How do I make my computer work station ergonomically correct?
An ergonomically correct work station can help reduce your risk of repetitive strain injuries. A stable work surface with a keyboard tray is the foundation for your work station. Your monitor and keyboard should be centered directly in front of you. The top of the monitor should be at eye level and at arm's length away. The keyboard tray and mouse should have a negative tilt or slightly sloped away from you, this places your wrists in a neutral position (wrist is flat and straight in relation to your forearm) and limits arm strain by placing your elbows no more than 90`. Your elbows need to be closer to your thighs. While doing data entry use a document holder in line with the computer screen to limit poor neck postures and repetitive neck motions.
An adjustable chair is necessary to place your body in the proper position and fit you to your work station. The back of the chair should have a little give to it, not rigid, slightly reclined, and offer lumbar support to the small of your back. Your bottom should sit all the way back to the back rest and your back needs to rest on the back rest. You should be able to place 2-3 finger widths between your calves and the chair seat to maintain circulation into your legs. A small pillow placed in the small of your back may be necessary to achieve this position. Your feet should rest comfortably on the floor with your knees bent and slightly lower than your hips. If this position is not possible with your work station use a foot rest.
Indirect lighting is preferred with overhead and task lighting. Use blinds to control direct sun light. Anti-glare filters work well to stop glare and reduce eye strain
Frequent stretch breaks and moving around in your work space help break the body from staying in a static position and potentially stressful position.
Cayuga Medical Center Physical Therapy offers on site ergonomic evaluations if you would like additional assistance with your work station.
We can be reached at Island Health Center Physical Therapy at 252-3500 or Brentwood Physical Therapy at 274-4159.