Sometimes it is up to you as the employee to make sure that your workstation is ergonomic, and thus will serve you in maintaining your health and physical fitness while you work.
Having an easy check-list will help you to create your ergonomic workplace. In Part 1 of our 3-part series, we looked at properly setting up your chair, desk height, and foot rest.
In Part 2 we will determine what you need to do to make working with your computer as safe and efficient as possible.
- Is the center of the keyboard positioned directly in front of you?
- If you have a primary monitor (one that you use more than the other), position the primary monitor directly in front of you and place the secondary monitor to the right or left. Angle this monitor in about 30 degrees.
- Is the keyboard in front of the screen (or directly in front of you if you are working with two screens equally)? This encourages good posture and body alignment, preventing muscle strain.
- Is the keyboard 2-4 inches from the edge of the desk? This enables you to sit close enough to your work while keeping your arms/elbows to near to your body, to prevent stretching and potentially hunching the upper torso forward, thus straining the shoulders, neck and back.
Monitor Screen Placement
- Is the screen approximately arm’s length from you when you are seated at your workstation?
- Is the height of the screen appropriate? The top of the screen should be at eye level and the bottom of the screen can be easily read without marked inclination of your head.
Computer Mouse Placement
- Is your mouse comfortably within reach with your arm at your side (next to the keyboard, close to edge of work surface, with arm bent)? This ensures correct body alignment and prevents reaching and leaning.
- Is the mouse at the same level as the keyboard? This keeps wrist in neutral position preventing wrist strain.
- Do you avoid large motions to manipulate mouse? Large movements involve more muscle groups potentiating strain from overuse. Try to learn shortcuts on the keyboard to prevent mouse use.
- If you frequently use the mouse, do you alternate between left and right hand? This prevents strain from overuse