Computer Ergonomics

Computer Workstation Ergonomics

Every day millions of people work with computers.  There is no specific workstation arrangement or posture that will be the right fit for every computer user. In general, however, the best method is to place the screen and keyboard at a comfortable height and distance, adjust the chair to a comfortable height, adjust the chair back for support, and re-adjust these components if need be. Working with a computer all day can cause eye strain, wrist aches, and can lead to poor posture and other physical problems. Though OSHA has no specific standards for computer users or workstation (existing standards are for radiation exposure hazards and electrical safety), it is important to have an ergonomically sound work station in order to protect your health.

Tools such as back support, chair type, chair height, light at location, keyboard angle, wrist support, and the placement of documents, phones, or other frequently used items all have an effect on user comfort. The goal of computer ergonomics is to address the placement and set up of desks, computer equipment, and lighting in order to minimize stress or health hazards.

  1. Ergonomic Practices:
  • Placement of the computer and its components is important to your overall health.
    • Top of the monitor must be at or below eye level.
    • Do not hunch over the keyboard.
    • Do not use a stool when working with a computer.
    • Mouse should be placed for a straight or neutral wrist position.
    • Desks should have enough space for your computer and its components as well as other work necessities (phones, documents, etc.).
  • The type of chair you use and the way you sit are also important for maintaining good health.
    • Elbows should be supported and close to the body, with hands and wrist in line with the forearms.
    • Head and neck should be balanced and in line with the torso.
    • Sit up straight in the chair.
    • Feet should be flat on the floor.
    • Support your lower back.
    • Directly face your computer with no angle.
    • It is helpful for your chair to be adjusted so that you are at eye level with your computer and your back is supported.
  • Remember, ergonomic adjustments like these will allow you to work more comfortably with your computer.