Statistics show that injuries to wrists, necks, backs, and other body parts of office-computer users have been doubling every two years since the mid-1980s. Proliferating just as fast, it seems, is an industry of books and services that offer relief. Here are two recent arrivals:
The American Optometric Association estimates that more than 50% of computer users suffer from sight problems caused by prolonged staring at monitor screens. For tips on preventing such problems, check out Total Health at the Computer, by Martin Sussman and Ernest Loewenstein, with Howard Sann (Station Hill Press, 914-758-5840, $13.95). The 155-page manual illustrates exercises designed to relax and strengthen eyes. (For example: every few minutes, focus on a distant object; if you face a wall, use a mirror.) Some require aids such as wall charts, which the book provides.
Ergo Communications, in New York City, sends a consultant to a client's office to spend several hours observing the client's computer users as they type. The consultancy then submits a work-site-by-work-site report critiquing aspects such as desk measurements, lighting, the positioning of keyboards and telephones, and the users' own possibly slipshod habits. For a free white paper itemizing wholesome data-entry routines, call Ergo Communications at 212-535-0344.* * *