Work station ergonomics

Are key objects are within reach?

Position frequently used objects - such as your telephone or stapler - within reachable distance from your body. It's important to avoid repeatedly stretching or twisting to reach things. Positioning items within easy reach will help to avoid overusing your arm, shoulder and back muscles.

If you spend a lot of time on the telephone, you may want to consider exchanging your handset for a headset. Repeatedly cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder can strain the muscles in your neck.

Sitting at the keyboard

Keep your wrists in a straight position when using a keyboard - they shouldn't be bent up, down or to either side. Your elbows should be positioned vertically under your shoulders. Using a wrist rest may help you to avoid awkward bending in your wrists.

Position and use the mouse as close to you as you can. Aim to have your elbow vertically under your shoulder and right by your side. A mouse mat with a wrist pad will help to keep your wrist straight and avoid awkward bending. Try learning some keyboard short cuts to cut down on the amount of time you spend using a mouse.

Take a break

Try to alter your working day so that you don't spend all your time at your pc. If your job is mainly pc based ensure that you take regular breaks. For every hour at your keyboard, take at least five to ten minutes rest. Rest your eyes - look away from the screen and focus on something in the distance for a few seconds.

Try doing some gentle exercises to help relax the muscles and clear your mind. Download our deskercise screensaver and try the simple exercises that you can do whilst sitting at your desk.

  • If you experience any pain of discomfort at your desk - stop what you're doing and take a break.
  • If you are regularly experiencing aches and pains at work, discuss them with someone who is in a position to help you resolve them.
  • If symptoms persist speak to your occupational health department or GP.