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ergonomic equipment
Thread poster: Susana Galilea
Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
Apr 8, 2003

I would appreciate first-hand recommendations concerning ergonomic office equipment. I am specifically interested in the following items: computer keyboard, mouse, and office chair.

Also interested in any other items any of you has found of particular help in reducing work-related strain.

Hope you\'re all taking the best care


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:37
French to Spanish
+ ...
Ergonomía y economía. Apr 8, 2003

Estimada Susana.

Tengo cinco puntos que comentarte:

1. es muy importante que la altura de tus codos estén a la misma que la del teclado y que no estén \"colgando\" en el aire, es decir, necesitan estar apoyados en las coderas de la silla. Está comprobado que si los codos están más abajo, a la larga se crea falta de circulación, y su consecutivo cansancio.

2. la silla, por lo tanto, debe tener coderas con altura ajustable, así como la silla en general (ya sabes, de esas que tienen un amortiguador que te permiten subirla o bajarla a tu antojo y comodidad), así como respaldo reclinable y ajustable a tu peso.

3. por lo general, las muñecas sufren mucho: primero, por estar demasiado dobladas por la diferencia de altura entre la mesa y el teclado y, segundo, porque el continuo roce con la mesa, o incluso con el borde de ésta, acaban por hacerte parecer un suicidio fallido. Solución perfecta: compra una especie de tabla (yo tengo una marca 3M, modelo WR410, en cualquier Office Max) rellena de gelatina suave pero firme, recubierta de un plástico de ídem características.

4. dispongo de un pequeño atril cerca de la pantalla del ordenador: muy útil para no estar con hojas sueltas que se divierten mucho deslizándose y volando por abajo de la mesa.

5. A mi derecha, coloqué una lámpara de \"arquitecto\" como la llamamos en México, que alumbre bien el teclado y lo dispuesto sobre el atril.

Para lo demás, ratón, teclado, etc., nada en particular. Me adapto bien con lo que tengo.

Ojalá te sirva.

Petons, y força al... etc.

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Marcus Malabad  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:37
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
ergonomic workstation Apr 8, 2003


Please check out the Web site below. I helped translated it two years ago and my part dealt with occupational and travel medicine.

Here\'s the link:

This answers your questions about an ergonomic workstation.


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Bruce Popp  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:37
French to English
Things I like Apr 8, 2003


Here are some things I like:

19\" monitor using (at least) 1280x1024 resolution, high-color and at least 75 Hz refresh rate

keyboard tray --- keeps the keyboard and mouse at the same height and just above my knees. I got one I could screw on to my existing desk.

Plantronics headset --- works with my cell phone and cordless phone, and I got a Panasonic phone with a built in jack so I can use it with the corded phone without an expensive adapter. This is great for taking notes while on the phone and greatly reduces neck strain.

I got a used office chair, it is much better than the one from Staples I used to have. Better padding, back is a good height and shape, and better adjustments.

I have a Microsoft ergonomic keyboard, although I\'m not sure whether it\'s any better than a regular keyboard.

That\'s what I came up with looking at what works for me. Your eyesight, neck and back may be different.


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Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:37
Italian to English
+ ...
s/b Apr 8, 2003

Definitely a screen filter. One evening I had a migraine which I\'m convinced was due to the screen flicker. Even if you can\'t see it, the screen is almost certainly flickering, so it\'s worth splashing out on. A computer sales rep told me to \"de-gauze\" the screen regularly - usually in the monitor menu - don\'t quote me on that one, I\'m sure a computer whizz will correct me.

Mouse - I have a Logitech mouse - a little pricey in my opinion but it is a major piece of equipment - which is very comfortable with scroll function, infrared, side button which takes you back a page etc. blah blah..Be warned! Eats batteries.

Wrist supports are handy - I have a gel keyboard and mouse support which only cost a few pounds.

[ This Message was edited by: awilliams on 2003-04-08 17:05]

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Amy Sommer  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:37
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
Office furniture Apr 8, 2003

I bought an office chair from IKEA that is great for long streches at the computer (slopes forward and doesn\'t cut off the blood supply to one\'s legs! Definitely inexpensive too! I also have a pull-out tray for my keyboard which frees up desk space and is much more comfortable to use as it is lower down.

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J Fox  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 07:37
German to English
+ ...
Workstation set-up Apr 8, 2003

Hi Susana

The recommendations above will help you get some good equipment. Something else you can think about is your workstation set-up - ie where all the equipment is in relation to you. I used to train call centre staff on this, it helps! Here are some tips:

Your screen - this should be around an arm\'s length away from you (with your hand stretched out) - although this varies for different people. Try varying it and see what\'s most comfortable.

Your keyboard - should be directly under your hands, when you sit at your desk with your arms bent ready to type, and elbows by your side. Don\'t have it too far away from the edge of the desk, or you\'ll have to stretch to type.

Your desk / chair height - this one is important but can be difficult to alter. When you sit with your shoulders relaxed and your hands on the keyboard, your elbows should be by your sides and your forearms should be either horizontal or sloping slightly downwards towards the keyboard, with your wrists horizontal. Keep your fingers relaxed. If your elbows are lower than your wrists you\'re in trouble - after a while it will start to hurt! You will get tense shoulders and arms. See if you can get your chair high enough / desk low enough so that your wrists are not above your elbows.

Chair back - the curve of your chair back should fit into the small of your back. adjust the height to fit.

Mouse - should be close to the edge of the desk and close to the keyboard, so that you don\'t have to reach out for it. Rest your hand on the mouse and use your whole arm from the shoulder to move the mouse. Don\'t use your wrist to move the mouse. Hold it lightly and don\'t squeeze it. Use keyboard shortcuts instead of the mouse where possible, to avoid tiring your wrists.

Phone - should be within arm\'s reach, so that you don\'t have to stretch for it.

Micropauses - give your hands and arms micropauses, ie 10 second breaks, as often as possible. Put your hands in your lap or hang them by your sides, whichever is most comfortable.

And finally - - this is not a substitute for professional advice, so don\'t sue me if it all turns to custard! No really, if you have any pain, do see a doctor / physio. It\'s easier to do something about it early on, but if you just leave it, it gets worse and can end up being permanent.

Here are some good links on workstation set-up:

Hope this helps

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Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
thanks much! Apr 12, 2003

These are all great pointers and very interesting links. Thanks everyone!

I was wondering if anyone had direct experience sitting on a physioball instead of a desk chair while working. I understand it promotes \"active seating\", thus preventing rigidity and bad posture (here\'s some info I have a ball at home, maybe I\'ll report back when I\'ve had a chance to try it.



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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:37
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Kinesis keyboard! Apr 12, 2003

After a bout of muscle inflammation in my arms last year which resulted in physical therapy, I started using a Kinesis Classic keyboard, which I find superior to the other ergonomic keyboards I tried. It has a split keyboard layout with concave keys (hard to imagine - see their Web site for photos). Some of the keys are relocated to reduce strain. Specifically, this is great if you do a lot of keyboard shortcuts, because it is arranged so that you use your thumb (strongest finger) rather than your pinkie (weakest) for Ctrl, Alt, etc. Drawbacks are that the new layout takes a couple of weeks to get used to and the keyboard costs in the $250 range. However, I have found it invaluable in reducing my symptoms and even find that I type much faster on it now that I have been using it for a while.

The Kinesis company also makes adaptive devices such as foot pedals you can use as mouse buttons.

I also like to use a trackball instead of a mouse because the mouse just hurts my wrist too much.

Increasing the display size of docs and the font size on Web pages can help with eye strain, but I agree that breaks are really important.

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