Ergonomic Computing and Open Source

Devices Plus Habits

All these solutions combined do not completely eliminate the injuries caused by spending too much time in front of the computer. However, since I now use an ergonomic chair, keyboard, and pointing device, I can say that the combined effect reduces the injuries of a full day at the computer by at least 80 percent in my case. Even when I have twinges at the end of a day, they are gone by the next morning.

The effect is even higher when I use software that forces me to take a regular break, like Take a Break [14]. Such software can break my concentration – usually at the worst possible time – but, together with ergonomic hardware, it can keep me working long hours for days at a time.

Going completely ergonomic is hard, and using open source whenever you can is even harder. However, the combination is not impossible in many cases, especially when combined with some sensible work habits, like using keyboard shortcuts or taking regular breaks. While some gaps in functionality remain, the combination is at least possible to a degree not previously available as recently as five years ago.

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