Computer Basics/Ergonomics/Furniture

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Ergonomics and Furniture

Ergonomics is about how equipment is designed and arranged to provide a comfortable and healthy workspace. Knowing about ergonomics can help us to avoid strain and injury by arranging our workstation and using a computer correctly.

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Please note: the following tutorial will open in a new window/tab. When you have finished the tutorial, simply close the window/tab and you'll return to this page.

  • Complete this online tutorial on Computer Safety and Maintenance You may have already seen this tutorial before - for this topic you should review page 8 in the tutorial called Creating a Safe Workspace. Be sure to watch the short video demonstrating how to set up a comfortable workstation.

Desks and chairs

Arrange your computer desk and chair so that you are sitting comfortably with your feet resting flat on the floor, your thighs horizontal to the floor and your head upright in line with the spinal column. The following points can help in setting up your desk and chair.

  • A chair with adjustable height will allow you to find the most appropriate and comfortable height for your build.
  • Posture: The back should be slightly bent forward. Sitting rigidly upright for long periods can cause stress in the back and shoulders.
  • Lumbar support: There should be support for the lower back to avoid sitting in a hunched position.
  • Height of the desk: A common problem is having a desk which is too high. A good test is whether the elbows are able to rest comfortably on the work surface.
  • Desk space: The desk should give you about 40cm of leg room.
  • Rest: It is important to get up and move around on a regular basis. It is useful to do some stretching exercises to help relax tense muscles.