12 ergonomic guidelines adapted from Cornell University studies help improve your computer working environment and comfort.
- Protecting your health by creating a comfortable environment through an ergonomic computer workstation. Computer related injuries are increasing with the explosion of computer technology in the workplace. Prolonged and repetitive work at your computer workstation can create discomfort, muscle aches, and be the cause of work related injuries. Improper posture and improper body positioning at your computer workstation can cause or exaggerate the problems. Implementing the following 12 ergonomic guidelines can help you avoid injuries typically associated with work at a computer workstation.
- The importance of arranging your workstation in a healthy way has already been stated in old records dating back to the 17th Century. An old Latin quote notes that "the maladies that afflict the clerks arise from three causes: first, constant sitting, secondly the incessant movement of the hand always in the same direction and thirdly the strain on the mind from the effort to not disfigure the books by errors." (quotation translated by Wilmer Cave Wright- Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1940).
- Research has helped determine computer ergonomics. Today, numerous Universities like Cornell, Stanford, UC Davis, U of Virginia, UCLA and others have done intense studies highlighting the benefit of ergonomic computer workstations and the dangers to workers' health arising by not following certain principles. Their research on computer ergonomics is important for the working individual as well as for the employer who is interested in limiting absenteeism, and in increasing worker productivity.
- Cornell University has created simple-to-follow 12 step ergonomic guidelines that will help you improve your working environment and protect your health while working at a computer workstation. The following easy to follow guidelines for computer ergonomics were adapted from the DEA651 class of 2000 - Bethany Johnson; Emily Kuperstein; Mari Mitchell; Heidi Tinnes; with Garrick Goh (TA) and Professor Alan Hedge.
- Use a good chair with a dynamic chair back that is angled slightly to the rear.
- Top of monitor screen should be 2-3" above eye level
- No glare on screen; use an optical glass anti-glare filter where needed
- Sit at arms length from monitor; further if distance is comfortable and screen's readable.
- Rest feet on floor or on a stable foot rest (move feet frequently for circulation)
- Use a document holder, preferably in-line with the computer screen
- Wrists flat and straight in relation to forearms to use keyboard/mouse/input device
- Keeps arms and elbows relaxed close to body
- Center monitor and keyboard in front of you
- Use a negative tilt keyboard tray with an upper mouse platform or downward tilt-able platform adjacent to keyboard
- Use a stable work surface and stable (no bounce) keyboard tray
- Take frequent short breaks (micro breaks) and stretch.
onestopergonomics.com has specialized in quality ergonomic computer accessories to help you make your ergonomic computer workstation healthy following the recommendations of numerous researchers.
We can offer you an ergonomic solution to establish a work area environment in compliance with the above 12 criteria. For easy reference we refer to the numbers above, give you a short explanation of our products that fit the recommendation with a link to a product overview page:
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Seating in an ergonomically comfortable office chair is important for your back health. Adjust the backrest for better lumbar support, or use a rolled-up towel or back support cushion. The chair's back should not be set straight upright but angled slightly backwards to 135° in order to reduce strain on the spine and ligaments. The results of research that was conducted at Woodend Hospital in Aberdeen, Scotland was presented to the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) on November 27, 2006 (and reported in Science Daily). It noted that the use of a "positional MRI" demonstrated that a 135 back angle (while feet were resting on the floor) provided less strain and wear and tear on a back's spine, muscles and tendons than either a 90° sitting position or sitting slouched.
Adjust your armrests for a neutral arm position or remove the arm rests if they are not useful. Always use the chair adjustment functions to create a better fit. It is important that your chair height be set so that feet can rest on the floor. If the chair is higher, you can place your feet on an ergonomic footrest.
Your monitor's height is important for healthy computer work. You should be able to view the screen without having to turn your head or tilt it up or down. There is a general rule that the top of your monitor should be positioned 2" to 3" above your seated eye level. Decide what setting is most comfortable and doesn't require your head to turn or tilt.
There are height adjustable desks and using an ergonomic computer workstation helps set your comfortable sitting position and monitor height. A much easier solution is to place monitors on flexible, counterbalanced LCD monitor arms. Laptop users will benefit with a height adjustable laptop stand which can accommodate to a variety of workers and work postures.
Control glare. Keep the screen perpendicular to any strong light source. Use an anti-glare/anti-radiation computer filter.
Monitor positioning. Often, monitors are placed too close or too far away from the viewer. In both situations the computer monitor user will eventually suffer from eye strain. Depending on the size of your monitor you should center your monitor at arm's length distance. Here again, LCD monitor arms are extremely helpful in adjusting to the most comfortable and ergonomic positioning.
Stable foot placement. As already mentioned, you should adjust your chair so that your feet rest on the floor or purchase an elevated foot rest. Adjustable footrests like the ones we offer help reduce strain on back and neck muscles.
Organize your desk surface. Document stands eliminate desktop chaos and help you work more effectively and in maximum ergonomic comfort. Our brand name Ninka document stands can easily hold large binders or books.
Proper arm and hand positioning. Your wrists should be flat and straight in relation to forearms to use keyboard/mouse/input device. onestopergonomics.com has a large range of ergonomic keyboard trays and mouse rests.
Eliminate the strain and twisting caused by reaching. Your arms and elbows should be relaxed and close to your body. Organizing your desk with frequently used items close by prevents you from having to reach and strain. If you are a frequent phone user, consider purchasing an ergonomic phone stand arm that swivels, frees up valuable computer desk space, and prevents you from stretching too far too often.
Center your equipment. Keep the monitor and the keyboard centered in front of you.
Negative tilt. Use a negative tilt keyboard tray with an upper mouse platform
Adjustable mouse platform. Or use a downward tilt-able mouse platform adjacent to keyboard.
For further information on computer workstation ergonomics please visit the following links on our website:
- Ergonomic Adjustment of your Keyboard Tray and
- Computer Vision Syndrome and Ergonomic Aspects of using Glare Filters
You will also find comprehensive information on LCD computer work practices and Ergonomic LCD Computer Arm Positioning on our page.
Since June 1, 1985, we have been at the forefront of ergonomic office products for a healthy and comfortable office and computer workstation. We supply a broad range of quality monitor arms, LCD and plasma mounts, computer desk accessories and filing systems, office computer furniture including office cabinets and media storage to Fortune 500 companies, small and medium-sized businesses, the government, financial institutions, manufacturers, and the home office. Schools and educational institutions value our quality range of whiteboards, bulletin boards, easels and school computer furniture. onestopergonomics.com only works with selected manufacturers, mostly based in the United States, that have proven themselves for dependability and selection. All our products are fully warranted for manufacturing and workmanship and are carefully inspected before leaving the warehouses.