Your business tip of the month: Set up your computer correctly
No more achy necks, sore backs and banged heads - make your office space injury-risk free with our tips.
When computers aren’t set up professionally, sitting at them can sometimes lead to health issues, such as strained neck muscles, back ache - or even a slipped disc.
A few changes to your work area could save you from injury - and the loss of time and money you'd suffer while recovering.
Our blog this month looks at three possible health and safety hazards - and easy ways to prevent them.
The great thing about these tips is that they’ll only cost a couple of pounds to do – you might even have required tools amongst your stationery supplies.
Do you find yourself looking slightly down or tilting your head back to read your screen? Prolonged use of a computer in this position can lead to neck strain – but thankfully the solution is really easy.
Let’s check if you’ve got a problem - sit in front of your computer and look straight forward. Are your eyes resting naturally near the top of the screen?
If not, raise the computer monitor on books until your eyes rest comfortably near the top of the screen.
If you use books for your job, why not use them to raise the monitor up – that way they’re always on your desk ready for when you need them.
This tip will save you from tripping on errant cables – and will remove the risk of hurting your back as you dive under your desk to swap cables around.
Buy some bulldog clips. You can usually pick up a pack of 5 for around £1.50.
Clip them onto the side of your desk. Position them so the metal wiring faces out.
Now you can thread each wire through the metal loop. This has two benefits:
It means you keep the cables from your computer to the monitor, mouse and keyboard untangled.
Any equipment that isn’t always connected also has a ‘holster’, preventing the cable from getting lost and tangled amongst the many wires that are coming out of the back of your computer.
Maybe this isn’t a huge health or safety risk – but if you get the flu from using a keyboard teeming with dirt and germs, you’ll only have yourself to blame.
Grab yourself a few Post-it notes. Make sure the sticky part on the back is actually sticky – that’s important.
Simply fold the sticky end to a right angle.
Slide the folded Post-it note along the slits between your keys and the dirt will stick to the Post-it note.
Repeat until your keyboard looks like new – or at least doesn’t look gross.
Bonus tip: Computer Rage
We’ve all been there - needing to connect another electrical item near your computer and having to unplug another one to so. If you pick the wrong cable you could crash or shutdown your computer, losing anything you haven’t saved beforehand - causing you inconvenience and frustration.
Depending on the importance of the work lost, the rage-blackout afterwards can lead to fist-sized holes in walls and chairs thrown through windows.
Buy some craft tape called Washi tape - it’s like sellotape but the top of the tape is patterned or coloured in. You can pick up a roll or two from most craft shops for a couple of pounds.
Using the tape and a pen, wrap a piece of tape around a cable (near the end plugged into the computer) and label it.
Voila, whenever you need to unplug a cable, you’ll know what each one relates to.
Images: Bulldog clips via Lifehack.com and Washi cable labels via Viralnova.com