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Worklife Ergonomics Resources: Workstation Ergonomics

Many of us work at a desk with a computer every day. We are frequently seated for long periods of time and use repetitive motions while on the job.  Because of this, it is important that we avoid working with improper body mechanics and / or having an inappropriate office set-up.  We can take preventative measures to reduce the risk of back, neck, shoulder, elbow, and wrist pain by setting ergonomic workstations.

The following computer comfort tips can be implemented by you while working at your computer to create a work area designed for maximum comfort, efficiency, safety, and ease of use.

Good Habits - essential for your health

  • Good work posture, observed throughout the day, will be very beneficial for your body
  • Develop measures to reduce static postures
  • Observe mini rest periods (up to one minute every half hour) throughout the day

Your Work Posture

  • Head upright, over shoulders (not hunching forward), facing forward
  • Sit up with chair tilted back slightly
  • Shoulders relaxed
  • Thighs approximately parallel to floor
  • Backs of knees 2/3 fingers in front of leading edge of chair
  • Rest feet firmly on floor or footrest
  • Elbows at side at a 90 degree angle (parallel to the floor)
  • Wrists straight
  • Hands tilting slightly down onto keys or mouse

Your Workstation

  • Top of screen at or slightly below eye-level
  • Keyboard and mouse at elbow height
  • Chair provides support for back, especially for low back
  • Seat back angled slightly back (free floating but firm)
  • Wrists kept straight (working position is similar to playing a piano - not resting on anything)
  • Minimize glare on screen - 90 degrees to window
  • All equipment directly in front of you

Other Work Habits

  • Use light touch on keyboard
  • Use a document holders to ease eye movement
  • Vary your tasks throughout the day
  • Do not cradle phone between shoulder and neck - if used often, use phone speaker or get a headset


View and/or print a copy of the Healthy Workstation Guidelines.