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Ergonomic set up for your work station

Ergonomic set up for your work station

8th June 2012

Correct ergonomic set up for your workstation is a vitally important part of maintaining a health spine and working lifestyle. When thinking of ergonomics, please remember that one size does NOT fit all and a product is only ergonomically correct if it fits the individual and it is being used correctly. Remember that the key is to change positions frequently and to use the adjustability of equipment to position yourself correctly and to enable you to change positions frequently.

How a Work Station should be set up whilst seated at your computer:

PART A: Your Chair

  • Push your hips as far back as they can go in the chair.
  • Adjust the seat height so your feet are flat on the floor and your knees equal to, or slightly lower than your hips.
  • Adjust the back of the chair to a 100°-110° reclined angle. Make sure that your upper and lower back are well supported – use small pillows if required. If you have an active back mechanism on your chair, use it to make frequent position changes.
  • Adjust the armrests (if fitted) so that your shoulders are relaxed. If your armrests are in the way, simply remove them.

PART B: Your Keyboard

  • Pull up close to your keyboard.
  • Position the keyboard directly in front of your body.
  • Determine what section of the keyboard you use most frequently and re-adjust the keyboard so that section is centred with your body.
  • Adjust the keyboard height so that your shoulders are relaxed, your elbows are in a slightly open position (100° to 110°) and your wrists and hands are straight.
  • The tilt of your keyboard is dependent upon your sitting position. Use the keyboard tray mechanism or keyboard feet, to adjust the tilt.
  • If you do not have a fully adjustable keyboard tray, you may need to adjust your workstation height, the height of your chair or use a seat cushion to find a comfortable position. Use a footrest if your feet dangle.
  • Wrists should be in neutral and in line with forearms. A padded moveable wrist pad at the same height as the keyboard may be required.
  • The mouse should sit next to the keyboard at the same height.

PART C: Screen, Document and Telephone

Incorrect positioning of the screen and source documents can result in awkward postures. Please adjust the screen and source documents so that your neck is in a neutral, relaxed position.

  • Centre the screen directly in front of you, above your keyboard.
  • Position the top of the screen approximately 5 cm above seated eye level. If you wear bifocals, lower the screen to a comfortable reading level.
  • Sit at least an arm’s length away from the screen.
  • Adjust the vertical screen angle and screen controls to minimise glare from overhead lights
  • Position source documents directly in front of you, between the screen and the keyboard. If there is insufficient space, place source documents on a document holder positioned adjacent to the screen.
  • Place your telephone within easy reach.
  • Use headsets and speaker phone to eliminate cradling the handset.