Studying online has probably prompted you to rethink your work environment at home. Several of you have shared it with us on social media! To make sure you are comfortable and efficient when you study, here are a few tips to maximize the ergonomics of your study space.
1. HOW TO WORK WELL WITH A LAPTOP
First, there are many advantages to using a laptop computer, especially in terms of mobility. On the other hand, if you have to spend hours working on your laptop, it may be unsuitable for prolonged work due to the physical constraints it imposes.
Use accessory equipment:
• To keep your head straight and minimize neck flexion, it is best to use an accessory keyboard and mouse, which allow you to raise your laptop with a stand.
• To avoid tension in your hand, the mouse should fit in the palm of your hand, and your fingers should be able to easily wrap around it. Ideally, your mouse and keyboard should be at the same level and as close to each other as possible.
2. EXERCISE AND MOVE REGULARLY
When you study for many hours on the computer, it can put strain on your muscles and ligaments. To reduce muscle pain and eye strain, apply the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet (6 metres) away for 20 seconds. Don't forget to take short breaks and stretch regularly!
3. HOW TO SET UP AND ADJUST YOUR WORKSTATION Even if your favourite sofa seems to be the most comfortable way to set yourself up, you will quickly realize that this option is anything but "ergonomic". To ensure ideal posture, adjust your workstation by following the guidelines below:
• Eyes aligned with the top of the screen
• Relaxed shoulders
• Back fully supported
• Lumbar hollow supported
• Forearms sustained
• Adjustable seat for ideal height
• Knees at 90 degrees and thighs parallel to the ground
• Feet resting on the ground or on a footrest
4. WHERE TO WORK IN THE HOUSE
One of the keys to making e-learning productive is to separate your personal life from your school life. It is therefore necessary to define limits between these two worlds, even if this is challenging for many people. To be as effective as possible, set yourself up in a closed room or a secluded area of the house. Also, plan quiet times that are appropriate for online courses or tasks that require concentration.
5. MORE TIPS ON HOW TO BECOME EVEN MORE PRODUCTIVE
• To avoid straining your eyes, there should be no shadows or reflections on your computer screen.
• Provide shortcuts to your most frequently used folders.
• Use keyboard shortcuts instead of the mouse.
• Increase your mouse speed to reduce wrist, elbow, and shoulder movements.