Stay comfortable on the computer

We spend more and more time on the computer, and therefore it is very important to be comfortable, and above all in the correct position.

Using a correct position allows you to spend many hours on the computer, without suffering from back pain, neck pain, various hand pains, such as the carpal tunnel.

This article is not intended to replace your doctor’s advice on ergonomics, but I’m glad to share my experience of almost 20 years of computer use, and in different environments/offices.

But what is the correct position to be comfortable? Let’s say that the ideal position is a combination of several factors. Of course, it is possible to apply even one or more of my indications.

Monitor

The monitor should be positioned in such a way that, from a seated position and an erect back, our eyes point to the center of the monitor. If you are now on a desk, and notice that this is not the case, this is the first thing you can correct.

Vesa bracket for desk monitor

If you use a desktop or all-in-one computer, it usually involves lifting the monitor, for example placing a box/container under the monitor base (be careful that everything is stable!). Alternatively, which I highly recommend and had a great time with, a “Vesa” bracket with height adjustment and 360 ° position. This will allow you to easily position the monitor exactly where you are most comfortable.
NB. The “Vesa” type supports are standard, ie all monitors have compatible holes on the back and only need 4 screws (usually already supplied with the monitor).

What if you have a notebook/laptop? In that case, I recommend the stands (also adjustable). I prefer them without noisy cooling fans.

Position of the arms

A very common mistake and this is easily solved is the position of the arms. Your arms should rest on the desk. This is so that the weight is discharged, instead of forcing the cervical to contract.
The keyboard will then be positioned in the rear position, making sure that at least half of the arm is resting on the desk.
Postura corretta e postura sbagliata - stare comodi

Keyboard and mouse

There are many ergonomic keyboards, which my colleagues say are very comfortable, even though I personally don’t I have never owned one. Here are a few:

Instead the Trackball mouse was another nice surprise. At the beginning, let’s say for the first few weeks, it’s a bit of a struggle, but then it’s a great convenience. I’ve been using it for about 10 years!
Ideal for those suffering from pain in the wrist/carpal tunnel, as only the thumb moves and the wrist remains motionless, and the weight is unloaded on the palm.

Chair

First of all it takes a good session, for example I recommend the famous Variable Balans ergonimic chairs by Stokke Varier that I review in an article. Like all quality things, they cost a little more than the average, but they are truly effective and you will not regret it. Avoid economic imitations, as Stokke/Varier chairs are patented and the result of years of research on ergonomics and health.

These chairs allow you to unload your weight on your knees, and even if you don’t seem to assume many different positions. Putting yourself in strange positions (the typical elongated legs under the desk, which destroy the lumbar spine) as well as being impossible, is no longer necessary.
The first few days may seem strange, but then I guarantee you that you will not be able to do without it!

Desk

The office desk must be of the right size: i.e. allow the arms to be comfortable and that the monitor/keyboard/mouse are in the correct position.

The height of common office desks is generally correct.
One thing I do not recommend is to use mini-desks or adapt other furniture in order to use them as a desk, in general they are very uncomfortable and for prolonged use they are absolutely not good.

In the Nordic countries (or at least I have seen them only here) the desks have the electric height adjustment. This means that through two buttons (up/down) I can position it exactly where I want.
Not only that, I can also lift it up to use it on my feet. This is very convenient even when you want to discuss with a colleague, it allows us to stand at the same height, to be comfortable both and communication is much more effective.

Scrivania regolabile in altezza Stare in piedi al computer

Office use

For those who use the computer in the office, and therefore often have to do several tasks at the same time – such as reading mail, writing a document, or entering data in the management system – I recommend the use of the dual monitor. Or use two screens instead of one.

By now all desktop and portable computers have this possibility. You need – in addition to a second monitor – only an additional VGA/HDMI/DVI/DisplayPort connector and to set the “extend desktop” mode to both monitors.
So we can move (dragging) the programs from one monitor to another, as if we had a single large monitor.

Doppio schermo - dual monitor

This will allow you to avoid constantly switching between programs, losing concentration and getting tired much less. Seeing is believing!
To know that those who do a very technical job (CAD drawing, programming etc. etc.) could even use 3 monitors (like me).

Docking station

Another convenient equipment is the docking station, which allow you to make a laptop, a computer desktop. In practice, the laptop hooks/inserts over the docking station and the latter makes its USB ports available, videos, etc. and we do not have to reconnect all the cables every time (which will now be fixed on the docking station). In this way we can take advantage of the convenience of the two types. Very comfortable!
Warning: docking stations are usually specific to a computer model and cost at least 100/150 euros. Here are some examples:

NB. Be careful not to get confused with “hard disk docking stations” which have a completely different purpose.

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