Working at the computer should not be harmful to your health!
We take precautions when we exercise and play sports, why not do the same when we are working at our computers?
Dating all the way back to the 17th century, workers noted the importance of arranging their place of work or workstation in a healthy way.
The old Latin quote notes that "the maladies that afflict the clerks arise from three causes: first, constant sitting, secondly the incessant movement of the hand always in the same direction and thirdly the strain on the mind from the effort to not disfigure the books by errors." (quotation translated by Wilmer Cave Wright- Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1940).
In other words, workers have faced these problems for years and years.
Computer ergonomics, or the way we set up our computer workstations has been of interest to Edvinas Zelvaras, a Lithuanian entrepreneur and designer, so he came up with the ErgoRizer laptop and tablet stand.
Zelvaras has been selling these stands on Etsy and I was able to try one out recently, and I'm impressed.
This is from Zelvaras' product description on Etsy:
The most common forms of discomfort experienced by laptop users are often associated with incorrect positioning of the computer screen. Positioning the monitor too high or too low forces you to tilt your head and neck. Staying in such an awkward position, even for very short periods of time, can quickly lead to discomfort. Furthermore, this may cause poor posture, tension in the upper back and neck muscles, headaches, sleep disorders and even pain in the facial muscles.
ErgoRizer stand helps to solve this problem – it allows user friendly adaptation to the workstation for the laptop user. The stand has 4 positions so you can customize it to rise the screen to optimal level depending on your height and the height of your table and chair.
The basic principle of ergonomics is that the workstation should be comfortable for a person; not forcing a state of discomfort. Adjustable ErgoRizer laptop stand allows the user to tailor the workstation to suit individual needs for maximum comfort and productivity.
ErgoRizer stand is made of plywood, therefore it is stable and durable, although it weighs just 0.5 kg. It is compact when folded: 29x29x1.8 cm; fits laptops with screens up to 15.6".
Recently, universities like Cornell, Stanford, UC Davis, Virginia, UCLA and others have done research on workstation ergonomics, and I believe a product like this can help.
Putting your screen at eye-level is a big help to start with. The ErgoRizer also allows you to put your device in positions no other stand will allow. It's made very sturdy, looks almost like a piece of art, and it's really an expert piece of craftsmanship. It works with your laptop and all tablet devices.
The ErgoRizer follows along with these tips given by the University of Pittsburgh.
Avoid excessive reaching. Your keyboard, pointing device, files and telephone should be within easy reach.
When writing at the computer, avoid excessive reaching over the keyboard or work materials. A sturdy in-line copyholder can double as a writing surface if appropriately positioned.
Position the monitor so that the viewed part of the screen allows you to keep your neck in a neutral or straight position. The monitor should be centered directly in front of you. The top of the computer screen should be slightly below the top of your head, so that you are looking at it with a slightly downward gaze.
Position your monitor to eliminate excessive glare or reflections from windows and lighting.
Customize your computer by using your software. The screen font, contrast, pointer size, speed, and color can all be adjusted to maximize your comfort and efficiency.
Computer ergonomics is a big topic now, and will continue to be into the future. Employers who are interested in limiting absenteeism, the health of their workers, and in increasing worker productivity should do some research on computer ergonomics and possibly try out a few ErgoRizers.
The ErgoRizer comes in attractive colors: white, black, grey, red, blue, bright green, natural wood.