December 12, 2011

CAT Skills: December 2011

Submitted by: Susan Marshall, WBRC Computer Access Technology (CAT) Instructor

Photo: Computer, Keyboard, and Mouse setup

As our former and future CATS (Computer Access Training Section) students can attest to, computer access training enables them to work, play, communicate and participate in activities that may not otherwise be accessible.  Like all good things, moderation is important because spending too much time logged on will result in tired eyes, headaches, neck pain and a host of other problems.  If you’re an avid computer user and want to avoid the pitfalls of extended computer use, the CATS team recommends that following:

Ø  Stretch your body and move extremities (stretch your hands, walk around, take a break and take a few deep breaths too).

Ø  Keep blinking.  It washes your eyes in naturally therapeutic tears.

Ø  Remember 20-20-20.  Every 20 minutes, spend 20 minutes looking at something 20 feet away, minimum. 

Ø  Get the right light.  Good lighting isn’t just flattering – it’s healthy for your eyes.  Keep bright overhead lighting to a minimum.  Desk lamps should be shining on the desk, not you.  Try to keep window light off to the side, rather than in front or behind you.  Use blinds and get a glare screen.  Position the computer to reduce reflections from windows or overhead lights.

Ø  Monitor your monitor.  Keep it at least 20 inches from your eyes.  Center should be about 4 to 6 inches below your eyes.  Also, make sure it’s big enough with just the right brightness and contrast.  Adjust the screen settings to where they are comfortable.

Ø  Wear those computer specs!  Your eye care specialist can prescribe a pair of glasses just for seeing the computer screen.  Wear the appropriate corrective lenses while at the computer.

Ø  Mind your typing.  Make sure your arms are at a 90 degree angle at your elbow to avoid strain on the median nerve.  Stretch your hands and arms.

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