COMPUTER SAFETY                                          




 A note of precaution regarding repetitive stress injuries.

Repetitive stress injuries are nothing new and are not limited to the computer industry. People who do repetitive work or participate in a sport or play an instrument with long time on task are susceptible to this type of injury, particularly those who do no use proper technique. People who use computers are susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, pinched nerves, backache, and other problems.

Sometimes repetitive stress injuries are not reversible with the result that people are not able to continue to work as before, nor are they able to enjoy many of the recreational activities they participated in before they were injured.

If you practice the good work habits, you will do a great deal to protect yourself from repetitive stress injuries.

Begin now, be persistent, and make safe practices a habit.

Computer Safety Hourly Routine:

·         Get up and walk away from your computer every 15 minutes

                Check your mail

                Drink some water

                Run a short errand

·         Take frequent mini-breaks to

                Shrug your shoulders

                Shake your arms

                Rotate your ankles and wrists

                Close your eyes

                Pay Attention to your body’s signals

**** The information ,advice and exercises presented on this website are in no way intended as a substitute for medical counseling. To reduce the risk of injury consult your doctor immediately if experiencing difficulties. CCSF disclaims any liability or loss in connection with information, advice and exercises herein.

The key to computer safety:




1. “ My eyes become tired during the day”

a)      Place monitor an arm’s length away from your eyes.

b)      Adjust monitor contrast and brightness together to get the maximum comfortable brightness.

c)      Move computer screen so that it is free of glare from outside and overhead light. If possible have glare perpendicular to screen

a)       Eye rolls; Stretch to diagonals.

b)       Palm your eyes with warm hands

c)       Look away from screen regularly.


2. “ My neck, back, and shoulders are stiff and sore.”

a)      Sit so that top of text on the monitor screen is at eye level and sit erect with ear, shoulders and hips lined up vertically.

b)      Support lower back with chair support and relax neck and shoulders as you work.

c)      Use speaker phone or headset if you type while on the phone and place document holder near the screen

a)      Shoulder rolls

b)      Shrugs, shoulder squeezes

c)      Arms Stretches overhead, forward, and backwards.

d)      Neck flexations: Side, back, forward, circles.

3. “ My hands, wrists, or forearms are sore or have a tingling sensation; or my grip is weak.”

a)       Arrange keyboard so wrists and forearms are relaxed, straight, and parallel to the floor.

b)       Use keyboard and mouse rest pads only when not typing.

c)       Use wrist supports or braces while typing only when wrists are tired.

d)       Move mouse to other hand and adjust it accordingly; use track ball or touch pad instead of mouse; alternate between different devices.

a)      Wrist circles

b)      Five finger stretches and squeezes

c)      Thumb stretches and squeezes

d)      Arm and wrist shakes

e)      Screw and unscrew lightbulbs in the air.

4. “ My legs get stiff and cramped.”

a)      Sit straight up in your chair with good posture.

b)      Adjust chair height so your feet rest comfortably on the floor or footrest.

c)      Keep thighs approximately perpendicular to the body.

d)      Get up and walk around frequently.


a)      Foot Swivels

b)      Ankle circles

c)      Calf Stretches

For More Information:

Ergoweb: www.ergoweb.com

Cumulative Trauma Disorder Online News:            www.ctdnews.com

Ergonomics Homepage: www.distrib.com/ergonomics/




Last modified: June 14, 2004

VCFA Webmaster: Toni A. Lee