Ergonomic Home Office

Proper Desk Setup

Setting up a workstation properly can be challenging, especially if you are tasked with doing this for several individuals.  Each person is unique in their stature; therefore, every workstation should have the adjustability to meet specific needs.  There is not “magic” setup that is going to be a fit for all, but there are several ergonomic factors that all workstations should have in common.  Below I have provided a comprehensive list of components that should ensure a comfortable work environment.

WORKING CONDITIONS

  1. Head and neck should be upright (not bent down/back).
  2. Head, neck and trunk should face forward (not twisted).
  3. Trunk should be close to perpendicular to floor (not leaning forward/backward).
  4. Shoulders and upper arms should be about perpendicular to floor (not stretched forward) and relaxed (not elevated).
  5. Upper arms and elbows should be close to body (not extended outward).
  6. Forearms, wrists, and hands should be straight and parallel to floor (not pointing up/down).
  7. Wrists and hands should be straight (not bent up/down or sideways toward little finger).
  8. Thighs should be about parallel to floor and lower legs to be about perpendicular to floor.
  9. Feet should rest flat on floor or be supported by a stable footrest.

SEATING

  1. Backrest should provide support for employee’s lower back (lumbar area).
  2. Seat width and depth should accommodate specific employee (seatpan not too big/small).
  3. Seat front should not press against back of employee’s knees & lower legs (seat not too long).
  4. Seat should have cushioning and be rounded/ have “waterfall” front (no sharp edge).
  5. Armrests should support both forearms while employee performs tasks and should not interfere with movement.

KEYBOARD/INPUT DEVICE

  1. Keyboard/input device platform(s) should be stable/large enough to hold keyboard & input device
  2. Input device (mouse or trackball) should be located right next to keyboard so it can be operated without reaching.
  3. Input device should be easy to activate, and shape/size should fit hand of employee (not too big/small).
  4. Wrists and hands should not rest on sharp or hard edge.

MONITOR

  1. Top line of screen should be at or below eye level, so employee is able to read without bending head or neck down/back. (For employees with bifocals/trifocals, see next item.)
  2. Employee w/bifocals/trifocals should able to read screen without bending head or neck backward.
  3. Monitor distance should allow employee to read screen without leaning head, neck or trunk forward/backward.
  4. Monitor position should be directly in front of employee, so employee does not have to twist head or neck.
  5. No glare (e.g., from windows, lights) is present on the screen which might cause employee to assume an awkward posture to read screen.

WORK AREA

  1. Thighs should have clearance space between chair table/keyboard platform (thighs not trapped).
  2. Legs and feet should have clearance space under desk, so employee is able to get close enough to keyboard/input device.

ACCESSORIES

  1. Document holder, if provided, should be stable and large enough to hold documents that are used.
  2. Document holder, if provided, should be placed at about the same height and distance as monitor screen so there is little head movement when employee looks from document to screen.
  3. Wrist rest, if provided, should be padded and free of sharp and square edges.
  4. Wrist rest, if provided, should allow employee to keep forearms, wrists and hands straight and parallel to ground when using keyboard/input device.
  5. Telephone should be used with head upright (not bent) and shoulders relaxed (not elevated) if employee does computer tasks at the same time.

GENERAL

  1. Workstation and equipment should have enough adjustability so that the employee is able to be in a safe working posture and make occasional changes in posture while performing tasks.
  2. Workstation, equipment and accessories should be maintained in serviceable condition and function properly.

If I can be of any assistance to you or if you have any questions, please connect with me by your favorite platform below.  I would love to start a conversation!

     

#MUUVWell,

Kevin Winn B.S., CIEE, CSCS, NSCA-CPT

Kevin is the Executive Director of HealthWorks Kinesiology and is a Certified Industrial Ergonomic Evaluator (CIEE), Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and a Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT).  Kevin holds a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and Health Promotion from Louisiana Tech University.

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