ThimphuTech was the first technology blog in Bhutan. We started writing it in 2009, just as broadband and mobile internet started to take off. (Although internet in Bhutan was launched in 1999, it was either super-slow or super-expensive, and was only used by a selected few).

In the blog, we wrote about technology and food, but also about plenty of other stuff. The blog became popular and influential in Bhutan. A companion bi-weekly column -- Ask Boaz -- was published for many years in the Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper. (The complete Kuensel columns are available as an ebook, Blogging with Dragons).

We stopped updating the blog when we left Bhutan in 2014, but the information within the posts can still prove useful, and thus we decided to keep it online.

We thank all our readers.
Tashi Delek,
Boaz & Galit.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ergonomic computer desk

As we're spending more and more hours in front of the computer, how we sit can make a big difference. Pain in the neck, hands, and back are very common results of poor (and too long!) posture. The results of poor posture are immediate suffering and sometimes long term physical damage. Not to mention reduction in productivity.

Several factors that affect our "computer posture" are the choice of furniture (computer desk and chair), and computer accessories (keyboard, mouse, etc.), the computer placement (e.g., how far the screen is from our eyes), and sitting habits.

Ergonomic design guidelines can assist in making the right choices (Wikipedia: "Ergonomics is employed to fulfill the two goals of health and productivity. It is relevant in the design of such things as safe furniture and easy-to-use interfaces to machines."). See, for instance, Ergonomic Guidelines for arranging a Computer Workstation - 10 steps for users.

Let me point out one faulty ergonomic desk design that is common in Thimphu: The common single-user computer desk (shown in the picture) has a keyboard drawer that is too narrow for accommodating both the keyboard and a mouse. Therefore, the typical solution is to place the mouse higher up, on the desk's surface. The result, for a user who uses both keyboard and mouse, is an imbalanced posture. My advice for those who sit long hours in front of a desktop is to invest in a desk that has both the keyboard and mouse side-by-side on the drawer.