Published on July 7th, 2015 | by Jugal Parekh


Set your computer up for comfortable use

Driving, and sitting long hours by a desk working on the computer are two of the major activities in an average UAEite’s working day life. This, more often than not, leads to backaches. A quick setup guide follows, discussing simple modifications that should make your computer use a bit more comfortable.

If you are using a desktop computer, ensure that the top edge of the monitor is at eye level. This will ensure that you look down at the screen (and not strain your neck), and blink often keeping your eyes hydrated.

If you are using a laptop, it is extremely important for your neck and eyes to invest in a laptop support/ stand. You can buy a reasonably priced one for AED 19 from IKEA, or the rather stylish roost, which gives a portable and ultra-light solution. If you have an external monitor hooked up, make sure that the top edge is again at eye level – you may have to adjust your chair for this.

Although it is a given that you would use an external keyboard with a desktop computer, it is recommended to use one (especially if you are using the stands) with the laptops as well. The basic principle of using the input devices (keyboards and mice) is to avoid stresses on your wrist and elbows. I cannot stress enough on avoiding putting weight on your elbow (while pondering, or holding your face in your hand). I personally suffered from a condition called cubital tunnel syndrome (lesser known as-evil twin of carpel tunnel syndrome), which is very uncomfortable and irritating; took a while to get it completely resolved.

There are many keyboards available, and it would take careful consideration of your lifestyle to choose one. Microsoft’s ergonomic keyboards have always been sought after by the heavy-users. They are a little pricey, and can take some getting used to, but once you do, you never want to use any other keyboard again! Check out Microsoft’s latest “sculpt ergonomic desktop” for a complete input solution. It is not designed for Mac use, but it works well – just remember to use the Windows key instead of Mac’s command key.

Some other quick tips

  • Keep hydrated
  • Take a break every 45 minutes, and stretch your body
  • Men – don’t keep your wallet in your trousers’ back pocket, or any other item there while sitting (this is a handy tip while driving as well).
  • Equalise the screen brightness to your ambient surroundings. It should not be brighter or duller. The screen should not act as a light source!
  • Speaking of light source, make sure there is no glare on your screen. Try to use indirect lighting.
  • Invest in a comfortable office chair – especially the ones with meshed fabric. They keep the body cool along with giving postural support.

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About the Author

Jugal Parekh is professionally involved with product & services design & development, with special focus on healthcare. He is passionate about information – whether technological, philosophical, or business related. Currently, his setup combines Apple’s hardware with Google’s cloud, oh, with Windows 7 on Parallels (for the mac).

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