Among Ergonomists there is general agreement with regard to proper computer workstation set-up, and the optimal body postures assumed by people performing tasks at the workstations. Unfortunately, quick and easy solutions to ergonomic problems, such as wrist rests, seldom help and sometimes they actually make matters worse. Likewise, recommending specific dimensions for workstations without knowledge of the anthropometrics of each user, the dimensions of equipment, and the nature of the work to be done can result in sub-optimal workstation arrangements. For more information on computer workstation arrangements check out the 10 tips page. This performance oriented checklist is designed to help you to evaluate what is needed for a good ergonomic workstation arrangement. Specific dimensional constraints intentionally are omitted and replaced by a principles oriented approach for this checklist. A checklist is a guide to good decision making, not an end point in itself. No checklist alone is able to capture the interactions and complexities of all possible combinations of people, task, equipment, and work environment. However, use of this checklist, along with an understanding of the principles of Ergonomics, will allow you to identify workstations which need redesign work, and it will give you guidance on the goals of any workstation redesign that is required. At a minimum, while using this checklist, remember that designing for ergonomics requires understanding and consideration of * the physical and psychological attributes of the person or population of people that will perform the job * the design and arrangement of the workstation furniture, computer hardware, computer software, and other workstation accessories * the tasks required to perform the job
* the work environment, including such things as noise and temperature, but also management and organizational methods and constraints The interaction between these general topics is critical, and will define the postures, forces, and repetitions assumed by the person(s). Remember, all parts of the body are linked together, and consequently a modification in one area may have significant effects in another, no single change can be performed without considering the effects on other areas. For example, lowering seat height so that someone may comfortably rest his/her feet on the floor may force a stressful upper body posture if the monitor position and table or keyboard height are not adjusted in concert (this is often a good reason to provide a footrest). When using this checklist,
* ask not whether the person can merely achieve these general goals, but whether the design of the workstation, task, and environment interfere with, obstruct, or outright inhibit a person from achieving them. * remember that it is worded for use when reviewing one person and that person's VDT workstation, tasks, and working environment. If more than one person must use the same workstation, the checklist should be applied to each individual, and an easily adjustable workstation becomes even more important. * remember that there is no "perfect posture for all time" and that a dynamic posture (frequent changes in posture) is a good way to reduce stress and redistribute pressure related to long duration static postures. However, work can be sustained for longer times without causing harm if the person is working in a neutral posture. * remember that the checklist is not all inclusive, and may not cover all of the topics important to your specific situation. * remember that a good ergonomics approach will improve comfort, productivity and quality, as well as health and safety. "NO" responses indicate conditions that may be associated with higher risk of...