Six key elements to optimizing your workspace
Keep in mind that an ergonomic workspace is only as strong as its weakest part!
1. Seating & Posture
- Seated Posture – Proper seat height and seat angle will help ensure proportional weight distribution over the entire chair. Set the seat height so that feet are kept flat on the floor or footrest. Set the seat angle forward so that knees remain lower than hips.
- Seat Depth – Position the depth of the seat where there is one to two fingers width between the front edge of the seat and the back of your knees. The back of the knees should not touch the front of seat.
- Backrest Height – Position the backrest so that the lumbar support is comfortably fitting the lumbar area or small of the back. While positioning, be sure to sit deep into the seat with your back against the chair backrest.
- Remaining Adjustments – Set the arm height, width and other available features to complete the seated posture.
Remember: The chair is one vital part of the equation; positioning the hands and eyes are the next steps.
2. Keyboard & Mouse
Place the keyboarding and mousing surfaces within comfortable reach.
- Keyboard – Position the keyboard CLOSER and LOWER to the body, between one and two inches above the thighs. Position the keyboard angle either flat or tilted away (with a negative slope). Forearms should be lower than elbows with elbows open greater than 90°.
- Mouse – Place the mouse as close to the typing keyboard as possible, to minimize left-right motion of wrist. Ideally, place the mousing surface over the keyboard numerics pad.
3. Hand & Wrist Posture
As much as possible, keep the hand, wrist, and forearm straight while working. Keep hands below your elbows and use a palm support to help eliminate risk factors. The palm is intended to protect the wrist – support the palm, not the wrist!
4. Monitor Placement
Position the monitor to avoid unnecessary straining of the eyes or body.
- Height – Position top portion of screen just below eye level. If you wear bifocals or progressive lenses, the monitor should be 3-4" lower than eye level. If using multiple screens, they should be level to each other.
- Viewing Distance – Place monitor at the distance where your eyes naturally focus. This facilitates working without leaning forward or straining eyes to focus.
5. Document Placement
Set the document holder directly below the monitor (as opposed to the left or right). Position the computer screen and document close to one another. Bring the document holder within optimal viewing range.
6. Desktop Layout
Using a straight alignment of the keyboard, document and monitor is the optimal desktop layout, keeping all work tools within easy reach.