||How To Properly Adjust Your Workstation
Step 1: Sitting Posture
Adjust the chair height to allow you to sit up straight, and to have your knees even with or a little lower than your hips. Feet should be flat on the floor. If unable to manage desktop activities from this height, raise the chair to best suit your desk and use a footrest to achieve the posture.
If your char has an adjustable back support, place it at the belt line for maximum lumbar support. If the chair back is not adjustable, consider using a purchased lumbar roll support cushion or roll up a towel to use in your chair.
Step 2: Arm Posture
Adjust the placement of the keyboard and the mouse to allow your shoulders to drop in a relaxed position, the upper arms to rest comfortably down by your side, the elbows to bend at a 90 degree angle (forearms parallel to the floor), and the wrists straight. Checks to make sure the feet of the keyboard are down to flatten the keyboard angle.
It is best to have the keyboard and mouse at the same level to avoid prolonged holding postures of the arm out and away from the body.
Step 3: Neck Posture and Vision
Adjust the placement of the monitor to allow you to face it straight on. Position from the screen is generally best at approximately an arms length away (16-22 inches). The top of the screen should be even with the top of your forehead.
Correct monitor placement will prevent the neck from twisting and bending. It is essential in helping to avoid tightness, pain and knotting of the neck and shoulder musculature by the end of the day. If you reference documents or papers while keying, a document holder or copy stand is suggested for preventing neck strain.
Step 4: Other Items to Consider
Rearrange the workstation to place frequently used items (phone, books, supplies, etc.) within easy reach. This helps to avoid twisting the torso for reaching and lifting or reaching with sustained arm postures away from the body.
Varying postures throughout the day will assist in prevention of tightness of certain muscle groups and will allow recovery of overused groups. This can also be achieved by pacing of tasks and/or rotating tasks Short (3-5 minutes) stretch breaks frequently in the workday will assist in prevention and overuse. For suggestions on stretches see the exercise portion of this website.
Information courtesy Portia Gardner-Smith, Shands Occupational Health