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Ergonomics: Sitting at a Computer

Article Purpose

​The following ergonomic guidelines will help you improve your working environment and protect your health while working at a computer.

Additional Information

  • ​Sit upright facing the computer straight on.
  • Hold your head at a slight downward tilt to avoid straining muscles in your neck and shoulders. The top of the monitor should be at or below eye level and the screen should be 18 to 30 inches from your eyes (about arm's length).
  • Reduce glare on your computer screen by limiting the light coming through the outside windows or move your monitor at a right angle to the window. Adjust your monitor so there is no glare from overhead or desk lighting.
  • Adjust your chair or desk height so your forearms are parallel to the floor. There should be 3 to 6 inches of legroom between your lap and the desk. Adjust the backrest until your lower back is fully supported or use a small firm pillow. The seat depth should provide at least one to three inches of space from the back of the knee to the front edge of the seat. Keep your feet flat on the floor or on a footrest and pointed straight ahead.
  • Keep hands and wrists straight while typing. Touch your keys lightly by keeping your wrists and fingers relaxed. Adjust keyboard height using keyboard feet or by placing a pad of paper under the keyboard.
  • Keep frequently used items within easy reach.
  • Throughout the day, take 30 to 60 second breaks to help relieve muscle tension.
  • Take vision breaks by occasionally closing your eyes and/or focusing at distant objects.