Monday, September 17, 2012

Wrist saving measures

Computer jobs can be as hard on your body as manual labor. Oh yeah, vision, wrists, shoulders, back, neck- all can suffer from 6-8 hours in front of a monitor.

For some reason, using a mouse is harder on my wrists than a keyboard. So I am a big fan of keyboard shortcuts.  Not only do keyboard shortcuts save time, they decrease some of the stress of using a mouse. Some of these are familiar, Save, Copy, Paste, Select All, Print, and OK (Enter)  are nearly universal commands. Others should be - Undo, Redo, and navigating through dialogue boxes.

The trick is to practice a few so they become second nature. Sure, you can stumble on a program or browser that doesn't use the functions that you are used to, but for the most part the keyboard habit will work smoothly into your workflow. (Did you know that if you are browsing a folder for a file that typing its first character- or if you are quick - the first two or three characters, can take you to that file without scrolling? Or you can toggle a formatting change such as Bold (Ctrl B) by repeating the keyboard strokes when the formatting is complete? )

The University of California at Berkeley has provided a nice list of keyboard shortcuts that provide a good foundation, as well as a handy checklist for a healthy computer station.

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