Workstation Comfort and Wellness

Workstation Comfort and Wellness
Adjust the Chair
Adjust the height of the chair so that thighs are horizontal, feet flat on the floor, and the upper
arm and forearm form a right angle when the hands are on the keyboard.
If the chair is too high, use a footrest to help take pressure off the back of the thighs.
Armrests should be padded and adjust up/down and inward/outward. Armrests should provide support at the forearm, not at the elbow.
Adjust the back of the chair so that it provides support to the lower back, helping maintain the
natural curvature of the spine.
Seat cushions should be firm, not soft and should have a “waterfall” front edge.
Use a chair with casters designed for the type of floor surface on which the chair will be used.
Adjust the Display
Position the screen to minimize glare and reflections. To do this, place bright lights and light
colored objects at right angles to the screen.
Adjust the height of the display so that the top line of the screen is at eye level. Individuals
who wear bifocal or trifocal glasses should adjust the height of the screen so they can view
the screen through the appropriate lens while maintaining the head positioned directly over
the spinal column.
Set the brightness and contrast at comfortable levels. Readjust as light levels change during
the day.
If glare cannot be avoided by other means, installation of a glare filter or glare hood can
eliminate glare. Glare filters should be used only when other means of reducing glare are
unsuccessful, because filters may reduce the clarity of the screen image.
Adjust Lighting
Close drapes and blinds to eliminate glare sources.
Place monitor at right angles to windows and other sources of light.
Reduce overhead lighting near monitors where possible.
Use indirect soft lighting.
Walls should be satin finished or textured.
Avoid light colored clothes if they are reflected in the monitor screen.
Adjust Document Holder
Position document holder near screen with copy at the same height as the screen.
Reposition the document holder from one side of the screen to the other frequently.
Maintain Proper Posture
The head should be positioned so that the weight of the head is supported by the spinal coumn, not the
neck muscles.
Lower back should be against the chair back. Sit up straight, maintaining the natural “S” curve of the
spine.
Upper arm and forearm should form a right angle.
Wrists and hands should extend straight out from the forearms (neutral position). Place a pencil on the
back of the wrist. There should be little or no space under the pencil and the pencil should be able to
touch the knuckle of the middle finger and extend down the middle of the wrist and the middle of the
forearm.
Reduce Stress
Employees should change position, stand up and/or stretch when they begin to feel tired or uncomfortable.
A kitchen timer can help remind an employee to take regular mini-breaks, during which they do other
tasks that do not require the same type of repetitive motion.
Task rotation can help reduce physical stress and likelihood of injury.
Remember that other tasks such as stapling, sorting mail and filing may also contribute the same type
of ergonomic stress.
Employees should remember that many off-the-job activities can contribute ergonomic stress. The
same principles of proper posture and maintaining the wrists in neutral position should be utilized.
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