Your Safety: Everyday ergonomics

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Workstation setup

If you work on a computer for long periods at home or work, it’s important to have your workstation set up properly to avoid injuries. A well-designed workstation should allow you to sit with your body in a balanced, well-aligned position.

Adjust the seat height so that your feet are flat on the floor.
Adjust the backrest to support the lumbar curve in your lower back.
Ensure that there is clearance between the backs of your knees and the chair – enough space for a fist.
Ensure that your thighs are parallel to the floor when sitting in your chair.
Ensure there is sufficient room underneath your work surface for your legs and knees.

Keyboard (when typing)
Keep your shoulders relaxed.
Ensure your elbows are at an 80-90 degree angle.
Keep your hands and wrists in a neutral position (straight). Wrists should not bend forwards or backwards when you type.
Use a soft wrist rest to keep your wrists straight. Your wrists should “float” above the wrist rest when you are typing.

Keep your mouse on the same level as the keyboard. The mouse should be located at, or slightly lower than, your relaxed elbow height.
Your mouse should be located where you can reach it easily, without altering your posture. Do not rest your wrist or hand on the table surface or edge.
Keep your hands and wrists in a neutral position (straight).

Ensure the viewing distance to your monitor is about an arm’s length away. A viewing distance of 20-28 inches is comfortable for most people.
Position the monitor to reduce any reflections or glare that may enter your eyes.
Turn off any bright lights that may be in your peripheral (side) vision. Put blinds or drapes on windows to help control bright light and glare.
Ensure that the monitor is centered in front of you.
Ensure that the first line of text on the screen is at eye level. The centre of your screen should be 4-9 inches below your eyes when you’re looking straight ahead.

If you are a heavy telephone user, avoid cradling the phone against your shoulder. Consider using a headset.
If you can’t use a hands-free phone, make sure that your telephone is placed where you can reach it easily, without stretching or straining.

Vary your posture regularly to prevent muscle tension and fatigue. Alternate keyboard work with other duties by taking a five-minute break every hour to do non-computer work. Ease stiff, aching muscles by doing deskercises during your break.

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sitting on a chair that is too high
tilting your head forward
sitting without lumbar support
working with your arms raised
bending your wrists when typing
working with unsupported forearms
cramming your thighs under a worktable
pressure on the bottom of your thighs
sitting on an unstable chair
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