Rules of healthy work at the computer
This recommendations compiled from various sources around the Internet (see list below).
An increased number of computer workstations in the work place have resulted in health concerns related to vision and body aches and pains. Problems associated with computer workstations are generally temporary and can often be solved using simple corrective measures.EYES AND VISION
There are a number of symptoms that may be experienced by computer operators. These symptoms include: visualfatigue, blurred or double vision, burning and tearing eyes, headaches and frequent changes in eyeglass prescription. One eye problem, called Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), is afflicting more and more people who find themselves constantly in front of computer screens. There is no scientific evidence that computer work causes permanent eye damage, but the temporary discomfort that may occur can reduce productivity, because lost work time and reduce job satisfaction.
Our eyes influence our entire body. For example, if you eyes need to look upward to view a monitor, then your neck and back will also tilt upward. This can have negative impact on the body by restricting blood flow and circulation. Various medical institutions have developed advices to help you.
- Blink often. The average blink rate drops by more than 50% when looking at a monitor. Decreased blink rate can result in drying your eyes out.
- Close your eyes periodically. You can place the palms of your hands over your eyes for approximately one minute every 30 minutes to warm and relax your eye muscles.
- Avoid sources of glare including windows, overhead lighting, light colored walls and clothing.
- Choose full spectrum or soft fluorescent lighting and/or task lighting.
- Remember "20/20/20." Every 20 minutes take 20 seconds to focus on an object 20 feet away to relax the eye muscles.
- Make sure items you are viewing (computer, documents, etc...) are located at a height and distance that does not require moving your head up, down or to the sides.
- Adjust monitor refresh rate to 75 hz or above. A refresh rate slower than 75 hz can cause eye strain.
- Adjust the monitor screen resolution, Internet browser text, and font default on other applications so the text is easy to read. Recommended: 600x 800 or above screen resolution.
- If you wear progressive or multifocal lenses or contacts, consider using computer glasses.
- Have yearly eye exams.
Musculoskeletal problems occurring with computer use may range from simple muscle fatigue or neck and back ache to cumulative trauma disorders. Cumulative trauma disorders are associated with tasks that require repetitive motions occurring over long periods of time. The two that may be experienced by keyboard users include Tenosynovitis and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS).
Tenosynovitis is an inflammation of the sheaths through which the tendons of the fingers pass. It is caused by rapid flexing of the fingers and wrists. Symptoms are pain in the wrist and back of the hand. Tendonitis, an inflammation of the tendon itself, may also be a problem for computer users.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition caused by compression or squeezing of the median nerve which passes through the carpal tunnel of the wrist bones. Pressure on the nerve causes numbness, tingling, burning or pain in the palms, fingers or wrists. The problem can intensify over time, spreading up the arm and weakening the muscles, so that one may drop objects being carried or fail to sense hot or cold. CTS can be aggravated by swelling of the tendon sheaths such as in tenosynovitis.
Musculoskeletal complaints involving muscular fatigue or cumulative trauma disorders are usually the result of the following conditions:
- Maintaining an unnatural or unhealthy posture while using the computer
- Inadequate lower back support
- Static load placed on the body by sitting in the same position for an extended period of time (i.e., turning head to the side to view poorly placed document)
- An ergonomically poor workstation design
Read here about requirements to computer workplace equipment: http://www.ehs.ohio-state.edu/index.asp?PAGE=ohse.computer
The following tips may also help prevent musculoskeletal problems:
- Provide a 15 minute break for every two hours of continuous computer use
- Alternate work tasks
- Use a stretching routine to relax the body
- Keep the mouse at keyboard level
- Do not grip the mouse tightly
- Hold the mouse lightly with all fingersclick gently
- Click gently
There are some rules on which depends productivity of labor. These rules were established in the early of XX century by Russian physiologist N.E.Vvedensky (http://www.psylist.net/slova/?id_slovar=1759). He discovered that:
- The amount of product that is made during the period of time depends on the state of your organism. If you work in definite rhythm and periodically take breaks for rest then the longer you work the higher is your productivity – your organism gradually obtains “inertia of work”. During short periods of rest it doesn’t looses this inertia, but reconditions itself, and from iteration to iteration activate all functions of all systems of organism. You should know that during mental tasks not only brain but all organism works and to make it start working a small time is needed after every period of rest. The longer is the rest the longer is period. That is why the break between iterations shouldn’t be more than 10 minutes. After 4-5 iterations 30-60 minutes break is needed. And after 10 hours of work it should be finished. The duration of work periods should be between 45 and 90 minutes.
- If person decide not to do periodical breaks because of lack of time, his productivity decreases, appears oppression. And the longer is the period of such work the more injury he makes to his organism – appear overfatigue and overstrain, at first sharp, later chronic. This leads to lost of attention and mistakes in work. And to correct such mistakes more time is needed than it would be spent on rest