It’s Monday again, eh? You’re probably sitting in front of a computer now, reading this email and wondering how to be just a little more comfortable. It’s easier than you think and can save you real pain later.
Choosing a suitable monitor and placing it in an appropriate position helps reduce exposure to forceful exertions, awkward postures, and overhead glare. This helps prevent possible health effects such as excessive fatigue, eye strain, and neck and back pain.
The following 4 tips can help:
1) Viewing Distance
Monitors placed too close or too far away may cause you to assume awkward body positions that may lead to eye strain.
Viewing distances that are too long can cause you to lean forward and strain to see small text. This can fatigue the eyes and place stress on the torso because your chair’s back rest is no longer providing support. Viewing distances that are too short may cause your eyes to work harder to focus (convergence problems) and may require you to sit in awkward postures.
For instance, you may tilt your head backward or push your chair away from the screen, causing you to type with outstretched arms.
Solution: Sit at a comfortable distance from the monitor where you can easily read all text with your head and torso in an upright posture and your back supported by your chair. Generally, the preferred viewing distance is between 20 and 40 inches (50 and 100 cm) from the eye to the front surface of the computer screen.
2) Viewing Angle-Height and Side-to-Side
Working with your head and neck turned to the side for a prolonged period loads neck muscles unevenly and increases fatigue and pain. Also, a display screen that is too high or low will cause you to work with your head, neck, shoulders, and even your back in awkward postures. When the monitor is too high, for example, you have to work with your head and neck tilted back. Working in these awkward postures for a prolonged period fatigues the muscles that support the head.
Solution: The top of the monitor should be at or slightly below eye level. The center of the computer monitor should normally be located 15 to 20 degrees below horizontal eye level. The entire visual area of the display screen should be located so the downward viewing angle is never greater than 60 degrees.
3) Viewing Time
Viewing the monitor for long periods of time may cause eye fatigue and dryness. Users often blink less while viewing the monitor.
Solution: Rest your eyes periodically by focusing on objects that are farther away (for example, a clock on a wall 20 feet away). Stop, look away, and blink at regular intervals to moisten the eyes. Alternate duties with other non-computer tasks such as filing, phone work, or customer interaction to provide periods of rest for the eyes.
4) Viewing Clarity
Monitors that are tilted significantly either toward or away from the operator may distort objects on the screen, making them difficult to read. Also, when the monitor is tilted back, overhead lights may create glare on the screen. Also, dust accumulation, which is accelerated by magnetic fields associated with computer monitors and can reduce contrast and degrade viewing conditions. Any of these factors can result in eye strain and sitting in awkward postures to avoid eye glare.
Solution: Tilt the monitor so it is perpendicular to your line of sight, usually by tilting the screen no more than 10 to 20 degrees. This is most easily done if the monitor has a riser/swivel stand.
Also, be sure that your monitors are periodically cleaned and dusted.
Have you thought of upgrading your system to a second monitor but you’re not sure if it’s worth the investment?
Maybe you’d like to convince your boss to get you a big monitor that you could connect to your laptop?
Most laptops, desktops and their operating systems support a second screen. It feels cool just dragging a window from one screen to the other. Then things really get good!
1. Enormous productivity enhancer
According to Microsoft Research (and others!) two monitors reduce task completion time up to 50 percent, depending on what you’re doing. Not only that, they find that once a user doubles their displays they rarely go back.
2. Cutting and pasting
Okay it’s not exciting task, but it takes up too much of our lives. Anybody who has spent time trying to juggle the vertical split screens in Microsoft Word or attempting to squeeze two Windows side by side on a single screen knows there has to be a better way. This is it.
3. Any sort of design work
Having two screens “upgrades” the way you work. For instance, you can have all the tools on display on the left monitor while you work full-screen on the other, compare the original image with the one you’re working on.
3. Any sort of writing. Yes, e-mail counts.
Imagine being able to have your emails open on one screen and typing a document on another. How about writing a document on one screen and doing research for it on another. Students and stock brokers already know the benefits of having two screens for this very reason – it’s a time saver. Isn’t it time you had it at your work?
5. Streaming TV shows
You know the dull anticipation of waiting for something to happen, whether it’s waiting for UH’s winning touch down or the next episode of Modern Family. Keep the picture on one screen while you do something interesting on the other such as writing emails, playing Solitaire or… even… working!
6. Keeping track of your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn social media activity
If ever an application seemed designed for two monitors this is it. Let TweetDeck run in its full multi-columned glory on one screen while you get on with life on the other.
7. Using personalized home pages in the way they were intended
You’ve spent ages creating an iGoogle, or MSN page with all your favorite widgets. Then you bury it under a pile of tabs, so what’s the point? It works so much better if it’s always on display ready to act as a jump-off point when something catches your eye.
8. Comparing products, AKA shopping!
Tabbing between descriptions of mobile phones, laptops or cameras is fine for those with a photographic memory. For the rest of us, having the pages side by side makes more sense. Want to be a pro shopper? Get 2 screens.
I hope this article has been helpful in unraveling the mystery behind having two monitors and how it can help you. I am grateful for your time and consideration and always glad to help with your technology questions and challenges.
SOS Tech Solutions
Full Service IT for Businesses
And we can help
Depending on your business (or your side business), it may be a natural step to take it to the digital streets with e-commerce. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, retail e-commerce sales reached close to $200 billion in 2011 alone, increasing substantially over the year * (see graph). Selling your products or services online can help reach more consumers and increase your bottom line. It’s practical and cost-effective to use the Internet as a tool to further your business and we can help!
Consider your inventory
If you intend to sell many different types of products be prepared for fees. Many e-commerce platforms require a monthly fee based on the amount of product you intend on selling and/or number of transactions you process. Simply put, the more you sell the more you pay.
Our e-commerce solution is different in that it is flat-fee based. All the products you want, all the transactions you want for one price. I’m quite proud of it.
Look for domain options
You may want to have your own domain name to sell your products, for example buyhawaiianstuff.com. It’s a great way for search engines to find your website and instills confidence in your product or service to on-line visitors. As with all domain names, it needs to be hosted somewhere. We’ll set up your site, web hosting, email and monthly training and support to help get things started.
Fully utilize the web
Get the word out about your services by including search-engine optimization while setting up your e-commerce website. It’s easy and built right into the e-commerce engine, just add detailed descriptions and keywords for each product. If a potential customer searches for a similar service or product, SEO can ensure that your company and store will come up higher in the search results. This can greatly increase the number of customers you are reaching, eliminating the factor of distance from your customer base.
Analyze your results
As your e-commerce business continues to grow, single-handedly managing your inventory and product success can become overwhelming. We can help manage your inventory and track your products using high-tech analytics and feedback designed to keep your business running smoothly.
The Bottom Line
Taking the e-commerce plunge can help you reach customers that you never would have been able to before. When looking into e-commerce for your business, keep in mind other factors like customer support, payment plans, customer payment options and merchandising options that can, for example, allow you to cross-sell your products with similar products – increasing your overall customer impact.