Ergonomics for your Office

Ergonomics for your Office:

We start with the assumption that the components that you are using in your office space have been selected with your ergonomic health as a guide. Generally bad space setup leads to neck pain, wrist issues, shoulder pain an back pain, to name the biggest offenders.

Chair, Desk, and Computer:

The chair is the single most critical component in the office space design. It is important that the way it is physically related to the desk and the computer be carefully evaluated and adjusted. The diagram shows the relationship between the components.

Step 1:

The first step in the process is to examine the desk or table and see if it is adjustable, and examine the chair for the same. Lets assume the most common setup, the desk is non-adjustable and the chair is completely adjustable.

The first adjustment is to get the chair to the proper height. The easiest way to do this is to adjust the chair until the arm and hand position is exactly like it is pictured above. Note that the arm is bent at 90 degrees and the wrist is completely flat and in a neutral position.   If the chair can not be put in a position that this is possible, then you may need to use a keyboard tray to lower the typing surface. This is a very common situation since often desk height’s are far above prescribed ergonomic design specifications.

If the chair can be raised high enough it would be possible for a user of short stature to also require a foot rest, particularly if the feet have trouble reaching the ground. Even if they can touch the ground, but the underneath part of the thighs are resting on the edge of the chair pan then you need to relieve that pressure to prevent blood flow restrictions to the lower legs and feet.

Step 2:

The next step is to setup the parts of the computer that interact with the user. The mouse and monitor, need to be placed in the proper position.

The mouse will be the first component.   The mouse should be placed close to the keyboard to minimize the reach. Also, the mouse should be used by the user’s non-favored hand to increase the amount of task balance, by adding load to that hand.

Step 3:

The next component is the computer screen or monitor. The height of the monitor should be set so that the user’s eyes are looking straight at the top of screen as pictured in the diagram. Also the monitor should be at arm’s length from the user.