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pc pitstop port macquarie bellbowrie streetpc pitstop port macquarie bellbowrie street 2

PC Pitstop has outgrown another location! So we packed up everything and moved just 400 Meters around the corner from our old store to our brand new location at 2/10 Bellbowrie Street Port Macquarie.

We needed more room - twice as much in fact and our lovely customers needed more room to park - the solution - this brand new state of the art facility with easy street and pitstop parking. 

The team loves the new location - bigger check-in bench, workshop space for 24 devices to be reapired at once, conference and training facilities, boadroom, dedicated staff relaxation room, kitcken, fully ducted air conditioning and state of the art alarm and video survelance facilities.

The upgrades will see PC Pitstop porpelled into the next 10 years of service. We not only invested in the businesses future growth - but that of the communities. We love doing business in Port Macquarie and our team love having a comfortable place to work! Thank you for all of your support in the past and we look forward to seeing you in the new store soon! Come say hi!!

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Every day we see customers who are shocked that their computer has a virus. They thought they had security software and they thought it was doing it's job.

But here's the thing....You get what you pay for...and YOU play a massive part in your computer's secuirty. You have to check before you click anything, you have to choose the right security, AND you have to know when it's time to renew your services. 

We recommend Norton Internet Security 2014 and it's avialable instore at PC Pitstop Port Macquarie for $85 installed.

If your computer is in for service and we notice your Norton is out of date we will update it at the same time for a reduced fee of $65.

Keep your PC and your Stuff safe with industry-leading protection.
Emailing, sharing files, visiting social networks, shopping online, or just browsing websites. Whatever you like to do on your PC, we help keep it—and the Stuff on it—safe from viruses, online threats, and problems that could slow down your computer.

Gets rid of viruses and spyware, so you can read emails and download and share files without getting or passing on threats, plus it helps prevent online identity theft and blocks websites that could steal your credit card numbers or other information. So you can surf, shop, and bank online worry-free.

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Verdict

Norton's internet security suite offers excellent malware detection and consistently performs on pace with the best available security software.

Avoid the horror story happening to you. Don't get caught without. It could cost you more than you know.
 
 

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Just experienced a computer catastrophy and had your computer wiped and reinstalled?! 

  •           You may notice little things that are different to the way you have had them before - This is because Windows had learnt the way you did things and remembered these settings.
  •      You may need to reinstall any programs and devices (e.g. printers, Office, Photoshop etc.) that you have previously used if you advised your technician not to do so for you. Use your original CDs for programs or use the manufacturer’s website downloads for printers (e.g. HP, Canon etc.).

 

Documents and Data Policy - While every care is taken to protect your documents, pictures, music etc, in some cases this is not always possible due to certain conditions.

Professionally, while we take every care and technological measure to protect and recover your data, PC Pitstop cannot accept responsibility for any consequential data or financial loss through the loss of any data, through any fault whatsoever.

Unfortunately, during a Windows rebuild, these little personal touches may disappear until your computer picks up the way you do things again.

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Your laptop battery charges whenever your computer is plugged into external power through an AC Adapter, an optional power adapter, or an optional docking device. The battery charges whether the computer is off or in use, but it charges faster when the computer is off. However, charging may take longer if a battery is new, has been unused for 2 weeks or more, or is much warmer or cooler than room temperature.

To prolong battery life and optimize the accuracy of battery charge displays, follow these recommendations:

o   If you are charging a new battery, charge it for a full 12 hours before turning on the computer.

o   Charge the battery until the battery light turns off

o   Allow the battery to discharge below 5 percent of a full charge through normal use before charging it. This is referred to as ‘exercising the battery.’

o             DO NOT drop, open, short circuit, burn or allow the battery to get wet. 

Plus, try these:

  • Dim your screen
  • Shut off unneeded hardware
  • Avoid multitasking
  • Avoid multimedia
  • Know when to sleep and when to hibernate


If unfortunately your battery has completly died we have a solution for that too. Bring your laptop instore and we can fit a Universal Power Supply at the correct voltage and correct fit for most modern laptops for $85 in about 10mins!

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Our Services

RETAIL

Business-to-Consumer

o        Repairs & Maintenance

o        Tuneup/Cleanup

o        At your Premises Repairs and Support

o        Virus Removal

o        Data Transfer or Recovery

o        New Computer Setup & Transfer

o        Hardware Upgrades

o        Custom Built Desktop Sales

o        Dedicated Gaming Systems

o        Ex-Lease Laptops & Desktops

o        Wide Range of Parts & Peripherals

o        iPhone/iPad/iPod/Samsung Repairs

o        Smart Device Repairs

IT MANAGEMENT

Business-to-Business

o        Ad Hoc Support

o        Systems Management

o        Remote Assistance

o        Field Support

o        Pro Active Maintenance

o        IT Hardware Deployment

o        Network and Cloud Backup Solutions

o        Uninterruptible Power Supply Systems


Your Winning Team

We work hard to hone our skills for you – THE CUSTOMER – and we’ve been rewarded for it!

Click here
for ways to keep providing feedbackof the services you receive at PC Pitstop.
We hear you – and it keeps us WINNING FOR YOU!

  • Employer of Choice
  • Young Entrepreneur 18-35yrs
  • Excellence in Small Business
  • Best Employer for Training & Support
  • Embracing Technology
  • Environmentally Sustainable

business-awards logo            

PC Pitstop Advantage Service

Great Service, Even Better Value

PC Pitstop’s Mission Statement
PC Pitstop aim to be the most trusted, reliable, innovative and sustainable computer sales, service and repair company across Australia and online through honest advice, fast turnaround, friendly support and responsible actions. Immersing ourselves into the heart of the community, and embracing technology to improve the community and empower the people will guide us to achieve this and much more. We strive toward this mission every day.

With PC Pitstop Service Advantage you’re always in safe hands knowing your computer will be serviced by PC Pitstop Trained Technicians who know your computer inside out and use the most advanced diagnostic equipment and quality parts.

1onsite

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Posted by on in In the Community

Do you love PC Pitstop?

NSW Fair Trading’s popular I love my local business competition is back for 2014. 

In its work to promote a fair marketplace, Fair Trading recognises that the vast majority of local businesses do the right thing and play a critical role in the local community. That is why NSW consumers are being encouraged to nominate their favourite local business by telling Fair Trading, in 60 words or less, what they love about them and why. There are six prizes of $250 to be won!

Consumers can nominate a local business which goes out of their way to do the right thing by their customers. It might be because of their excellent customer service, or the fact they proudly sponsor charitable and community causes; it might simply be that they are really good on the tools or have the funkiest retail shop in town!

All shortlisted entries will be promoted on Fair Tradings Facebook page, which has close to 40,000 followers. Shortlisted and winning entries may attract local media interest.

We have also created some resources for businesses to use to help them promote the competition to their customers, including a downloadable poster, web images and more. Go to the I love my local business page on the Fair Trading website to find out more. 

The competition runs from Monday 13 October – Sunday 9 November 2014.

For more information and to enter go to Fair Trading’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FairTradingNSW

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A BIG congratulations to Donna Clarke for being the lucky winner of our latest customer feedback survey!! Donna will spend a lovely night without or with the kids at the observatory - Port Macquarie's best address - all with chocolate and local wine on arrival. All customers have a chance to win! Simply complete the survey HERE:

http://www.pcpitstop.com.au/index.php/en/contact/survey

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This is such a great article from Smarter Business Ideas...had to share!

the-internet-of-things-hero

If your computers are four or more years old they’re artefacts of earlier technology eras – and they could be costing you big time.

Brought to you by Intel

The computers you bought a few years ago were designed to meet the processing demands of the day – and then some, depending on their specifications. But even the highest spec machine from four years ago can struggle to deliver the performance you need today. 

To find out how a PC refresh can make a big difference to business productivity, Smarter met with Danielle Watts, Intel’s national marketing manager for Australia/New Zealand. What we learned about tired old computers versus the new generation of machines might surprise you.

Some business owners figure that as long as their old machines keep working they can hold off upgrading a little longer. That logic might suit mechanical devices designed to perform simple tasks but even so, the more you use them, the more they suffer wear and tear. 

It also ignores the many competitive advantages and lifestyle-enhancements offered by innovative technologies. “Given they’re running their businesses on those old computers the consequences can be frightening,” ponders Watts. “What if they lost 
all that data?”

Moving business records safely 

While it’s fairly easy to calculate the costs of repairing, upgrading or replacing components in your IT set up [see below: “Maintenance costs add up”], it’s harder to put a value on the data you own.

“Businesses rely so heavily on databases, so it’s understandable you’d be worried about moving them,” Watts acknowledges, “An expert service provider can help transfer accounts, HR and customer records safely and securely – the upgrade decision could include looking at server technology or Cloud-based tools to support and manage the business.”

Adding to the woes of outdated technology are security issues: “If you’re still using Windows XP you really need to upgrade,” advises Watts. “As of April this year technical support and security updates for XP from Microsoft ended, so your laptop or PC is far more vulnerable to malicious attacks.”

SEE ALSO:

Slow machines cost time and productivity 

Older PCs not only cost more to maintain, their performance also diminishes as they age. 

Consider recording the time lost to PCs taking forever to start-up, running slow or not working at all: “That’s a lot of lost productivity,” notes Watts. “If you value your employees you want to provide them with efficient tools. Investing in new technology shows that you value their contribution – and they’ll respect that.”

Can you work three times faster?

If you like spending time making a nice cup of tea or coffee while you wait for your computer to wake up you might want to update your schedule. 

According to system performance benchmarks from Intel the latest Intel processor-based systems running Windows 8.1 Pro typically start-up within a handful of seconds – and when you’re hard at work running your business with them, they’ll run everyday computing processes more than three times faster than a four-year-old system.

Latest devices are fast and ultra-portable

“Start-up time and battery life are especially important for road warriors,” says Watts.

“You don’t want to wait so you can enter an order, start a presentation or check inventory. Devices with fourth generation Intel processors also work for up to 10 hours on battery power – a big advantage over the 2.5 hours of older PCs – and include management tools specifically for businesses.

“We’re running our personal and business lives on them, so it helps that notebooks are lighter (some less than a kilo), thinner and offer powerful multi-tasking. On average they cost $200 less than PCs four years ago, so over time the cost to replace rather than repair becomes a lot more attractive.”

Maintenance costs add up 

All machines need some maintenance but as a machine ages it can break down more often and cost more to repair.

The Techaisle May 2013 whitepaper, “Small Business PC Refresh Study”, reviewed direct and indirect costs of maintaining PCs. The research found:

  1. Direct maintenance costs (repairs and upgrades) – jump more than 33 per cent for older PCs. (Average yearly costs for a PC less than four years old: US$324 to repair and US$95 to upgrade; costs for a PC more than four years old: US$427 to repair and US$134 to upgrade.)
  2. Lost productivity costs (downtime) – double from an average of 21 hours a year of lost work time on a newer PC to 42 hours a year for an older PC.

Did you know?

36% of small businesses use PCs that are four+ years old
Source: Techaisle June 2013 whitepaper, “The Ageing PC Effect – Exposing Financial Impact for Small Business.” 

42 lost work hours on average every year due to an old PC needing repairs
Souce: Techaisle May 2013 white paper, “Small Business PC Refresh Study” 

Older PCs might handle up to 5 applications simultaneously vs newer PCs that easily run 8 applications simultaneously 
Source: Techaisle May 2013 white paper, “Small Business PC Refresh Study” 

Case study: Brightstar

After a successful stint at a big software firm, Jon Yeo set up Brightstar in 2003 to coach businesses on using technology to improve their lives. More recently his passion for ‘ideas worth sharing’ also motivated him to become the licensee and curator for TedxMelbourne.

His studies in information management and organisational behaviour serve him well to help clients embrace more rewarding and productive ways of working: “They often don’t have a technology problem – they know they need it – they have a people and process problem,” he explains. “They aren’t making the most of what is available.” 

And he’s adamant that old technology is demotivating: “Old systems are slow, inaccessible and unresponsive compared to today’s technology. If you’re not thinking about upgrading now you’re making it much harder to compete at all in the next two to three years.”

Yeo suggests that if you’ve accepted your old systems need replacing then you know you have to transfer your valuable business data somewhere. So why not make it easier and faster to access and manage?

“Think about what you really need to convert across – it might not be so complex. Cloud services, ultraportable laptops, mobile devices and integrated communications help us make greater use of our information,” he explains.

“I now have a very small laptop that weighs less than a kilogram and does everything and more that my old desktop and laptop could do combined, faster. Because I’m on the road a lot, I have seven to eight hours of battery time on my new machine versus two hours maximum on my old laptop – there is no competition. 

“I also have a stylus-based tablet so I can take client notes once and they’re stored in the Cloud. I used to have a heavy laptop, a paper compendium and my briefcase full of paperwork – I still smile when I think about hauling it all through airport security.”

Find the right devices for the job

In three simple steps find out the ideal technology mix for your business – and how much your older computers are really costing you: http://smb.intel.com.au/start

 

Call into PC Pitstop today and discuss the best upgrade option for you and your budget!

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Stoked!

Thank you for your ongoing support and stay tuned for the results at next Friday night's Gala Dinner.

  • Young Entrepreneur
  • Excellence in Small Business
  • Excellence in Workplace Health and Safety
  • Employer of ChoiceProfessional & Business Services (less than 5 employees)
    & Young Business Executive for our Store Manager Tristan Piper!

Business Awards logo 2014 HCCU v2 FINALIST copy

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Posted by on in Tech News

gallery-parkmate-gallery

ParkMate

Pocket

lfttt

Sooner

SwipetimesTime Tracker

Pushover

http://smarter.telstrabusiness.com/6-time-saving-apps.htm

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fblikes

Getting people to like you is a concept that was around long before the internet – anyone that spent more than a couple of hours in the playground at school can tell you that. In many ways, asking someone to click the Like button on Facebook isn’t so different from those shy moments by the bubblers at school when you’re hoping these new-found people you are talking to are going to like you.

For starters, you have to put yourself out there for strangers to even know you exist. You also have to have something to offer or something interesting to add to an existing conversation in order to get anywhere. A packet of Burger Rings might have cut it at recess, but you’re going to have to try a little harder on Facebook.

Read on >>> http://nett.com.au/technology/getting-more-facebook-likes/

PS. Like us on FB ;)

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Thank you For Shopping at PC Pitstop

livelocal2

Here’s what else you just did:

1. You kept dollars in Port Macquarie-Hastings.

Independent businesses make an economic contribution that is two to three times greater than that of national retailers (Price Waterhouse Coopers, 2007).

2.
You supported local suppliers.

Multi-nationals rarely use local suppliers as they are frequently bound by head-office purchasing contracts.

3.
You embraced our point-of-difference.

And helped to make Port Macquarie-Hastings a destination for visitors and tourists. This benefits us all.

4. You helped our precious environment.

Local product means fewer transportation miles, and reduces tonnes of pollution and packaging.

5.
You helped to create jobs.

Small local businesses In Port Macquarie-Hastings are by far our largest employers.

6.
You helped our community develop.

Local businesses donate to local causes at more than twice the rate of nationally owned firms.

7.
You invested in local entrepreneurship.

Creativity and uniqueness will continue to be an important bedrock of Port Macquarie-Hastings’ future prosperity.

8.
You invested in the local economy.

Competition and diversity leads to more consumer choices in the long-term.

9.
You supported a local business committed to Customer Care.

You built upon the reputation of this area as the Number One Service Excellence area in Australia

(Customer Service Institute of Australia Awards).

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E-Waste and Recycling

pcpitstop sustainable

With awareness about the environmental impacts of sending electronic waste (e-waste) to landfill increasing, many households and businesses are keen to dispose of their unwanted electronic equipment in a responsible way.

Computers and other e-waste contain non-renewable resources such as tin, nickel, zinc aluminium and copper, as well as hazardous materials such as lead and mercury. Sending these products to landfill means the resources they contain are potentially lost and there is a risk that the hazardous substances may be released into the environment.

What can you do? Almost 99% of the components that make up a PC can be recycled. By recycling we can avoid serious toxins, chemicals and heavy metals from going to landfill and polluting our environment.

pcpitstop recycle

Talk to your nearest PC Pitstop team about the best recycling option for your equipment in your area.

* Port Macquarie residents can recycle monitors at the local council tip. Laptop computers and desktops however, can be recycled at PC Pitstop, Bay St, Port Macquarie.

 

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Benefits of a Regular Tune-up

Over time your computer equipment will invariably shows signs of ageing – slowing down, part malfunction, etc. A Tune-up is a thorough service of all components in your machine. It is a process whereby PC Pitstop Trained Technicians scan, clean and repair any issues, whether currently visible or hinting to likely to cause problems in the near future. We work with you to resolve any major issues found and provide you with options and solutions to get you back on track.

Regular Scheduled Tune-ups provide:

  •       Warning and solutions to problems before they occur become a costly interference to your daily life or business operations
  •       Optimal productivity and efficiency from your investment
  •        Performance improvements such as speed, space, and reliability
  •        A time for you to engage a PC Pitstop Trained Technician to help resolve any issues you may have
  •        Peace of mind that your computer is in good working order

For optimal performance, invest in a Tune-up every 3-6mths for business users and every 6-12mths for home users.

tuneupcar

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Your Winning Team

We work hard to hone our skills for you – THE CUSTOMER – and we’ve been rewarded for it!

Keep providing feedback of the services you receive at PC Pitstop. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or complete the Feedback Survey to WIN a FREE midweek escape at The Observatory hotel in Port Macquarie!

We hear you – and it keeps us WINNING FOR YOU!

  • Employer of Choice

  • Young Entrepreneur 18-35yrs

  • Excellence in Small Business

  • Best Employer for Training & Support

  • Embracing Technology

  • Environmentally Sustainable

         AWARDLOGOS          

PC Pitstop Observatory Overnight Escape Package 930x257px

Resources

 


  •         Sign up to the e-newsletter – genuine helpful advice and featured success stories
  •         Subscribe to the blog –your weekly dose of IT tips, tricks, news and a freebie or two of course
  •         Get FREE downloads – top free programs for various users, plus reminder posters for the family or workmates
  •         Attend exciting events – tailored to client needs and delivered by experts across a range of industries, plus enter our Technology Awards

 

  •          Huge range of computers, components, peripherals and accessories – FREE shipping for Australian orders over $500.
  •         Step by step downloadable e-Books

-          General Computing for Beginners

-          Working with Word 2007 (Part 1)

-          Working with Word 2007 (Part 2)

-          Working with Photos

-          Introduction to the Internet

-          Introduction to Skype

-          Introduction to Facebook

-          Facebook for Business Basics

-          Excel for Beginners

-          Email for Beginners

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Why We Think Norton Internet Security is the Best Virus Protection for Everyday Users

We use and recommend the latest version of Norton Internet Security on a regular basis and it's the only virus protection software we sell instore.

Why?

If you're looking for a traditional security suite, with essential features like antivirus, firewall, antispam, parental control, and phishing protection, it's a great choice, and it's one of PC Mags Editors' Choice suites.

But wait, why should you pay for a security suite when modern Windows versions already include an antivirus and a firewall? Here's the deal. Yes, the built-in firewall does a good job hiding your computer from outside attack, but it doesn't exercise control over which programs can access your network the way third-party firewall components do.

If you're using internet banking on your computer...you need Norton Internet Security.

And, because this...

 

LOL.

Point made.

Get your Norton Internet Security software from PC Pitstop today and we'll even install it for you.

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Funny Computer Memes & What They're Trying to Tell You

First up. What is a meme?

meme
miːm/
noun
 
  1. 1.
    an element of a culture or system of behaviour passed from one individual to another by imitation or other non-genetic means.
  2. 2.
    an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations.
     

Thanks Wikipedia.

Now. Here's a few memes created to teach you a lesson. 

PS. It's ok to have a giggle!

1.

7-our-computer-is-slow-funny-meme

LESSON: Less is more. The more unnecessary toolbars you add the slower stuff will happen.

How do they all get there? Not without a little help from you. If you have the Ask toolbar for instance, it might have been installed when you did a Java update and failed to uncheck the optional little box that asked you if you wanted to install that particular toolbar.

If you’ve installed one of the free antivirus programs, like AVG, it will install its own toolbar into your browser. Have you joined an on-line photo sharing site? You probably got another toolbar then as well. You get the idea?

None of those toolbars are absolutely essential and your browser will generally be much happier without them. How many different 'search' buttons do you really need?

2.

IE9-Faster-Downloading-of-Chrome-Or-Firefox-Nerd-Computer-Interwebs-Funny-Motivational-Meme

LESSON: Pretty self-explanitory.

Internet Explorer sucks.

Use Firefox or Chrome as your default internet browser.

Just remove IE9 altogether.

3. 

song-chart-memes-repair-shop

LESSON: Avoid doing the RED.

Really.

Unless 'buddy' agrees to pay the bill and replace all those memories.

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Computer Induced Medical Problems & How to Avoid Them

It's now common knowledge that posture and ergonmics are a very important part of avoiding RSI and other computer-use related injuries but after a chance search I found out there is a lot more we need to be wary of.

Here's an exert straight from Wikipedia on a few other nasties:

Computer vision syndrome

In many cases, frequent computer users suffer from computer vision syndrome, which is a degenerative eye problem which can result in severely reduced eyesight (Myopia), blurred vision, overall eye tiredness and even Glaucoma. Computer Eye Syndrome is an umbrella term for many problems but the causes of these problems can be easily identified. When using a computer due to the size and setup of the monitor and components it is necessary for the user to be within at least two feet of the monitor when performing any type of computational work. This presents many problems especially in older monitors due to an elevated amount of monitor glare, poor display quality and insufficient picture display refresh rates. Although these problems are more evident in older computers the newer models are not free from these problems either. Studies have been conducted [6] into the correlation between computers and eye problems and it was found that the Ionizing radiation given off by monitors has severe detrimental effects on the eye and eyesight on a whole. They also state “Treatment requires a multidirectional approach combining ocular therapy with adjustment of the workstation”[6] which shows these problems are quite easily solved with minimal investment from computer manufacturers through producing higher quality monitors with better resolution and refresh rates. The most common form of Computer Vision Syndrome is a condition termed Dry Eye, which results in itchy, sore and even the illusion that something is stuck in your eye. This condition is often caused by extensively long period looking at a computer screen

Video screens have a design process for user interface. Video screens can cause eyestrain from prolonged viewing. Cathode ray tubes are what are used to display the information on your computer. These send off radiation. This is a concern that has been taken into account when designing better computer screens for user interface.[4][5]

Musculoskeletal problems

Another medical issue caused by the use of computers is back and posture problems. These problems relate to musculoskeletal disorders caused by the need for the user to be crouched and hunched towards the monitors and computer components due to the design and positioning of these particular computer peripherals. This hunching forward of the user causes posture and back problems but is also the cause of severe and acute pain in the upper back, particularly pain in the neck and or shoulders. A study [7] was conducted where 2146 technical assistants installed a computer program to monitor the musculoskeletal pain they suffered and answered questionnaires on the location and severity of the pain. The study showed interesting results, as it detailed how in the majority of cases any pain suffered was aggravated and exacerbated by the use of computer peripherals like the mouse and keyboard but overall the pain did not originate from using computers. "Moreover, there seems to be no relationship between computer use and prolonged and chronic neck and shoulder pain"[7] This is a positive study for computer manufacturers but although the pain may not originate from computer peripherals there is no doubt that the pain is exacerbated by their use and this revelation alone should lead computer manufacturers to pioneer new technologies that reduce the risk of posture or musculoskeletal problems aggravated by the use of poorly designed and linearly designed computer peripherals.

In another study,[8] It was found that women are at a greater risk than men to suffer from musculoskeletal problems then men. Two explanations given were that "women appear to consistently report more neck and upper extremity symptoms than men.", and that women may assume more taxing positions while working than men do due to differences in anthropometrics.

(Read the whole article HERE)

And from the Better Health Channel website comes more:

Posture-related injuries from computer use

Back and neck pain, headaches, and shoulder and arm pain are common computer-related injuries. Such muscle and joint problems can be caused or made worse by poor workstation (desk) design, bad posture and sitting for long periods of time.

Although sitting requires less muscular effort than standing, it still causes physical fatigue (tiredness) and you need to hold parts of your body steady for long periods of time. This reduces circulation of blood to your muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments, sometimes leading to stiffness and pain. If a workstation is not set up properly, these steady positions can put even greater stress on your muscles and joints.

Preventing computer-related muscle and joint injuries

Tips to avoid muscle and joint problems include:

  • Sit at an adjustable desk specially designed for use with computers.
  • Have the computer monitor (screen) either at eye level or slightly lower.
  • Have your keyboard at a height that lets your elbows rest comfortably at your sides. Your forearms should be roughly parallel with the floor and level with the keyboard.
  • Adjust your chair so that your feet rest flat on the floor, or use a footstool.
  • Use an ergonomic chair, specially designed to help your spine hold its natural curve while sitting.
  • Use an ergonomic keyboard so that your hands and wrists are in a more natural position.
  • Take frequent short breaks and go for a walk, or do stretching exercises at your desk. Stand often.

Computer-related overuse injuries of the hand or arm

Muscles and tendons can become painful with repetitive movements and awkward postures. This is known as ‘overuse injury’ and typically occurs in the elbow, wrist or hand of computer users. Symptoms of these overuse injuries include pain, swelling, stiffness of the joints, weakness and numbness.

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Preventing computer-related overuse injuries

Tips to avoid overuse injuries of the hand or arm include:

  • Have your mouse at the same height as your correctly positioned keyboard.
  • Position the mouse as close as possible to the side of the keyboard.
  • Use your whole arm, not just your wrist, when using the mouse.
  • Type lightly and gently.
  • Mix your tasks to avoid long, uninterrupted stretches of using the computer.
  • Remove your hands from the keyboard when not actively typing, to let your arms relax.

Eyestrain from computer use

Focusing your eyes at the same distance point for long periods of time causes fatigue. The human eye structurally prefers to look at objects more than six metres away, so any work performed close up puts extra demands on your eye muscles.

The illuminated computer screen can also cause eye fatigue. Although there is no evidence that eye fatigue damages your eyesight, computer users may get symptoms such as blurred vision, temporary inability to focus on faraway objects and headaches.

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Preventing eyestrain from computer use
Tips to avoid eyestrain include:

  • Make sure your main source of light (such as a window) is not shining into your face or directly onto the computer screen.
  • Tilt the screen slightly to avoid reflections or glare.
  • Make sure the screen is not too close to your face.
  • Put the screen either at eye level or slightly lower.
  • Reduce the contrast and brightness of your screen by adjusting the controls.
  • Frequently look away from the screen and focus on faraway objects.
  • Have regular eye examinations to check that any blurring, headaches and other associated problems are not caused by any underlying disorders.

Injuries from laptop computers

The growing use of laptop computers has caused more pains, strains and injuries among computer users.

Laptop computers were designed to be used for short periods of time when a person couldn’t access a desktop computer. But these days many people use a laptop all the time.

The problem is that the monitor and keyboard of a laptop are very close together. To position the monitor at the right height for your back and neck causes you to lift your arms and shoulders too high. But to position the keyboard at the best height for your arms and shoulders, you must hunch your shoulders and neck to see the monitor.

Carrying your laptop around can also strain your muscles and joints.

Preventing injury from laptop computers
Tips to reduce laptop dangers include:

  • Use a correctly set-up desktop computer instead of a laptop as often as you can.
  • Use peripheral equipment, such as a docking station, separate keyboard, mouse and laptop stand.
  • Take frequent breaks.
  • Carry your laptop in a backpack or in wheel-along luggage.

Children and computer-related injuries

Researchers believe that electronic games may be among the causes of childhood obesity (being very overweight). And like adults, children might also get overuse injuries of the hand, and muscle and joint problems such as back and neck pain or headaches.

Some research has shown that playing violent computer games and a large amount of game time may cause aggressive behaviour in some children and may negatively affect a child’s school work. Although computer and video games are fun and offer benefits such as improved spatial awareness, parents should keep in mind that moderation is important in avoiding health problems.

Health risks from computer games
Playing computer games for too long or without correct furniture and posture can lead to health problems such as:

  • Overuse injuries of the hand
  • Obesity
  • Muscle and joint problems
  • Eyestrain
  • Behavioural problems including aggressive behaviour
  • Photosensitive epileptic seizures (caused by flashing or rapidly changing lights – this is rare).

Parents can reduce the risk of children developing computer-related health problems. You can encourage your child to:
Sit at least one metre away from the screen
Take frequent breaks
Pursue other activities. Encourage your child to enjoy different hobbies and interests, particularly sports and physical activities.

You can also:

  • Set sensible time limits on your child’s game playing. Some guidelines recommend no more than two hours of screen time each day
  • Set up the computer, desk, chair and keyboard to suit your child’s height. For example, adjust the chair so that your child’s feet rest flat on the floor
  • Buy an ergonomic chair
  • Buy a smaller mouse, which suits the size of your child’s hand
  • Teach your child to use the keyboard and mouse properly and safely, such as pushing the buttons and other controls gently. Using unnecessary force increases the risk of overuse injury.

Benefits of computer games

  • Playing video and computer games is a lot of fun, and can offer children other important benefits too. Depending on the game, playing can improve:
  • Spatial awareness
  • Iconic skills (reading images or diagrams)
  • Visual attention skills (such as keeping track of various objects at the same time)
  • Attention span in children who have attention problems.

Where to get help

  • Your doctor
  • Physiotherapist
  • Health and safety officer
  • Australian Physiotherapy Association Tel. (03) 9092 0888 or 1300 306 622

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Things to remember

  • Working at a computer can cause back, neck and shoulder pains, headache, eyestrain and overuse injuries of the arms and hands.
  • You can help avoid computer-related injuries with proper furniture, better posture and good working habits.
  • Parents should put sensible time limits on their children’s computer use and video-game playing.
  • Your child should take regular breaks from using a computer and should do some physical activities each day.

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Keyboard Shortcuts for the Modern User

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3 Most Useful Facebook Tips for the Discerning User

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