Best Kept Work Surface Secrets for Ergonomic Blissa
The ability to maintain a neutral posture is contingent on proper work surface height, depth, and accessibility. Here are a couple concepts to keep in mind when you are considering yours.
- Work surface height should be easily adjustable to allow the worker to change positions as the task being performed changes.
- Desk or table edges should be rounded to prevent soft tissue compression.
- Work surface depth should be adequate to allow the computer monitor to be placed 18”-30” away from the user and of sufficient width to store all peripheral material within easy reach of the user. The most frequently used items should always be closest to the worker.
- The workstation should have sufficient legroom space. Avoid obstructing feet, knees, and/or legs with stored objects.
- If the height of the desk/ table (work surface) is unchangeable, which is often the case, the workstation should be modified so the work surface and keyboard are at different heights. One way to do this is to install a keyboard tray.
- Keyboard holders or trays are available in many different varieties. When making a selection, assess if the height is adjustable and if the tray is a sufficient size to support the keyboard and mouse. It is imperative that the mouse is placed on the same level as the keyboard to reduce reaching and avoid awkward postures.
- Ideally, the keyboard tray will also offer a tilt adjustment. Keyboards should be positioned flat or in a negative tilt position (tilted up to 10° away from the user). This will discourage the user from resting his or her palm while keyboarding.
- Avoid using wrist or mouse rests when interfacing with your computer. It is best to lift wrists up, while keeping them in a flat, suspended in air position during keyboarding and mousing. Use a rest only when you have stopped and are actually resting.
- The ideal upper extremity position when sitting at the keyboard with fingers hovering over “home row” is as follows:
- Elbows should form a 90° angle while they are positioned comfortably at your sides.
- Forearms should be parallel to the ground.
- Wrists should be flat and even with elbow height.
Check back soon for the ergonomic conclusion to this series. Learn how monitors should best be positioned now that your posture, chair, and work surface is poised to bring additional comfort to your work days. We’ll also cover tips on simple office equipment options that can also be helpful.