Computer use has long since found its way into companies and educational institutions as well as into private households. Today, more than 84% of all European households in Germany have at least one computer. Many companies are no longer able to operate without being online, and PCs are also replacing blackboards or paper and pencil at schools and universities across the board.
Combined with the professional use of the computer, it requires in most cases the use of powerful PC input devices - such as the mouse or the keyboard.
But watch out! Incorrect use and unsuitable or unergonomic devices are increasingly leading to health problems, because both can put particular strain on our cervical spine, our muscles and also our joints (mainly in the shoulder and hand).
This makes us ill in the long run and inevitably limits the workload as well as the quality of work. Sick days are the consequence and the personal quality of life suffers at the latest when the problems become chronic.
But how can you counteract this pain? If you spend a lot of your working day at the computer, a back-friendly design of the workplace is an indispensable aid.
In addition to lighting, space, room climate and furniture, ergonomic PC input devices such as mouse and keyboard are of course among the most important components of an ergonomic workplace design.
However, different people have different preferences. How good that you can find the right input devices for your preferred application:
The mouse should permit an ergonomically appropriate working position that counteracts problems in the wrist joint and in the linked chain of joints and muscles up to the cervical spine.
An alternative to the conventional mouse is a centred computer mouse. This is characterised by the fact that it can be operated with both hands and is positioned close to the body. This also avoids muscular strain in the neck area and problems in the wrist.
An ergonomic keyboard allows to hold the her hands in a physically appropriate way, in order to help to prevent tension- and stress-related pain.
Both computer mouse and keyboard can be arranged flexibly and operated without interference. A health-promoting position of the fingers, hand and wrist is ensured by the design and handling. The use of the work equipment does not cause any additional stress on the psyche, body and eyesight.
Basically, light-coloured keyboards with dark lettering offer a higher-contrast vision. This is more relaxing and less tiring for the eyes.
While handling all these input devices, generally the upper and lower arm should preferably be held at right angles to keep the load of the arm as close as possible to the spinal column. In this context it is also important to consider the height of the working surface, the desk and the adjustment of the chair.
Every increase in distance between hands and spinal column results in higher static strain which can cause problems. It is beneficial to the health to keep the input devices as close as possible to the body. The so-called "long arm" position frequently causes problems in the shoulders. The further the hand is from the body, the greater the strain in the cervical column. This can cause stress and tension. It must be possible to rest the wrist joints in relaxed fashion when not entering data on the computer, e.g. with an integrated wrist support or a forearm rest.
PC input devices are an important part of the office workstation: Their functionality depends on the entire workplace being ergonomically designed.
Contour Design Nordic A/S*
Nyropsgade 39-41, 1st floor
1602 Copenhagen V
Contact: Rob Dimmer – Channel Manager UK & Ireland
phone: +44 7428 201469
Logitech Europe SA**
Daniel Borel Innovation Center
R-Go Tools B.V.***
Ergonomic, anatomically correct working at the computer
Natural, fatigue-free working at the computer