Occupational Safety: Ergonomic tips for computer users

1/23/2007 8:00:00 AM

Working on your computer for extended periods of time can lead to discomfort, if you don't maintain good posture and don't have good work habits. Adhering to the postural and work habit tips described below will help you work comfortably.

Postural Tips:

  • Sit back in your chair so that your back is against the backrest.
  • Keep your feet on the floor or on a footrest.
  • Keep your arms and elbows relaxed and close to your body. If the arms of your chair prevent a relaxed arm and elbow position, considering removing them.
  • Keep your keyboard and mouse close to your body. Place the most frequently used part of the keyboard  alpha or numeric keys in front of you.
  • Align your chair, keyboard and monitor.
  • Align the top of the monitor at about 2 degrees above your eye level.
  • Sit about an arms length away from your monitor, but don't hesitate to adjust this distance to accommodate your own vision preference.
  • Keep wrists flat and straight while using your keyboard or other input device.
  • Place documents you work from between your keyboard and monitor. An in-line document holder is suggested.
  • Use a headset or speaker phone to eliminate cradling the phone handset.

Work Habit Tips:

  • Take frequent short breaks 1 to 2 minutes every 30 minutes. These break should allow you away from your computer.
  • Try to get away from your computer during lunch breaks.
  • Rest and refocus your eyes periodically to avoid eye fatigue.

If you'd like an ergonomic assessment of your workstation, please call me at (775) 682-6107.


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