Beat the Daily Crash & Burn – Workstation Ergonomics

I had a much needed appointment with my Chiropractor, Sheila Keber of Align Chiropractic Health Centre in Newmarket. Sheila gave me a sheet on Workstation Ergonomics and she also gave me permission to use this here on my Blog:

THE WORK AREA should be large enough to accommodate you, allow a full range of motion for daily tasks, and have room for equipment/materials.

  • Use a headset for lengthy or frequent telephone work.
  • Place the items you use most frequently directly in front of you and organized to avoid excessive extending and reaching.
  • Place the phone on the side of your non-dominant hand.
  • Position you desk lamp so that it illuminates source documents without causing either glare on the computer screen or direct illumination to your eyes.
  • Use “Dynamic sitting”, don't stay in one static position for extended time periods.
  • The angle of the backrest should ensure the trunk and legs should form an angle between 90 & 115 degrees.
  • Adjust height of chair so feet rest flat on the floor. Feet, legs, thighs and hips should all be at 90 degrees.
  • Hands and wrists should be kept in a straight wrist posture when typing and should not be resting on a pal rest, table, or lap while typing. Wrist and palm rests are designed to provide support during keying and breaks from it.
  • Repetitious static work (working at the computer) is very fatiguing on your upper extremities as well as your eyes.
  • Schedule breaks every 20 – 40 minutes in order for your body to rest and recover.
  • Taking a short break (3 – 5 minutes) does not = stop working. Do other activities such as networking, making copies, filing etc. as breaks from typing.


  • Make sure the surface of the viewing screen is clean.
  • Adjust brightness and contrast to optimum eye comfort.
  • Position the monitor directly in front of you to avoid extra neck twisting.
  • Position the monitor at a comfortable viewing distance approximately 18 – 30 inches.
  • Position monitors at right angles from windows and light fixtures to reduce glare. Close blinds as needed.


  • Placing the mouse, trackball, or other input device too far away, too low, or too much on one side can cause shoulder, wrist, elbow and forearm discomfort.
  • Do not bend your wrist upward – sit high enough so the desk is slightly below the elbows. This way the hand rests naturally on the mouse.
  • Mousing demands a certain level of surface stability; if used on a keyboard try, the tray should not wobble or tip.
  • Test different mouse models. Consider size, shape, comfort and special features that could make your job easier.

LIGHTING: Use the following recommendations to reduce eyestrain and eye fatigue:

  • Close drapes/blinds to reduce glare.
  • Adjust lighting to avoid glare on screen (light source should come at a 90 degree angle, with low watts).
  • Avoid intense or uneven lighting in your field of vision.
  • Place monitor at 90 degree angle to windows (where possible).
  • Reduce overhead lighting (where possible).
  • Use indirect or shielded lighting where possible.
  • Walls should not be painted with a reflective finish.
  • Use a glare screen or monitor shield to reduce glare from overhead lighting.

LAPTOP COMPUTERS: A laptop is still a computer so use a docking station, with proper ergonomics as above, for prolonged use. Laptop transport is important. Consider using wheels, getting rid of extra weight and using a padded shoulder strap.

If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort from working too long at your computer, I would highly recommend visiting your Chiropractor.

If you are in the Newmarket area and are looking for a great Chiropractor I would highly recommend Sheila Keber, Sheila can be reached at the Align Chiropractic Health Centre

at: 905-953-1008.


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