Computer safety

 

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Computer safety

a man enjoying connecting to others using the internet

What's coming up

Using a computer can be great fun, but you do need to keep a few safety hints and tips in mind.

In this activity, you will find out about sitting correctly and managing other common hazards when using your computer.

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Are you sitting comfortably?

Whether you use a computer for five minutes or five hours a day, try to get into the habit of sitting correctly.

A good chair

A good chair that supports your back and can be adjusted to suit your height is essential. And because this type of chair usually has wheels, you can easily place yourself in the most comfortable position.

a typical office chair viewed from the front and from the side
an example of someone sitting comfortably at a desk

Because we all come in different shapes and sizes, there isn't one perfect sitting position that suits everyone. You have to find a position that's comfortable for you in relation to your computer and desk.

a lady preparing a lovely cup of tea

Take a break

Don't sit at your computer for hours without taking a break. You should stand up, walk around, stretch, change your position, do other tasks or take a coffee break.

Working at a desk

If you get up from a computer session with an aching back or sore wrists, you may need to give yourself more breaks or check your position. Here are some tips and tricks to help you sit comfortably.

Monitor position

The monitor should be at eye level and in front of you, so that you only need to move your eyes to see the whole screen. Looking to the side will twist your spine and neck.

a monitor for a desktop computer
a computer mouse and keyboard

Keyboard and mouse

The keyboard should be set squarely in front of the monitor and be easy to reach. Keep the mouse close to your keyboard and work area.

Desk position

Ideally, your desk should be around belly button level, with your elbows just below the top of the desk.

a front view of a desk with a chair and computer
a man seated comfortably at his desk with his feet placed firmly on the floor

Feet

Make sure your feet are placed firmly on the floor or on a footrest. Don't let your feet dangle so only your toes are touching the floor.

Sitting in your chair

To support your back and neck, you should sit right back in your chair – not perched on the front edge. Pull your chair right in, so that you can comfortably reach the keyboard and mouse.

a side view of a typical office chair
a laptop screen that is difficult to see because of a glare

Any problems?

Over time, it's easy to get into bad habits – especially when you're working on a laptop. Let's consider four of the most common mistakes people make.

1. Watch out for glare

Prevent sunlight from shining directly onto the screen. Pay attention to where you are sitting with your laptop, and either move or use blinds or curtains if possible.

2. Use a desk and watch your posture

Avoid using your laptop on your lap for long periods of time. It is better for your posture and general comfort to use your laptop on a stable base where there is support for your arms.

It is also a good idea to use a separate keyboard and mouse, so that the laptop can be put on a stand and the screen can be placed at eye level.

a typical desk
a plug for a computer

3. Beware trailing cables

Trailing cables can cause you to trip. As well as falling, you could accidentally disconnect the power supply or yank the laptop onto the floor.

4. Keep drinks clear

Liquid and computers do not mix. If you knock a drink over, you could ruin your laptop. Keep drinks well away.

a diagram showing to keep drinks well away from a computer

Congratulations!

You've come to the end of the Computer safety activity.

In this activity, you found out that sitting correctly in a comfortable chair is essential to provide support for your back, to take breaks when sitting at your computer for long periods and to be observant and remove anything that could cause accidents or discomfort.

Next, if you have registered and are logged into the Be Connected website, you'll now be able to take a short quiz to finish the course. If you're not registered, you are now at the end of the course.

a grandfather relaxing with his laptop