Setting up an Ergonomically Sound Office Space
The nature of office work has produced a whole host of stress-related
symptoms and musculoskeletal strains. For example, long hours at a poorly
designed computer workstation can cause pains in the neck and back,
shoulders, lower extremities, arms, wrists, hands, eyestrain, and a general
feeling of tension and irritability. The second leading type of disabling
accidents that occur within the office are the result of strain and
When you are using your computer, do the following apply?
- Wrists straight
- Forearms supported
- Back supported
- Forearms parallel to the floor
- Thighs parallel to the floor
- Feet on the floor or a foot rest
- Monitor at or slightly below eye level
Does your computer work surface adhere to the following guidelines?
- The proper height for a computer work surface is about 3 or 4 inches lower
than the average writing desk. If your work surface is not height adjustable
you might need to raise your chair and use a footrest for proper support.
- Your work surface should be positioned so that your forearms are parallel
to the floor.
- Your elbow should make an angle of between 90 and 110 degrees.
- Your work surface should be positioned so that your forearms are supported
a minimum of 6 inches.
- Your work surface should be positioned so that your wrists can be straight
- Wrists bent in any direction (up, down, left, or right) may lead to
discomfort and eventually injury.
Does the positioning of your chair adhere to the following guidelines?
- Adjust chair height so that your forearms are parallel to the floor. Both
feet should be flat on the floor or on a footrest and your thighs parallel
to the floor.
- Adjust the back support so that the curve of the back of the seat is in the
curve of the lower back. Use a towel or a lumbar pad if your chair does not
provide adequate support.
- Adjust the chair's backrest for seat pan clearance. You should be able to
place 2 or 3 fingers between the back of your knees and the front edge of
Does the positioning of your computer monitor adhere to the following
- Your monitor should be directly in front of you. Don't position your
monitor where you will have to twist your neck.
- You should adjust your monitor's height so that the top row of characters
on the screen is at or slightly below eye height. If you wear bifocals or
trifocals, a lower position is required depending on your lenses.
- The monitor should be 18 to 28 inches from your eyes (about at arm's length