Posture/office work place set up

Prolonged computer use has the potential to cause physical discomfort, visual discomfort, stress and fatigue. Physical discomfort can manifest as: pain, fatigue, muscle discomfort, stiffness, burning feelings, weakness, numbness or tingling. A correct ergonomic workstation set-up can minimise the likelihood of developing these symptoms from daily computer use. While a good set-up will encourage good posture and movement patterns, it is not a guarantee. Being mindful of your posture during the working day is equally vital, as is sensible management of your working hours to include task changes, position changes, scheduled breaks and regular pauses.

(1) Top of monitor is at or slightly above eye level (may need riser)

(2) Monitor is about arm’s length away

(3) Monitor & keyboard are centred in front of you (G & H keys in line with nose)

(4) Source document holder is between monitor and keyboard or just beside monitor

(5) Keyboard is close to edge of desk and not tilted

(6) Mouse is immediately next to keyboard and loosely gripped

(7) Wrist-rest if present is used for ‘resting’, not leaning on while typing

(8) Feet are flat on floor (or foot rest)

(9) Position your hips as far back in chair as possible so that back is against back of your seat

(10) Seat is at height where hips are slightly higher than knees (seat can be tilted forward slightly)

(11) Spine is in S shape

(12) Seat-back is upright or with slight rear lean (90-110°)

(13) Head is straight and eyes looking at top 1/3 of screen

(14) Shoulders are relaxed but not slouched

(15) Elbows are at sides and at or slightly above desk height

(16) Forearms and hands are supported with wrists straight (not up/down/sideways)

Regular task breaks: These need to be more often than morning, lunch and afternoon breaks. Short breaks away from the computer will prevent muscle fatigue. These could involve doing other work-related, but not computer-based, tasks. Aim for 5-10 minutes every hour. Breaks are a good opportunity to perform stretches or exercises too.