28/06/2004

Checklist: Ergonomics for computer workstations

Millions of employees work with computers everyday - and many of them suffer
needlessly from aches and pains due to improper posture, poorly positioned
equipment and the like. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration of the
U.S. Department of Labor offers in an eTool a quick review of basic ergonomic
considerations for computer users.

Working postures

  • Are your head and neck upright, and in line with your torso (not bent
    down or back)?
  • Are your head, neck and trunk facing forward (not twisted)?
  • Is your trunk perpendicular to the floor (you may lean back into backrest,
    but not forward)?
  • Are your shoulders and upper arms in line with the torso, generally
    perpendicular to the floor and relaxed (not elevated or stretched forward)?
  • Are your upper arms and elbows close to the body (not extended outward)?
  • Are your forearms and wrists straight (forearm at about 90 degrees to the
    upper arm, wrists not bent up/down or sideways)?
  • Are your thighs parallel to the floor, and lower legs perpendicular to the
    floor (thighs may be slightly elevated above knees)?
  • Do your feet rest flat on the floor or supported by a stable footrest?

Seating

  • Does your chair's backrest provide support for your lower back (lumbar
    area)?
  • Is the seat width and depth sufficient to accommodate the specific user
    (seat not too big/small)?
  • Do armrests, if used, support both forearms while you perform computer
    tasks, not interfering with movement?

Keyboard/input device


  • Is the input device (mouse or trackball) located right next to your
    keyboard so it can be operated without reaching?
  • Do your wrists and hands rest on smooth surfaces (there should be no sharp
    or hard edges)?

Monitor

  • Is the top of your computer screen at or below eye level, so you can
    read it without bending your head or neck down/back?
  • If you use bifocals/trifocals, can you read the screen without bending your
    head or neck backward?
  • Is the distance of your monitor sufficient so you can read the screen
    without leaning your head, neck or trunk forward/backward?
  • Are you keeping any glare (for example, from windows, lights, etc.) from
    being reflected on your screen so that you don't assume an awkward posture in
    order to clearly see the document on your monitor?

Further Information


AplusA-online.de - Source: Stevenspublishing