Poor ergonomics is a risk factor that everyone should consider addressing. Fortunately, there are many ergonomic products out there that can help us with our particular issues. There's even a great online resource called ergopedia.ca (similar to Wikipedia, but for ergonomics).
In this post I want to address ergonomics for chronic dizziness sufferers like myself. Some of us have problems reading a book in our lap, looking at a cookbook lying on a counter, studying manuals or school books while sitting at a desk or table, and using an iPad or laptop computer. These things can trigger dizziness and/or motion sickness type symptoms.
We can usually read by holding a book at eye level or by lying on our side in bed. We can use a computer if the monitor is at eye-level. But holding a book or iPad at eye-level makes your arms tired very quickly! And you might be fine typing at the computer, but what if you need to use reference books at the same time?
Using an ergonomic book stand can resolve many of these issues. A stand that holds a book can be manoeuvered into a multitude of positions to facilitate comfortable reading while sitting, standing at a counter, or lying in bed on your side or back.
A stand that also has a tablet (iPad) accessory does double-duty.
There are two kinds of book (or tablet) holders: floor models and desk/table models. Floor models have wheels and can be moved from room to room as required. Desk-top models clamp onto a desk, table or counter and are great for holding a cookbook in the kitchen or holding a reference book at eye-level while typing a school paper or business report on your computer.
P.S. These book holders can support large, heavy books and manuals with no problem... even if you like to lie on your back and read or study.
ErgoCanada.com has both book and tablet (iPad) holders. Here is some advice from them regarding their LEVO G2 Book Holder:
- Set your LEVO G2 Book Holder to a height which eliminates a bent neck (either up or down). This will reduce the risk of tension developing in your neck while reading.
- Since you want to be as relaxed as possible while reading, a pillow or neck support which lets you rest your head can be of great benefit. This gives the muscles of the neck and shoulders a break and can actually have a refreshing effect. As these muscles are usually occupied with supporting the head, especially when the neck is bent, poor reading posture can put a constant heavy load on them.
- Ensure that your reading materials are at a height suited to your viewing capabilities. If you have progressive or multifocal lenses you will want to position them lower than users who do not require this type of corrective lens. However, when doing so always ensure that your neck is at a neutral alignment, directly above the shoulders.
- When using your LEVO G2 Book Holder ensure that you have sufficient lighting to properly illuminate your reading material. Positioning your lighting source from behind you and to the side will reduce the risk of glare. Choose a "colour" of light which is "warmer" or yellower. While "blue" light is closer to the natural spectrum and does provide excellent illumination many users find that it also creates eyestrain. In addition, if you are reading closer to bedtime the "blue" light has also been identified as having negative impacts on the production of melatonin, a hormone which induces sleep, and as a result can result in delays in falling asleep as well as less restful sleep. New LED lighting is often in the "blue" range, so be careful when making your selection.
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