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Online Learning Success:
Written by Gayle L. Fornataro, Virtual Valley Student Success Coordinator

home > student resources > Ergonomics

Table of Contents:  

1. Welcome
2. Lesson One: What to Expect
3. Lesson Two: Am I Ready for an Online Class
4. Lesson Three: Time Management
5. Lesson Four: Participating in Online Discussions
6. Lesson Five: What is Plagiarism
7. Lesson Six: Ergonomics
8. Glossary

Ergonomics Sections:

  1. What is Ergonomics?
  2. Resources
  3. Keys to Success

What is Ergonomics?

When we think of dangerous activities, sitting at a computer rarely jumps to our mind.  However, this seemingly harmless activity can actually cause serious injury if you are not careful about how you work.

Sitting posture, mouse, and keyboard position, looking at a computer screen for hours at a time, and even the kind of chair you sit in can all contribute to repetitive motion injuries. 

If you decide to take online classes, then you will be spending more time on the computer. You also need to stay healthy to have the energy and ability to complete your education. To do this, you need to consider the ergonomic layout of your workspace.

Ergonomics is the science of posture and movement and how they can affect our body and our health. While there are numerous computer products, such as special mouse and keyboards, and office furniture, including chairs, desks, and foot rests all designed to improve ergonomics, simply adopting some good work postures and habits is the easiest (and cheapest) way to stay happy and healthy at the keyboard.

Since some studies show a link between stress and repetitive motion injuries, finding ways to relax in your busy schedule is another way to stay healthy.  Yoga, tai chi, walking, stretching and deep breathing exercises are all good ways to relax and combat stress.

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Below are some Web sites that provide information on how to maintain an ergonomic work space so you can keep typing away.  Some of them are commercial sites that offer products and services.  LAVC does not endorse or recommend any of these products or services.  Virtual Valley is providing you with these Web sites for information purposes only.

Remember, simply adopting some good work postures and habits is the easiest (and cheapest) way to stay happy and healthy at the keyboard.

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Keys to Success

  •  Look away from the screen from time to time and focus on
    something far away.
  • Sit without slouching or hunching forward. Keep shoulders, neck,
    jaw and face relaxed.
  • Position your mouse and keyboard in a position that allows you to
    use them without bending your wrist.
  • Change your position from time to time, while always maintaining
    a good sitting posture that does not put strain on your back or
  • Take frequent short breaks from your computer.  Get up and walk
    around the house, do some stretching exercises, or do some
    deep, slow breathing exercises to help you relax.

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