Taking my lead from Steve Caplan’s computer-work related pain, I take a brief look at setting up your computer workstation properly.
When I was a Ph.D. student in England, for a time I suffered chronic pain around the right shoulder blade. After a little reading and some experimentation, I came to believe the cause was a poor set-up for my computer desk.
Having put the computer desk layout right I’ve rarely had this pain again, despite working most of the day on computers–and then some time in the evening too–for years.
There are plenty of websites around describing a good set-up for a computer workstation, like the one below from the Computer Workstation Ergonomics page at the website of the Safety & Health division of The University of Western Australia:
If you (or your students, staff, etc.) are going to be working at a desk for any real length of time, I think it’s well worth the effort to set it up properly.
When I look at (biology) students working away at their desks, I have to admit I worry that their computer set-up is less than ideal. Most full-time computer workers (secretaries, programmers, computational biologists, etc.) will–I hope–have been offered appropriate desks, etc., but I still see a lot of ‘make do’ in university departments.
The basics are covered in the graphic and the accompanying article, but I’d like to draw to attention two factors I found particularly relevant for me, one of which isn’t mentioned there.