Basic Ergonomic Principles

To assist you in setting up your workstation in line with basic ergonomic principles and to minimize the risk of a musculoskeletal disorder, the following guidelines have been established for you. When you set up the position of your workstation, it is important to experiement and try new positions to find the most comfortable position. Always give your body a chance to get used to the changes, as it may take several hours or even days to find the best position for you. While you work at your computer, it is also important to take regular breaks or short pauses.

Your Chair

This is the first piece of your workstation equipment that should be adjusted.

Adjust the height so that your feet are comfortably flat on the floor, thighs are appoximately horizontal and the lower legs are approximately vertical-with minimal pressure to the underside of your thighs. If your chair is able to tilt, initially set it horizontal and you may wish to tilt it slightly to improve comfort. The back rest should fit the curve of your lower back. It is important that the back rest is not placed too low. Start by setting the height of the back rest to its maximum height. Lower the height by several centimetres and try the position until the comfortable position is found. The back rest should place a comfortable pressure on the lower back while seated in the usual posture. It shouldn’t feel as though it is pushing you out of the seat or that you have to reach too far in. There should be a two finger clearance between the front of the chair and the back of the knee. Trial numerous positions until you find the best fit. Direct Office Furniture have many different chairs to suit your needs.

Your Desk

Once you have adjusted your chair to suit your body, start with ensuring you are sitting at your desk correctly.

After chair adjustment, adjust the top surface of the desk to just below elbow height-relax your shoulders and bend your elbow to 90°. If the chair has been adjusted and the desk is higher or lower than the elbow, other forms of adjustment will be required. If the desk is too high, the height of the chair will need to be increased. Raise the chair and use a footrest to ensure that your thighs are approximately horizontal and the lower legs approximately vertical and feet are on a flat surface. If the desk is too low, the height of the desk will need to be increased. Raise the desk height by extending the leg length, ensuring that any changes are secure and stable. If your desk can not be modified to the correct height, a new ergonomic desk is recommended. Direct Office Furniture can customise to the exact height requirements needed for your desk or workstation.

Your Computer

After completing the correct position of your desk and chair, set up your computer.

Your wrists should remain in a neutral position when you are typing. Use the feet underneath the keyboard to tilt the keyboard to find the ideal position. The common setting is when the feet are lowered so the keyboard sits flat on the desk. The keyboard should be as close to the front of the desk as possible. Do not place documents between the keyboard and the front edge of the desk when typing. Ensure that there is room to put the keyboard aside when not in use. Your mouse pad should be placed as close to the keyboard a possible and at the same height as the keyboard to minimize an over reaching action. The screen should be positioned so that the top of the screen is level with or slightly lower than your eyes, when you are sitting upright. If the screen is not high enough, a screen mount is recommended. The screen should be approximatley an arms length away from your usual seated position. Trial this position and move further away or closer as required. At Direct Office Furniture, we can customise a screen mount in your choice of finish and dimensions required.