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Workplace Ergonomics

Workplace Ergonomics

After hours sitting at a desk and staring at a computer screen, employees often leave their offices feeling sore and tight. This checklist will help you keep your body aligned and strong.

  • Prolonged hunched or elevated shoulders while holding the phone
  • Telephone headset
  • Speaker phone
  • Elbows splayed out (shoulder abduction)
  • Lower work surface
  • Lower chair armrests
  • Raised or tensed shoulders
  • Lower work surface or keyboard
  • Lower chair armrests
  • Raise chair, use footrest if necessary
  • Twisting head to the side
  • Bring viewed item closer to centerline of view
  • Elbow flexed for long periods using the telephone
  • Telephone headset
  • Speakerphone
  • Elbow or forearm resting for long periods on hard or sharp work surface, chair armrests
  • Pad or round surfaces, corners, and armrests
  • Replace armrests
  • Telephone headset
  • Wrists bent to the sides when using side keys
  • Sit centered on alpha portion of keyboard with letter “B” lined up with buttons on shirt
  • Use keyboard with more accessible keys or split keyboard design
  • Wrists bent back (extended) or forward (flexed) for prolonged periods
  • Change slope of the keyboard to mimic angle of thighs
  • Wrists or palms resting for long periods on hard or sharp keyboard or work surfaces
  • Palm rest
  • Padded or rounded surfaces, corners
  • Hands held actively over the keyboard during keying pauses
  • Palm or forearm rest
  • Prolonged mouse use
  • Alternative pointing devices
  • Mouse close to body (extended keyboard tray)
  • Prolonged sitting, especially in only one position
  • Greater work variety
  • Chair that supports posture change, through movement, size, or easy adjustability
  • Move phone and printer to the other side of the office to force standing, or suggest standing when on phone
  • Check chair fit
  • Monitor in-out mechanism
  • Sit-stand work surface
  • Lumbar back area not supported
  • Lumbar cushion
  • Backrest height and tilt
  • Check chair fit, especially backrest/lumbar height
  • Feet dangling, not well supported, or a posture which seems to put pressure on the backs of the thighs
  • Lower chair
  • Lower work surface
  • Foot rest
  • Chair backrest not used for long periods
  • Check chair fit, especially seat pan depth and height
  • Check leg room
  • Check monitor distance and character height
  • Utilize adjustable keyboard tray
  • Twisted torso
  • Rearrange work
  • Provide more knee space
  • Convert U-shaped work surface layout
  • Swivel chair
  • Frequent or prolonged leaning or reaching
  • Rearrange work
  • Mouse pad, palm or forearm rest
  • Bring mouse and keyboard closer to body
  • Working with one or both arms "reaching" toward a mouse or keyboard
  • Bring keyboard closer to body
  • Mouse pad, palm or forearm rest
  • Bring mouse closer to keyboard
  • Light sources that can be seen by the worker
  • Cover or shield light sources
  • Rearrange work area
  • Move other viewed objects to lower field of view
  • Too much contrast between screen and surroundings or document; worker feels relief when bright areas are shielded
  • Lower ambient light levels
  • Turn off, reposition, or dim task lights
  • Block offending light sources
  • Very bright ambient lighting (above 500 lux or 50 fc) or shadowed areas caused by over-illumination
  • Lower ambient light levels to 200-500 lux (20-50 fc) and use task lights
  • Monitor closer than approximately 65 cm (25")
  • Push monitor back (enlarge font size)
  • Bring keyboard forward with a keyboard tray
  • Screen or documents not oriented perpendicular to the line of sight (tipped back slightly is even better)
  • Change monitor and document stand angle
  • Monitor image dim, fuzzy, flickers, small, or otherwise difficult to read
  • Upgrade monitor
  • Use software to enlarge image
  • Shiny, low-contrast, or small-print documents
  • Improve lighting on documents if documents cannot be changed
  • Forward head posture (peering) or squinting
  • Lower monitor
  • Tilt monitor back
  • Check for monitor image quality problems, character height or monitor distance
  • Eyestrain complaints
  • Check all aspects of visual environment
  • Suggest consultation with vision specialist
  • Neck extended backwards, head tilted back, even slightly
  • Remove CPU from under monitor
  • Neck severely flexed (downward)
  • Tilt face of monitor back
  • Tilt document - do not lay flat on work surface
  • Raise document or monitor to a comfortable height
  • Adjust posture

Thanks to longtime PCRM vendor Ergoform for these tips and solutions to help us keep our bodies in check throughout the workday!


Food for Life Employee Wellness Program Quarterly: Autumn 2013



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