help you Be Well while you work.

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