If you feel pain in your neck, back, shoulders, wrists or arms and you believe it is caused by using the computer you are probably right, and you are not alone. Millions of people worldwide are afflicted with various computer-related injuries and conditions which can be downright debilitating if not just a minor annoyance. Computer neck pain and computer back pain are the most common complaints but wrist and hand pain associated with the use of a standard keyboard and mouse is also highly reported and documented. If left untreated, meaning your computing behavior never being modified, what starts as minor wrist or hand pain can lead to a serious Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
"No Pain Computing" is highly sought-after by many but few really go through with what it takes to end the pain. Unfortunately, most of the ergonomic products available for sale that are designed to help alleviate some of the pain and strain associated with daily computing are very expensive, usually outside of the budget of a normal computer user. In addition, most people experience the most pain or discomfort while they are using the computer at their job or work, so it wouldn't make sense to invest hard earned money into furniture and equipment to bring to your job. Most companies do not set aside funds to ensure each employee's workstation is up to par ergonomically, because it eats into their profits. However, some smart businesses are now realizing how much they can increase the productivity of their work force by giving them more ergonomically-correct computer setups.
If you want to try to better prevent developing any repetitive strain injuries there are various ergonomic products readily available. The following items are popular initial ergonomic upgrades people make to their workstations.
Ergonomic Office Chairs
Although sometimes a bit expensive, ergonomic chairs are a fantastic addition to any computer desk.
There are different types that are usually sold so be sure you choose the right one for your situtation by reading these 7 tips for choosing the best ergonomic chair
. You have task chairs, best for people who frequently work for long hours at the computer, and adjustable office chairs, which are more geared toward comfort and support when sitting in meetings, conferences, or any scenario where long periods of computer use are not very frequent. It's hard to say what the best ergonomic computer chair is, but if you go by sales then its safe to recommend the Herman Miller Aeron chair, Humanscale Freedom chair and the Neutral Posture 8000 Series as the best chairs.
Ergonomic Mouse Devices
The best ergonomic mice are those that reduce muscle tension in your hand, wrist and forearm. There are dozens of different models for sale online (not so much in retail stores) but only a few really work well. The Evoluent vertical mouse
is basically the top dog of ergonomic mouse devices
, and it has been for over 5 years. The main principle behind its design is the sideways position it puts your hand and arm in, thus greatly reducing forearm twisting and needless muscle strain. Many competitors have tried to imitate the evoluent mouse
but the knock-offs never catch on. As far as cordless devices the Logitech V470 is a best-selling bluetooth mouse right now, and there are also various ergonomic trackball mouse models available with wireless capabilities. Trackball mice are perfect for people with disabilities and restricted movement.
Keyboard Tray Systems
Being one of the more common workstation upgrades, an adjustable computer keyboard tray system serves many functions (view more information about these at www.KeyboardTray.org
). First, it takes your keyboard and mouse off of the top of your desk and usually positions them just below the work surface. This frees up space on your desktop to create more room to work. More importantly, installing an ergonomic keyboard tray platform can reduce uneccessary tension in the arms and shoulders when typing and mousing. Keyboard trays, like those sold at Ergo Experts
put your input devices in the "neutral reach" zone making it easier and less painful to work on the computer for long hours.
People use computers nearly every day of their lives nowadays and it's becoming more and more important to make sure we use them correctly to avoid potential damaging effects. An ergonomic keyboard positions your hands and arms in a more neutral posture which increases your comfort while typing and decreases the risk of hurting yourself. These devices look unusual compared to standard models but it's important to get past looks if you want to do the right thing for yourself. The two most popular ergonomic keyboards are manufactured by Microsoft and Goldtouch. The Microsoft ergonomic keyboard 4000 retails for around $59.95, and the Goldtouch split keyboard will run you approximately $130.00. Learning how to type on this type of input device may take a few days or weeks, but this time investment will pay off big in the end. It will make you more productive, you will probably end up typing faster, and you will greatly reduce your chances of developing any type of repetitive strain injury. You can read more interesting information about these at www.ErgonomicKeyboards.org.