Computer Ergonomics Guidelines

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Many of us spend the majority of our working day sitting at a desk, using a computer. Over time, poor seating and unnatural positioning can cause discomfort and injuries. It is therefore worthwhile knowing the computer ergonomics guidelines to ensure that you and your employees are safe.

We recently wrote an article entitled The Importance of Sitting Correctly in your Office Chair, which explained importance of correct positioning. In this article, we look at computer ergonomics.

What type of computer?
If you are using a desktop computer, then it is easier to set it up to suit you. However, if you are using a laptop, as many other office workers are these days, it may be worth using an external monitor and keyboard.

The Work Surface
Your computer, mouse, monitor and keyboard should be placed on a sturdy and stable work surface. Generally it is good to have a surface that is 28 to 30 inches above the floor, however an even better option is to use a height adjustable desk that can be adjusted to suit your personal build. You could consider a sit-stand workstation so that you have the option of standing or sitting, to keep you moving throughout the day.

The Computer Equipment
The keyboard needs to be situated in a way that makes it comfortable to use throughout the day. You need to be sitting close to the keyboard, with it directly in front of your body. Adjust the height of the keyboard so that your shoulders are relaxed, with elbows slightly open and wrists and hands straight.

You can use palm support when resting the hands between typing, but using palm support when typing isn’t recommended.

The screen should be positioned directly in front of you above your keyboard. The top of it should be around 2-3” above eye level and you should be seated at least an arm’s length from the screen. When positioning the screen, aim to reduce glare by placing at right angles to windows if possible.

Any papers and documents that you are using should be placed as close to the screen as possible. Ideally, you would use a document holder to ensure your paperwork is kept in the same position.

Regular Breaks
It is important to take regular micro and longer breaks throughout the day to break up work sessions. You shouldn’t look at the screen for too long without looking away for periods of time. For micro eye breaks, look at something preferably over 20 feet away to change your focus.

The Chair
It is important to use a comfortable chair when working. Our selection of ergonomic office chairs offers style and comfort, with full back support to minimise the risk of aches, pain and long term injury.