Workstations should be adjustable to suit the individual who is using them. This means that every time you sit down at one, if it is not your own station, you must perform minor adjustments to make the workstation suit you. People should be able to work in neutral (no strain) posture by properly adjusting the height of their workstations and chairs.
Factors to consider in workstation design and setup are:
- body size
- left- or right-handedness
Most people work with a computer workstation either in the classroom, at work, or at home. Learning good habits and proper working conditions now are important to ensuring a healthy life.
The screen should be at a height that doesn't require you to bend your neck and should be positioned to reduce glare. Your feet must rest on the floor or on a footrest. Many of the adjustments will depend on your own body type and size. Injuries can be the result of any one element of a workstation being out of position.
Important things to remember when sitting at a computer workstation include:
- Wrist is not bent (in neutral position)
- Keyboard directly in front of the user
- Keyboard is at elbow height
- Top of screen (monitor) is at eye level
- Viewing distance is 30-60 cm from the monitor
- Screen is free from glare
- Consider using a document holder (not shown) to bring the work to the same level as the monitor
- Mouse close to the keyboard and at the same level
- Shoulders and hips should be "in line"
- Back rest fits the inward curve of the spine with no excessive pressure on the back (this is a pressure point)
- Armrest (if provided) at elbow height
- Seat pan height just below the knee cap with no pressure on the back of the knee or leg (this is a pressure point)
- Thighs should be horizontal to the floor
- Feet flat on the floor or the footrest
- Knees slightly lower than hips
Computer Workstation Layout
When sitting at a computer workstation it is important to lay out materials for easy and convenient reach:
Workstations designed for working in a standing position should be adjusted according to the following measurements:
- 5-10 cm below elbow level for precision work such as reading, looking at a map, standing at a lecture podium, etc.
- 10-15 cm below elbow level for light work such as arranging light objects (crafts), or working at a kitchen counter.
- 15-40 cm below elbow level for work requiring downward
force such as cutting, drilling in the
workshop, or cutting meat on a butcher block counter.
Ergonomically designed tools are designed to make our jobs easier. Tools often help the worker avoid excessive force or awkward postures. In this way, work is done efficiently and with less risk of injury. Hand tools should allow the operator to grasp, hold, and use the tool with the wrist held straight.
When selecting tools:
Note: Sometimes a tool is correct for one operation and incorrect for another.