This guide provides important information on computer-related health and safety, to help you feel comfortable and be productive while using your computer to perform such tasks as typing or navigating with the mouse. Experts agree that positioning or using your computer inappropriately may cause pain, tingling, numbness, a burning sensation or stiffness in your hands, arms, shoulders, neck or other parts of your body. Please read this guide carefully.

Organizing Your Workspace

Your workspace should be well organized to prevent unnecessary injuries. This section highlights some tips and suggestions to help you properly set up your workspace.

2.1 Lighting Your Workspace

2.1.1 Pay attention to the type of ambient light
Direct lighting provides the best illumination, and minimizes the possibility of any physical discomfort, eyestrain or headaches. Ceiling-mounted lighting is recommended as it provides more even illumination.

2.1.2 Light levels should be suitable for your tasks
Too much or too little ambient light will make reading much more difficult, and increases eye strain and the chance of making reading or typing errors. Pay attention to the level of light and adjust it when you are uncomfortable.

2.1.3 Illumination should harmonize with your office colors
The illumination used should harmonize with your office colors. For example, warm white light will complement yellows and reds, while cool white light will complement blues and greens.

2.1.4 Optimize the color of your room
Painting or papering the walls in neutral colors can optimize illumination. Avoid dark ceilings, and use a non-reflective floor covering, such as carpet, wood or tile with a low reflectance.

2.2 Adjusting Your Chair

The basic principle is that you should feel comfortable sitting in your chair, with the backrest supporting your back, and a seat of sufficient size and at a suitable height.

2.2.1 Adjust the seat height
Adjust the height of the seat so that your feet are able to rest flat on the floor, with your knees are flexed at an angle within 3° of 90°.

2.2.2 Adjust the recline
Adjust the recline lock of the chair to allow the backrest to move with your back when you change posture, providing continuous support for your lower back.

2.2.3 Adjust the seat
The seat should allow around an inch (2.5 cm) on both sides of your legs, and should not put on any pressure on the back of your knees.

2.2.4 Adjust the armrest
Adjust the height, width, and position of your armrests to accommodate the way you work. Keep in mind that the armrests should not be used while typing or using your mouse.

2.2.5 Clear obstacles
Make sure there are no obstacles in your work environment that might hinder your movements while working at your computer. Also, check that any wheels on your chair are able to move smoothly.

2.3 Adjusting Your Monitor

Placing your computer monitor in a suitable position can help prevent neck or shoulder pain, as well as eyestrain.

2.3.1 Center your monitor
Your monitor should be positioned directly in front of you on your desk. Placing the monitor to the left or right of your body may cause neck and shoulder pain, due to twisting of the neck and the awkward posture.

2.3.2 Place the top part of the screen level with your eyes
Improper positioning of your monitor may lead to headaches or neck pain. Position the monitor so that your eyes are about 2" to 3" below the height of the top of the screen.

2.3.3 Tilt the monitor slightly upward
Tilting the monitor upward slightly allows you to view the entire screen more easily. However, tilting the monitor too far upwards may result in glare from overhead lighting.

2.3.4 Adjust the brightness of the screen to match your surroundings
Adjust the brightness of the screen to a level similar to that of the area directly behind the monitor. Wide disparities in brightness may lead to headaches or eyestrain, or force you to squint.

2.3.5 Adjust font sizes and color
The size of on-screen text should be at least two or three times the size of the smallest text that you can read. Black text on a white background is usually the easiest to read when word processing.

2.3.6 Reduce glare
Place your monitor in a position that allows comfortable viewing without glare problems, which may cause eyestrain or headaches.

2.3.7 Consider a monitor with an adjustable arm
A monitor with an adjustable arm enables users to maintain suitable monitor positioning when it is in use and to easily swing the monitor out of the way when it is not in use.

2.4 Setting Up Your Keyboard

Attention paid to the positioning and proper use of a keyboard can effectively reduce the risk of problems such as sore wrists or carpal tunnel syndrome.

2.4.1 Adjust the height of your keyboard
The ideal height for the keyboard should be just above your lap, lower than where most people usually position their keyboard. This ideal height allows the most comfortable typing, with the arms tilting slightly downwards and the elbows at a wider angle.

2.4.2 Adjust the back edge of your keyboard
If your keyboard is positioned lower than the desk surface, you should tilt the back edge down slightly, which will reduce strain on the wrists and provide better support. Avoid tilting the keyboard so that the top row of keys is obviously higher than the bottom row of keys.

2.5 Setting Up Your Mouse

Using your mouse improperly may cause a number of ailments such as sore wrists or aching shoulders. Use the following suggestions to create the best working environment for using a mouse.

2.5.1 Position your mouse close to your keyboard
Position your mouse close to your keyboard, within easy reach so that your elbows remain close to your sides. This will reduce the possibility of shoulder or neck pain caused by constant stretching.

2.5.2 Adjust your mouse's software controls
Your mouse's functions can be controlled through software, allowing you to adjust the speed at which the on-screen cursor moves, the time required between double-clicks, and so on.

2.5.3 Choose a proper mouse
Mice come in different sizes and shapes. Make sure to choose a mouse that fits comfortably in your hand.

Source : BenQ Singapore - Healthy Computing Guide