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Diary of a Maui Web Designer

Web Designing Ergonomics

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What I love about web designing is that I can work alone in my own space; however, working on websites involves very long days behind the computer. Although I try to get up and move around, it’s hard to break away, especially when I’m in the middle of some intricate code. I took my time to set up my work space so that it’s super functional, inspiring, and comfortable. My chair is ergonomically super, my screen and keyboard and the way I have my desk set up is perfect. And my lava lamp bubbles beside my computer screen somehow giving me groovy inspiration to keep on going on.

But, I have to admit… my back hurts, my neck creaks, and I know… yes, I know… it’s from sitting too long. It’s from not getting up. It’s from neglecting my yoga mat. I can hear my Mom’s voice… “Make sure you get up and move around. Sitting is no good.” But sheeessshhhh…. it’s hard to pull away, even if it’s for a short while.

slouching at the computerThere are ways to help the “sore back syndrome”. The first thing is to try to keep from slouching forward while working. This forces your back to bend, and your neck to get sore. Adjust that computer monitor. Make sure it’s not too low. It must be at eye level so that you don’t slouch, and make sure the monitor is within 18 to 24 inches.

I have a low profile keyboard. Most Macs come that way. If you’re on a PC, try to get a low keyboard, or try to adjust the height of your keyboard support.

Another thing you can do to help out your back and prevent back and neck aches is to make sure your telephone is within easy reach. My phone is right next to me, perfect for answering the phone right away without having to stretch or strain in an awkward position. I also use a headset which I like much better than cradling the phone between my ear and shoulder.

The other important thing is to take little breaks. Stand up. Stretch. Exercise is so important, and so is good nutrition and relaxation. I get the good nutrition and the good night’s sleep, but it’s the exercise… yesss…. the exercise…. I wonder, is it laziness or what?

Anyways, here is a great little animation that expresses this point in a nurturing way. No narration, just wonderful graphics and soothing music, to give us all a gentle reminder to take care of ourselves while we’re working behind the computer.

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