I just saw a question on life hacker about why you would want a touch screen PC. The thing I found interesting is the talk of ‘Gorilla arm’ whereby your arm gets fatigued because of having to be in an unnatural position for long periods. There are studies done on this topic such as ‘Human arm stiffness characteristics during the maintenance of posture’ and ‘Dynamic and loaded impedance components in the maintenance of Human Arm Posture’.
The biggest thing you have to remember is
- Ergonomics are important whether you’re using a laptop, desktop, mobile or tablet
- As a developer you should imprint ergonomics into your daily routine. Reduce your stress, stay healthy, alternate between a standing and seated desk and most importantly, be considerate to your poor wrists.
- If you’re not a developer, but still use technology, learn about the best ergonomical positions for that device. Then teach your family, kids especially about this. The sooner you teach them and imprint upon them the importance of ergonomics, the better it will be for them in the long run by reducing injuries.
There are numerous studies done on tablet size and usage position:
- Stanford – Ergonomics Guidance for Mobile Devices
- University of California – Ergonomics Journal Articles
- Harvard – Reducing risk of head and neck pain from tablet computer use
- Ergonomics is Good for Business
The image above shows just how complicated ergonomics is from a business perspective. Getting businesses to change their approach to ergonomics is a slow process and neither you or I have the time to pursue such a goal. Take matters into your own hands. After all this is your health and your life. So what can you do?
Companies have been creating ergonomic products to use with computers for a while. Ergotron is probably the best known manufacturer of single and multiple monitor arms.
See LifeHackers post on Ergonomics for more info. Here are some noteworthy posts.
- Five Best Office Chairs
- How to Ergonomically Optimize Your WorkSpace
- Practice Good Posture from Bed
- Keep Computer and Smartphone Screens from Destroying your Eyes
- You’re Holding it Wrong: Here’s How to Hold Your Touch Screen Gadgets Correctly
- How to Choose the Perfect Mouse and Keyboard
- Test Your Back and Neck Posture Against a Wall
If you do one thing this year, invest in your health. We need you. (NOTE TO SELF: EXERCISE YOU LAZY SOD!)
The self note at the bottom applies to me too 🙂
I have become the master of excuses when it comes to exercising. But no more. The wife and I are pushing each other to exercise so less excuses. 🙂
Good post, I wished more companies made more than half-hearted attempts when buying ergonomic equipment. Apart from the gel keyboard strip and maybe an ergonomic mousepad that seems to be the extent of it.
I need to figure out how to convince my company to spring for the Ergotron standing desk. That thing looks amazing.
Some companies are better than others at this. I’ve just accepted that this is in my hands now and take an ergonomic keyboard and mouse to work. Then I try to take breaks and walk around when possible.
If your company goes for that desk, that would be awesome. Good luck. 🙂