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.