Dear Lifehacker, My job puts me in front of a computer from the moment I arrive until quitting time. How do you keep your eyes healthy when you have to stare at a screen all day? Sincerely, Worried About Eyestrain
Tagged With ergonomics
Laptops are uncomfortable. But you can fix that if you're willing to look just a little weird. The key is in the just a little. Today Wall Street Journal tech columnist Christopher Mims tweeted a photo of his mobile work station. Mims uses a wireless mouse, foldable keyboard and laptop stand to make an ergonomic but efficient setup when he's working at a cafe.
Absenteeism is a massive impost on businesses. A recent survey has found that workers are, on average, away from work for about 9.5 days per year. With the average work week nudging towards 41 hours per week according to the ABS many of us are spending a lot of time at work in potentially unhealthy positions. Belinda Lyone, the general manager at family owned business COS, is involved in supplying offices with office equipment and is deeply concerned at how our work environments are making us less healthy. That's bad for business but, more importantly, bad for all of us.
The dual-monitor setup is an enticing way to make it look like you're extra-productive. Multiple monitors just scream power user. Practically, however, the set-up can be more of a hindrance than a help. What if using a single display allowed you to improve your focus and get even more work accomplished?
I've been a Mac user for a decade, but I've always hated Apple's default one-button mouse, and I've never gotten comfortable with trackpad gestures. I grew up using a three-button mouse on the family Amiga. Years later, I loved scroll wheels, trackballs, and mice with thumb buttons, but I wanted more.
The internet is saturated with advice around maintaining good posture (guilty!), but it's not as if you'll be dragged off to "bad posture" prison so what's the big deal? Your muscles start to tighten up, weaken or become inhibited to establish your new "norm", but these norms aren't ideal for everyday living.
By now, everyone knows that sitting all day is damaging your body, so it's important to move around and stay active. But how you sit between those breaks is just as important. Physiotherapist Joanne Gough has a quick video outlining the ideal sitting posture and how to set up your workspace accordingly.
Do you ever have a stiff neck tingling in your fingers or forearms, lower backache or tired eyes? If so you could be suffering from an MSD or musculoskeletal disorder, the most common of which is RSI or repetitive strain injury that many people suffer from who were not taught how to touch type. Here's how to set up a healthy, ergonomic workspace to keep you comfortable and injury-free.
OS X: Odds are you could probably improve your posture a bit while you work, and Nekoze is a fun little app that will help you do it. Nekoze takes the form of a cat that keeps an eye on your posture while you sit at your desk. If you slouch too much, the cat will flash a warning on screen, telling you to sit up straight.
We've known for some time that too much sitting increases your risk of diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and early death. But until now it's been unclear how much standing during the work day may counter this increased risk.
In a letter to Felice Bauer in 1912, philosopher Franz Kafka lamented, "time is short, my strength is limited, the office is a horror, the apartment is noisy, and if a pleasant, straightforward life is not possible then one must try to wriggle through by subtle manoeuvres." Modern workers may well empathise with Kafka's description of his workplace.