Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Stand up. Move now! "Are you using your laptop unsafely?"

Lacking self-discipline, I force myself to get up and move every hour when working on computer.  
How? Remote Timer!
WHY?  [more below from UC Berkeley]
Laptop configuration is not ergonomically desirable. Sitting without moving much for longer than 60 minutes is not healthy for human beings. That probably includes raptly attentive students during college lectures!
So, I always have my computer monitor physically detached from my computer keyboard - whether desktop or laptop - even when traveling (bring extra keyboard with laptop - put laptop on overturned ice-bucket on desk in hotel room). And I avoid zombie-like immobility when working.

Plug computer monitor power cables into a VERY long extension cord.
Plug extension cord into timer in an outlet in basement.
Set timer for 60 to 75 minutes.
One hour later, monitors go entirely black. No matter how intently I'm working, I must stop immediately, but my work is safe.
Walk through several rooms and up and down flight of stairs to get to the timer, reset it, and return to my desk.

Thus, I force myself to move and get at least a little exercise!

Have you found a better way that does not rely on self-discipline any more than this? Let me know.

WHY - ERGONOMICS@WORK UC Berkeley's Ergonomics Program for Faculty and Staff

"Take frequent stretch breaks every 30 to 45 minutes"

1 comment:

  1. Nathan6:23 AM

    "Plug computer monitor power cables into a VERY long extension cord.
    Plug extension cord into timer in an outlet in basement."

    I could have sat here all day and I'd've never thought of anything like this. But it's a brilliant idea, having your screen go blank and having the "reset" button as far away as you can get it.

    The only thing I've done that even came close to this was installing one of those programmes that pops up and does something irritating whenever it's time to take a break. But the only discipline that took on my part was to resist the temption to press the "skip" button. Those programmes are great for reminding you to take breaks but probably not as good when it comes to forcing you to take breaks. Though there may be some that don't have a skip button I suppose.

    I've only had to use my laptop in the long term a couple of times, when my main computer went wrong. But it didn't take long for my neck and wrists to start complaining, so I ended up getting myself a laptop stand. Mostly it just gathers dust now but I want it there in case my computer goes wrong again.


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