WebsiteCompass 17 —that can eventually cause neck strain. An alternative is to simply place your phone on speaker. 4. Check to see if your desk is the proper height. When you’re keyboarding at your desk, your arms and wrists should ideally be parallel to the floor or angled down toward your lap to reduce strain. Typical desks, which are between 28 and 30 inches high, are a good fit for people who are 5 feet 10 inches tall or above, but not ideal for those who are shorter. To rectify this, you could mount a keyboard tray under your desk to lower the keyboard, or try raising your chair higher so your wrists are above the keyboard. If you raise your chair, make sure you can still keep your feet flat on the floor. If you can’t, use a footrest to give proper support to your legs and feet. 5. Place your monitor carefully. Your monitor should be directly in front of you, behind your keyboard, and about an arm’s length away. The top of the screen should be at or slightly below eye level. You should be looking straight ahead or slightly down at the screen, not straining upwards. If you use a laptop, a separate keyboard and a laptop stand may be needed to create an ergonomic setup. 6. Don’t forget about lighting. Ergonomics experts recommend good lighting to reduce eye strain and avoid craning your neck at an unnatural angle. An abundance of natural lighting in your workspace is ideal, because it can boost your sense of well-being and energy and make it easier for your eyes to focus. If you don’t have windows in your home office, or when you’re working late, combine overhead lighting with task lighting for the best balance. Watch Out for Computer Vision Syndrome Using computers for long periods can cause computer vision syndrome. This occurs when we unwittingly resist blinking and put a lot of stress on our eye muscles, potentially leading to headaches, blurred vision, and dry eyes. In addition to following the advice on posture and positioning already shared, keep these tips in mind: • Use the 20-20-20 rule recommended by the American Optometric Association. Every 20 minutes, spend 20 seconds looking at something at least 20 feet away. • Try to avoid glare and reflections. Most computer monitors have an anti-glare coating for this purpose, but you should also consider light sources when you position your monitor. • Increase the contrast on your screen to reduce eye strain. You may also want to increase the font size. • Step away from your digital device every two hours. Spend at least five or 10 minutes doing something that doesn’t involve digital screens during your break. • Make blinking a priority. People tend to blink less when viewing digital screens. Blinking keeps your eyes moist and helps prevent dry eye and eye strain. If you’re still experiencing symptoms of computer vision syndrome after making these adjustments, see your eye care professional. QUICK TIP: Changing from sitting to standing frequently improves circulation, decreases the strain on joints, and reduces neck and back pain.