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Arranging a Computer Workstation: Three Steps for Users

Arranging a Computer Workstation: Three Steps for Users Creating a good ergonomic working arrangement is important to protecting your health. The following steps are designed to help you with the proper set up of your workstation.

Step 1: Your Chair:
  1. Adjust the seat height so that your feet are flat on the floor or on a footrest. Your thighs should be parallel to the floor;
  2. Adjust your chair seat depth, either by moving the backrest or repositioning the seat pan of the chair, so that you have three to four fingers-width clearance between the edge of your chair and the back of your knees;
  3. If the backrest goes up and down, position it so that the extra curve in the chair fits the curve in your lower back; and
  4. Adjust the armrests so that they just brush the underside of your arm. If they are in the way, remove them or drop them out of the way.
Step 2: Your Keyboard and Mouse or Other Pointing Device:
  1. Pull up close to your keyboard so that your hands reach it comfortably. Your keyboard should be centered in front of you;
  2. Adjust the height of your key-board so that it is slightly below your seated elbow height;
  3. Adjust the angle of the keyboard tray to achieve a straight wrist position; and
  4. Position your pointing device next to and on the same level as your keyboard.
  5. If you do not have an adjustable keyboard tray, you could adjust your workstation height or the height of your chair and use a footrest to get the proper position.
Step 3: Your Monitor Work or Materials and Telephone:
  1. Center the monitor directly in front of you at a comfortable viewing distance;
  2. Position the top of the monitor screen at or below eye level. If you wear bifocal lenses, lower the monitor to a comfortable reading level;
  3. Position the monitor screen at right angles to room windows to minimize glare;
  4. When using source documents, use a copyholder placed between the monitor and the keyboard, or next to and at the same height as your monitor; and
  5. Place frequently used items such as your phone, reference books and documents within arm's reach.
If you can't seem to get your arrangement to feel right or you are not clear about some of the recommendations seek assistance from your supervisor and/or Safety Services.

Released: 1/23/2006