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Postural Guide

Always check your working position when using a computer. To avoid unnecessary discomfort, make sure the following key principles are in place.

 

Neutral Neck Position:

  • When looking at your work, keep your neck in a neutral or aligned position. Position the monitor directly in front of you to avoid turning your neck to the side.
  • Position the monitor so that you do not have to bend your neck up or down to see the screen. The top of the screen should be approximately 2-3" below seated eye level.
  • Place the monitor at least 20 to 30 inches away from you (slightly more than an arm’s length). Adjust as needed for your visual comfort.
  • If you must use a telephone simultaneously with the computer, use a headset. Never try to hold the handset between your shoulder and ear. If you chose to use a telephone handset, position the telephone close to you to avoid over-reaching.


Supported Spine:

  • Place your feet flat on the floor or on a footrest if necessary.
  • Your chair should provide you with good back support. Maximize the contact of your back with the chair back using chair adjustments or cushions as needed.
  • Set the back tilt in a slightly reclined position, approximately 100-110 degrees.
  • If your chair has an active recline mechanism, use it to change your position throughout the day.
  • It is often useful to have armrests. However, they should be adjustable in height and width to allow for resting the arms with your shoulders in a relaxed position.
  • The chair seat depth should be sufficient to support your thighs while providing a small space between the edge of the chair and the back of your knees.


Arm/hand Positions:

  • The keyboard and pointing device should be positioned at a height to allow for a slightly open elbow angle.
  • Elbows should be at a 100 to 110 degree angle.
  • If you cannot adjust your keyboard height, raise your chair and use a footrest, or elevate your table on blocks as necessary.
  • If you sit in an upright position, your keyboard should be placed in a slight negative tilt so that the wrists can be placed in an aligned or neutral position.
  • Your hands should be slightly lower than your elbows with your fingers pointing toward the floor.(Note: If you recline back in your chair, you might not need to tilt the keyboard.Check the alignment of your wrist, and then set the angle of the keyboard as needed. Your sitting posture will affect how you adjust your keyboard and pointing device.)
  • If you use a keyboard tray, it should be wide enough for your pointing device.
  • If you use a palm support, use it to support your palms only when pausing between keying. Do not place your wrists on the rest and turn your wrists from side to side to key. This increases the strain on your wrist.
  • Your pointing device should be positioned within easy reach. Over-reaching can result in shoulder and/or arm discomfort. If you are reaching out to use your pointer, elevate it on a mouse-bridge, platform or small book to bring it within closer reach.