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Evaluate Your Office Ergonomics / Computer Set-Up

Posted Jan 13 2009 7:11pm
Read more about " How to Reduce Computer-Related Pain"

Use our Office Ergonomics Checklist to evaluate and immediately improve your computer set-up.

Please also see the " Office Ergonomic Guidelines" for measurements and further detail.

Step One: Your Chair: See " Seating Surface Guidelines"
-Adjust the seat height so that your feet are flat on the floor and your knees are in the same plane or slightly lower than your hips.
-There should be at least 2 inches between the back of your knees and the chair seat.
-Sit as far back in chair as you can.
-Make sure there is adequate back support, use additional lumbar support if necessary.
-Seat should slope downward slightly.
-Adjust the angle of the chair to recline to 100-110 degrees.
-Adjust armrests so that the arms are relaxed loosely by your sides.

Step Two: Your Keyboard: See " Keyboard Position Ergonomic Guidelines"
-Position your keyboard so that is directly in front of you.
-Pull up close to the keyboard.
-Adjust the height of the keyboard so that the keyboard is positioned at or slightly lower than waist height and your shoulders are relaxed at your sides, your elbows are relaxed at about 90 degrees and your wrists and hands are straight. Use ergonomic adjustable keyboard tray with computer mouse platform in order to ensure optimal posture.
-The tilt of the keyboard should be either negative, with the front end of the keyboard slightly higher than the back end, or positioned flat with no tilt.
-Wrist rests can help to maintain a straight, neutral wrist position and soften hard edges. However, the wrists should only be resting on pads between strokes. Make sure the wrist rest is not higher than the keyboard. Resting on wrist rests while typing is not recommended.
Position mouse, trackball or alternative input device as close to keyboard as possible.

Step Three: Monitor and Frequent use items: See " Optimize Reaching Zones" Guidelines

-Position monitor directly in front of you. Use computer monitor arm in order to ensure optimal viewing height and distance.
-Computer screen should be 18” to 24” from your eyes or about one arm’s length away.
-Position top of monitor 2-3” above seated eye level, so that the top of the screen is level with your eyebrows. If you wear bifocals lower screen to a comfortable level.
-Use anti glare screen or reposition monitor if there is direct glare. Place screen at right angles to windows. Close window blinds or shades. Use filters, task lighting and screen controls to adjust lighting and brightness to reduce eye strain.
-Position documents in front of you or use document holders. Document holders should be placed next to the screen at the same height and distance.
-Position all frequent use items such as a phone, stapler, calculator within one arm’s reach.
-Use headset or speaker phone with frequent phone use.

Step Four: Posture and Breaks: See " Posture Tips" for computer users and " Laptop Computer Ergonomics" for posture tips for laptops

-Take brief 1-2 minute breaks every 30 minutes.
-Sit up straight with shoulders down and chest open.
-Low back should be supported, maintaining the lower back’s inward curve.
-Feet should be supported on the floor or office foot rest.
-Do not cross legs or rest feet on chair legs.
-Blink often to reduce eye strain.
-Refocus your eyes on a distance object at least 20 feet away, every 30 minutes to reduce eye strain.
-Rest eyes by covering them once every hour for 60 seconds.
-Alternate your tasks to provide alternate positions and opportunities to stretch.
.........Read more about Computer-related "Ergonomic Eye Problems"

Step Five: Work Exercises
-Stand up to stretch at least once every hour.
-Raise your shoulders up and down slowly 10 times every hour.
-Roll your shoulders around in a circle forwards and backwards 10 times every hour.
-Lower your chin to your chest slowly 10 times every hour.
-Perform a chin tuck 10 times every hour.
-Rotate your chin to the right and then to the left slowly 10 times every hour.
-Tilt your head side to side, slowly 10 times very hour.
-Squeeze your shoulder blades together, hold and repeat 10 times every hour.
-Drink at least 8 glasses of water.
-Exercise on a regular basis.
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