Ergonomic Workstation

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Computer Workstation Ergonomics
INF 103: Computer Literacy
Winter 2009

Computer Workstation Ergonomics

As we spend increasing amounts of time at our computer workstation, we need to be aware of how the design and arrangement of our equipment can impact our comfort, health, and productivity. WORK AREA

The work area should be large enough to accommodate you, allow the full range of motions involved in performing required tasks, and provide room for the equipment and materials that make up the workstation. •Use a headset for lengthy or frequent telephone work.

Place the items you use most frequently directly in front of you. •Avoid overcrowding computer work areas.
Standard furniture cannot accommodate everyone’s needs. A taller person may need a one-time adjustment to have his or her work surface raised somewhat; a shorter person may need a footrest or other accessories. Adjustable furniture may be needed in situations where people share or use the same workstation. •The desktop should be organized so that frequently used objects are close to the user to avoid excessive extended reaching. •The work surface should have a matte finish to minimize glare or reflections. •The area underneath the desk should always be tidy and clean to accommodate the user’s legs and allow for stretching. •If a fixed-height desk is used, add a keyboard tray that adjusts vertically to provide added adjustability. •A footrest should be used if, after adjusting the height of the chair, feet do not rest flat on the floor. •Use a headset or speaker phone to avoid neck and shoulder discomfort if you use a phone frequently throughout the day. •Place the phone on the side of your non-dominant hand (i.e., left side if right-handed, right side if left-handed) •Position your desk lamp (if you use one) so that it illuminates source documents without causing either glare on the computer screen or direct illumination to your eyes. •A document holder should be used if documents are referred to during keying. The document holder should: •Be stable and adjustable (height, position, distance, and angle of view). •Support your document on either side of the monitor.

Be at the same distance from your eyes as the display screen to avoid frequent changes of focus and you should be able you to look from one to the other without moving your neck or back. CHAIR ADJUSTMENTS

Contrary to popular belief, sitting, which most people believe is relaxing, is hard on the back. Sitting for long periods of time can cause increased pressure on the intervertebral discs — the spongy discs between the vertebras. Sitting is also hard on the feet and legs. Gravity tends to pool blood in the legs and feet and create a sluggish return to the heart. The following recommendations can help increase comfort for computer users: •"Dynamic sitting", don’t stay in one static position for extended periods of time. •When performing daily tasks, alternate between sitting and standing or take small walking breaks throughout the day. •The chair back should have a lumbar support

Adjust height of backrest to support the natural inward curve of the lower back. •It may be useful to use a rolled towel, lumbar roll or cushion to support the low back. •The angle of the back rest is subjective but the trunk and upper legs should form an angle between 90 to 115 degrees. •Adjust height of chair so feet rest flat on floor

oSit upright in the chair with the low back against the backrest and the shoulders touching the backrest. oThighs should be parallel to the floor and knees at about the same level as the hips. oBack of knees should not come in direct contact with the edge of the seat pan. There should be 2-4 inches between the edge of the seat and the back of the knee •Arm rests should be removable and the distance between the arm rests should be adjustable. oAdjust height and/or width of armrests so they allow the user to rest arms at their...
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