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HEALTHY COMPUTING EMAIL TIP 507: BEER BUDGET ERGONOMICS

Have you heard the saying, "Champagne tastes on a beer budget"? We often feel that way when we think of ergonomics. If you look at your workstation and think, "If only I had more money, I could have a better ergonomic set-up," you probably have a beer budget. Ergonomic changes don't necessarily have to cost a lot of money. What is required is
creativity. Help reduce discomfort caused by poor ergonomics and increase creativity when you implement BEER BUDGET ERGONOMICS.

HOW TO IMPLEMENT BEER BUDGET ERGONOMICS:

Take a moment to assess your workstation. Then explore the following inexpensive ergonomic solutions:

Desk too low: Place 2x4 boards, bricks, etc. under the legs of the desk.

Desk too high: Trim the legs or raise your chair and use a footrest or create a platform upon which you can sit.

Need a footrest: Use phone books or firm pillows.

No room for a mouse on your keyboard tray: Place a mouse bridge over the 10-key pad or use a c-clamp with a small board next to the keyboard tray to create a mouse pad.

No document holder: Prop a 1-inch 3-ring binder between the keyboard and monitor (use a small piece of anti-skid material or a large clip to keep documents from sliding). Or, if you are reading a book, use a fork to keep the pages open-place it across the top with the prongs slipped through the pages on the right and the handle pressing against the pages on the left.

Need a slant table for writing: Use hard cover 2-inch 3-ring binder with anti-skid material.

Uncomfortable chair: Use a pillow for better back support, remove the armrests if they get in the way of working at the keyboard, roll a towel and hang it over the back so it supports your spine and helps you to maintain a neutral posture, wrap the armrests with soft, spongy material if they are too hard, or sit on a large gym ball instead of a chair.

Incorrect keyboard tilt: Place a row of post-it pads underneath the front of the keyboard.

Sharp edges on the desk: Glue a strip of weather stripping to the edge.

Monitor too close: Move your desk away from the wall and push your monitor to the back.

Regardless of your ergonomic situation, always remember to take your micro and large movement breaks.

The Institute for Holistic Healing Studies and Human Resources sponsor the distribution of Healthy Computing Email Tips. Copyright 2009 Erik Peper, Ph.D. and Katherine Hughes Gibney. Permission to copy and distribute Healthy Computing Email Tips for personal use is granted. Distribution or copying of Healthy Computing Email Tips for commercial purposes is prohibited without prior written consent of the copyright holders.
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