Thank you for your interest in making your workspace the an optimal working environment. Listed below are the ergonomic guidelines.
Most displays feature a variety of adjustments which enable you to set up your equipment in a way most comfortable to you.
- Make sure that you position the screen to minimize glare and reflections from overhead lights, windows and other sources.
- It may be helpful to put an anti-glare filter on the front of the screen when it is impossible to avoid reflections or adjust lighting.
- Position yourself and the display to achieve and maintain a comfortable viewing distance, usually about an arm’s length away.
- Set the contrast and brightness of the screen at a comfortable level to decrease eye strain.
- As the light in the room changes, adjust the contrast and brightness, if necessary.
- Clean your screen, anti-glare filter and eyeglasses (if you wear them) on a regular basis.
- Consult your vision care specialist if you experience eye fatigue or discomfort.
- To determine the correct height of the monitor, look in the middle of the screen:
- If your head is angled up, then the monitor is too high and should be lowered. The monitor can be tilted down if it is just a slight adjustment. However, it may be necessary to remove the hard drive or “SurgeMaster” from underneath the monitor and place directly on the work surface.
- If your head is tilting down then the monitor is too low and should be raised.
- If there is noticeable glare on your monitor try to locate the source.
- If it is a window see if adjusting the blinds removes the glare.
- If it is due to overhead lighting tilting the monitor slightly may correct the problem.
- It may be beneficial to relocate the monitor or place a glare screen on it.
- Place your hands on the keyboard.
- Raise or lower your chair so that your forearms are parallel to the floor.
- A footrest may be helpful if after adjusting your chair your feet can no longer touch the floor.
- The keyboard should be placed near the edge of the desk. This prevents extending your arms or leaning to reach for the keyboard.
- A gel wrist rest may be helpful in front of the keyboard to support wrists and keep them straight.
- When keyboarding glide over the wrist rest or work surface, pivoting from elbows.
- Do not plant wrists.
- Position the mouse at the same level as the keyboard and close enough that you can use the mouse without having to stretch or lean over.
- When you use the mouse, hold it lightly with all fingers and click gently. Move the mouse with your entire arm instead of using only your wrist.
- A mouse pad with a gel wrist rest may help to avoid resting your wrist or forearm on your work surface while you move your mouse.
- Do not plant wrists.
- If possible alternate using the mouse, one week with the right hand and one week with the left hand.
Lighting, Reflection, and Glare
The display screen may reflect light from overhead lights, task lights, or light from windows. The reflections and the resultant glare can increase the difficulty of visual work.
Glare can be minimized by appropriate attention to workstation considerations such as proper lighting. Glare may be intensified by electrostatic accumulation of dust particles, finger marks, or other sources of dirt on the screen surface. Daily cleaning with an anti-static cloth can be helpful in this situation.
Often, rearranging the workstation furniture so the screen doesn’t receive direct illumination (for example, from a nearby window) will fix the problem. Too little light from the screen can amount to the same thing as too much room illumination. Adjusting the brightness and contrast may solve the problem.
The simplest way to reduce reflections from sources that cannot be removed is to turn or tilt the monitor so the reflections are not in the user’s line of sight. Most monitors have tilt and swivel bases that allow such adjustments. If the monitor is tilted downward, light sources from above the level of the monitor will not be reflected.
To supplement office lighting, task lights may be used for reading from source documents and written material.
One factor influencing comfort when looking at the computer monitor is eye lubrication, which is especially important for wearers of contact lenses. Computer users tend not to blink as frequently as people performing other reading tasks. Eye discomfort from this staring effect is exacerbated by low humidity. In addition, many computer users maintain the same body position for long periods of time. Therefore, all computer users should be encouraged to focus on distant objects, to look away from the terminal, and to move head and body periodically for comfort.
Rest your eyes by occasionally looking out a window and pick an area with depth. Focus on something close then a little bit further and continue as far as you can see. Then reverse by focusing on something close, then something closer. This will help relieve eye strain and also strengthen the eye muscle.
The way you organize the elements of your workplace to fit your individual needs is the most important consideration in working comfortably. You can save time and effort throughout the work day by taking a few minutes to think about the best position for your equipment and the most effective use of your space.
Make sure that you:
- Have sufficient desk area which allows you to position your keyboard, mouse, display, document holder and other items in the way that works best for you.
- Organize your desk to reflect the way you use work materials and equipment. Place the things that you use most regularly, such as a mouse or telephone, within the easiest reach.
- Vary your tasks and take periodic breaks. This helps to reduce the possibility of discomfort or fatigue.
- Keep your telephone where it is easily accessible.
- Bring it close to you or relocate it so that you are not reaching to pick up the receiver.
- Do not hold the receiver between your neck and shoulder.
The key to comfort is making sure your body is always in a relaxed, natural position.
Although there is no “ideal” working posture for every person, the following are practical solutions to minimize muscular discomfort and suggests ways to help you find that “ideal” work position that is best for you.
The following are suggested guidelines:
- Experiment with the position of your chair, keyboard, and monitor to find the arrangement that works best for you.
- The ideal work position is to have your arms hanging relaxed from your shoulders.
- If you use a keyboard, your arms should be bent at right angles at the elbow, with your hands held in a straight line with the forearm and your elbows close to the body. Your head should be in line with your body and slightly forward.
- Adjust your seat so that you are comfortable, making sure your back is supported and the seat pan is at a height so that your thighs are horizontal, there is no pressure behind the knees, and feet are flat on the floor.
- The chair may need to be adjusted higher or lower in order to get your forearms parallel to the floor. A footrest may be helpful for foot support.
- Adjust your monitor to a comfortable viewing height that allows your eyes to see the screen at a comfortable angle and when you look at the center of the screen your head is not tilting up or down but straight ahead.
- Use a soft touch on the keyboard and try to keep your shoulders, hands, and fingers relaxed.
- Using a document holder may be helpful to position source documents at the same distance as the screen.
- Organize your work area so that all work material and tools are within easy reach and at a comfortable level.
- To give your body some relief from sitting, stand up, stretch or shift position on your chair throughout the day frequently to ensure good circulation.
- Break up your computer work. Batch work and vary tasks when possible.
- Rest your eyes by occasionally looking out a window and pick an area with depth. Focus on something close then a little bit further and continue as far as you can see. Then reverse by focusing on something close, then something closer. This will help relieve eye strain and also strengthen the eye muscle.
- Take lunch away from your work area.
Links to chair manufacturer’s adjustments: