Tag Archives: ergonomics

Help Yourself: Resources For A Healthier Entrep

The background issue in running your own business is that it can take over the rest of your life, and even affect your way of looking at the world. Customer fulfillment, logistics, marketing, publicity….the calculating mindset  needed to juggle all those things  focuses on what gets the most bang for the buck.

When that kind of hyper-focus slowly spills over to the rest of your life, some things drift to the periphery and languish on the sidelines. They don’t seem urgent, they’re not a problem for now, and you got more pressing things to attend to, right? Right. And so you go on.

That is, until the niggling signs surface. Having a touch more irritability. Being a  little bit more snappish. But of course, who wouldn’t be, if they woke up with back pain. And maybe achy fingers, too. And the tired eyes? Well, that’s just part of the job, right? And if you want to sleep in on the weekends to recover, your friends and family will understand. You’re tired. You’re not up to seeing them right now.

And so, part of what suffers can be your health and your relationships. Part of that can be the rest of the life you’re living right now. Look at the entire picture, and not just the specific sections that take up your time. We’re talking about taking a 360-degree look-around here — something we need to do every once in a while to recognize our bearings and truly take note of where we are in our lives.
Continue reading Help Yourself: Resources For A Healthier Entrep

The Purge : Dealing With Information Overload

“One of the effects of living with electric information is that we live habitually in a state of information overload. There’s always more than you can cope with.”
Marshall McLuhan, communication theorist
“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.”
– Gertrude Stein, writer and poet

Like, duh, we live in the Age of Information ? Oceans of data at the click of a mouse? 24/7 broadcasts? Podcasts, RSS feeds, alerts, Tweets, streaming, pokes and ‘likes’? Movies and radio on demand?

When the amount of available knowledge out there is less like a little pond than it is like the Amazon (the river, not the store), it’s easy to get mesmerized into fishing out as much information as you can from that vast source than actually being able to truly use what you get. There’s just too much. It’s overwhelming.

You’re not just a brain and eyes parked in front of a computer screen. You are a person with a body and you lives in the world.

This world.

You have relationships, you have things to do, you have stuff to share…and a whole life to live. You can’t live a whole life in a little area –whether that area is in front of the TV, or the PC. You gotta get fully involved. It’s not as if you can save up enough unused time (or unlived life) to tack on at the very now, is it?

Active living, like active learning, involves all your senses, not just the ones you utilize sitting in from of a screen (computer or TV). It’s active doing, or just consciously being. You’re not being fed information. You’re not filtering. You’re being. Continue reading The Purge : Dealing With Information Overload

Handy Sites: Sorehands and Safe Computing

Physically speaking, when it comes to using the computer, we use our eyes and hands the most.

Witness the huge numbers of wrist-pain/back-pain combo and headache complaints that plague the computer-using population. Which is everyone we know. And we know this because we talk about it with one another, sharing our pains and aches over lunch-break, asking around and doing research to help deal with the problem. We’re a sociable lot when we find out the pain we have in common. We talk about it.

Sorehand is “an online community dedicated to sharing information about repetitive stress injuries and related topics for people with repetitive strain injuries (RSIs). Continue reading Handy Sites: Sorehands and Safe Computing

Take-A-Break for Kids: CUErgo, Stretchbreak and TIFAQ

Previously in part four of the series You and Your Computer (found here), we mentioned the special ergonomic requirements that kids need when they use computers. To wit:

“Children’s hands are smaller. A mouse and keyboard for adult use may force kids to use their hands in awkward, stretched positions, stressing the developing muscles, bones and nerves. You can check for child-sized Little Fingers keyboards from Datadesk Technologies.”

You can go to Cornell University Ergonomics Web, CUErgo, to see before and after pictures of properly set up workstations for children and teens in their Guidelines for Parents. I highly recommend you visit their “Interesting Sites” page to see more resources on ergonomics and computing.

Healthycomputing.com also has a special section for kids and their parents. And you can also download Stretchbreak (kiddie version) for free, or try out the 10-day trial version for adults.

Typing Injuries FAQ (TIFAQ) has 2 special sections for this special concern, one written for children and a resource page for their parents .

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Take-A-Break Programs: RSIBreak, Workrave and Xwrits

In a 4-part series called from last year, titled “You and Your Computer” we mentioned several free programs you can download and use to remind you to take mini-breaks while you work. Here they are again:

RSI Break – for Linux users. Aside from micro-pause pop-ups, to remind you when to take a break, RSIBreak also records how much time you’ve has been active, and how much was idle time.

Workrave – – for GNU/Linux and Microsoft Windows. Workrave is currently available in nine languages. Danish, Dutch, English, German, Polish and Spanish among them. Continue reading Take-A-Break Programs: RSIBreak, Workrave and Xwrits