Workstation set-up and work practices

General principles

  • Keep most frequently used items in easy reach
  • Work at proper heights
  • Work in good postures
  • Reduce excessive forces
  • Minimize fatigue
  • Provide clearance and access

Four-step adjustment process

  1. Adjust your chair and seating position first so feet are flat on the floor with knees and hips at 90- 100°. Adjust the backrest so you have lower back support. Adjust the seat pan so there is at least 2 inches of clearance between the seat pan and the back of the legs.
  2. Adjust the workstation height to accommodate proper keyboard and mouse position so elbows are at 90° and wrists are in a straight neutral position.
  3. Adjust the monitor so it is squarely in front of you while seated and the top of the display is at eye level
  4. Adjust the workspace "comfort zone" to avoid reaching for accessories like the phone, calculator, document holder, etc.

Work practices

Once the workstation is set-up properly good work habits will help prevent MSDs.  Maintain good posture and sit against the backrest of the chair. Keep the keyboard and mouse close to avoid reaching. Hit keyboard keys with a light touch and keep the wrists straight when typing.

Prolonged static postures inhibit blood flow and circulation.  Take short micro-breaks from one to three minutes every 20-30 minutes.  Get up, move around and do other tasks such as making copies, filing or making phone calls. Try and get away from your computer over lunch breaks.  Take a few minutes and stretch the neck, shoulders, arms and hands.  Refocus you eyes by looking away from the monitor at a distant object.