Office Ergonomics

 

To avoid soft tissue injuries from using a keyboard and mouse, it is very important to maintain neutral postures of the wrist.

 

  • The chair height and/or keyboard platform height should be adjusted to maintain neutral wrist postures (hand in line with the forearm and forearm parallel to the floor). Normally, the chair height should be adjusted so that the feet are comfortably flat on the floor or supported on a footrest.
  • If there is no keyboard platform and the keyboard and mouse are positioned on the desk surface, consideration may be given to lowering the desk surface (if possible) or adjusting the chair height so that the wrists are in neutral postures with the shoulders relaxed. This may require a footrest to support the feet.
  • The wrists should not drop onto the desk surface when keyboarding. A palmrest positioned in front of the keyboard and mouse can prevent wrist extension (moving wrists in an upward dirrection). The wrists should hover slightly above the palm support when keyboarding. The palms can rest on the palmrest during breaks.
  • It is important that the chair be pulled in close to the desk to avoid reaching for the keyboard and mouse. Be sure to maintain back support with the backrest of the chair.
  • The monitor height should be adjusted so that the top of the screen is at seated eye height or slightly lower.
  • Remember to stretch, change posture and take periodic mini-pauses throughout the day to improve comfort.

 

An ergonomist can provide further suggestions for reducing the risk of soft tissue injuries associated with the use of a computer.