What’s important? A chair and a tray

by Professor Ergo on November 6, 2008

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A question we are asked most frequently is “What are the most important office ergonomic products for me?”.  Ergonomic research has found that assuming a neutral and supportive posture while working at the computer is very difficult without an ergonomic chair and keyboard tray.  A good chair is the best place to start.  It will set the basis for your posture and support you properly while working.

Some of our favorite ergonomic chairs are the Steelcase Amia, Steelcase Leap, Humanscale Liberty, Humanscale Freedom, Nightingale CXO, All Seating CPOD and any custom fit Bodybilt or Neutral Posture chair. Use of a keyboard tray is best way to keep your wrists straight while mousing and keyboarding.  It also eliminates any need to reach for your keyboard and mouse.

Keyboards and mice that are positioned too high or low actually force the user to raise their shoulders or type with their wrist bent. Your keyboard and mouse should basically be at lap level and usable with your upper arms at your sides and your forearms angled slightly downward.  It is important to avoid reaching for the mouse. There are many ergonomic chairs and keyboard trays on the market today.  Our favorite high end keyboard tray is made by Humanscale. We also like this economy keyboard tray that is very functional.  A good keyboard tray will easily adjust both height and tilt while providing enough space for your keyboard and mouse.

After setting up your chair and keyboard tray, select an ergonomic mouse that functions well. Additionally if you type a lot, get a keyboard that will allow you to type with your wrists as straight as possible.  We see far more people with discomforts due to mousing, so pay special attention to your mouse use.  I’ll write a separate blog on mousing later.

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Written by Professor Ergo

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