Workstation Ergonomics

Hey guys

I need to improve my workstation ergonomics, i have a desktop and a laptop that i use on a daily basis for software engineering.

check out workrave, it is a application that periodically reminds you to take breaks when on your computer.

The cheap option is to use books to prop up a monitor (assuming it does not have height adjustment)
The moderate option is looking into getting monitor stands
The more expensive option is getting height adjustable desk.

Monitor arms are helped me out of lot with workstation ergonomics, it lets me adjust the height and angle of both my monitors to suit my needs and I can also rotate them vertically which helps with web browsing/programming. There are also arms on the market that can mount a monitor and a laptop which could be a good option if you use both the desktop and laptop at the same time. Another benefit is that you get more space on your desk as the monitors are floating and the space can be used for other things.

I would recommend the Microsoft natural 4000 wired.There is a wireless version as well. I would also recommend the Logitec MX Master mouse. The mouse is as close as I have gotten to perfect. The keyboard is very cheap on Amazon.

I want to build a sit-stand desk for my main rig. Mostly because I get to play with actuators, and it should be fun!

I turned my desk into a standing desk by jacking it up with a car jack and shoving cinder blocks and some 2x6s under the feet. Works really well. Just wish my chair were a drafting-height chair so that I could actually sit when I need to. Kinda defeats the purpose when I have my shoulders looking like Samus.

I've heard a trackball is a more ergonomic alternative to a mouse. Never used one, so can't offer an opinion on it, but it's a thought.

In my experience, it just moves the strain of moving the mouse to your thumb. For some it's a nice alternative, but it's never really attracted me.

What I find works better is using keyboard shortcuts as much as possible and the mouse as little as possible. If I can hit Tab rather than moving the mouse, I will.

A good solution I would suggest for ergonomics is regular physical exercise - work the parts of your body that you use to operate a computer in the way that they're intended, do stretches, etc.

Ergonomics is a pretty blurry area straddling subjective and objective, so what works best for you or I may not work as well for someone else.

The first thing one needs is a good office chair. Please note: I specifically did not say racing chair.

In order to get my monitor high enough (the red dashed line shows eyes at top of screen),
I have used my tower on its side with the screen on top of the PC.

Note that the diagram above shows using a keyboard tray to get it lower. Nice!
I like to use a lap desk resting on my knees.

Not a real trackball... those thumb abominations need to die though...

Some nice trackballs:

Kingston expert
Kingston orbit
Logitech trackman (I think that's what it's called... ball on top not thumb)

the one I just ordered:

I have the first ever version of that. I highly recommend it. (Mine is from 89 and it connects over serial).

I would agree, but I have recently found that holding Ctrl, Alt, Etc. while reaching for another key puts strain on my hands. As much as I hate to, I have to go back to using a mouse sometimes.

I would disagree. I took masters engineering courses in Ergonomics. The word means: measuring the machine to fit the man. If it were possible to send an ergonomics expert to help set-up everybody on Earth's desk, I am sure the world would have better posture with fewer injuries.

It is hard as a consumer to guess what solution will work for them, which are properly designed and which are junk that sorta look ergonomic. The thing is that good ergonomics costs money up front, but saves you more money and health care costs in the long run.

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