Workspace Ergonomics improve Productivity
If you sit behind a desk for hours at a time, you’re not doomed to a career of neck and back pain or sore wrists and fingers. Proper office ergonomics — including correct chair height, adequate equipment spacing and good desk posture — can help you stay comfortable at work.
Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet rest comfortably on the floor and your knees are about level with your hips. If your chair doesn’t offer lumbar support, place a cushion between the curve in your lower back and the back of the chair.
Key object positioning
Keep key objects — such as your telephone, stapler or printed materials — close to your body to prevent excessive stretching. Stand up to reach anything that can’t be comfortably reached while sitting.
Place your mouse within easy reach on the side of your keyboard. Keep your wrist in a natural and comfortable position when you’re using your mouse.
Use a wrist rest to minimize stress on your wrists and prevent awkward wrist positions. While typing, hold your hands and wrists above the wrist rest. During typing breaks, rest the heels or palms of your hands — not your wrists — on the wrist rest.
When you’re typing, keep your wrists in a straight, natural position — not bent up, down or to either side.
If you frequently talk on the phone and type or write at the same time, use a headset rather than cradling the phone between your head and neck. Experiment with various styles until you find the headset that works best for you.
If your chair is too high for you to rest your feet flat on the floor, consider using a footrest. Various types of footrests are available — or get creative and make your own. Try a small stool or a stack of sturdy books.
Center your body in front of your monitor and keyboard. Sit up straight, keeping your thighs horizontal with your knees and at about the same level as your hips. Keep your forearms level or tilted up slightly.
Generally, the desk should be at least 19 inches (48 centimeters) deep, 30 inches (76 centimeters) wide and, depending on your height, up to 34 inches (86 centimeters) high. Under the desk, make sure there’s clearance for your legs, knees and thighs. Don’t use space under the desk for storage.
Place the monitor directly in front of you, about an arm’s length — generally 18 to 28 inches (46 to 71 centimeters) — away. The top of the screen should be slightly below eye level. If glare from fluorescent lighting or sunlight is a problem, turn off some or all of the overhead lights or close the window shades. Place your monitor so that the brightest light source is to the side.
As you set up your work space, consider the science of ergonomics, which seeks to adjust the work environment to the individual. It helps you promote healthy posture while accomplishing daily tasks, thus reducing the risk of injury.
Instructions for Ergonomic Setup
- Set up computer so that you are an arm’s length from the screen. The monitor should be at or below eye level to help prevent eye fatigue.
- Use an adjustable table for proper monitor and keyboard height. Setting your monitor on top of the hard drive works well to raise it.
- Attach a document holder to the computer screen to minimize neck and eye strain.
- Purchase a headset if you are on the phone frequently. This enables you to write or use your computer while on the phone without putting stress on your neck.
- Get an adjustable chair so you can swivel and move across the floor easily.
- Adjust lighting so there is minimal glare in your work area. Turn off overhead lights and use task lights in your immediate work area. Close blinds or curtains to minimize glare.
- Attach a glare screen to your computer to reduce eye strain.
- Clear your immediate work area of any supplies or objects so that you can move about freely without touching or bumping into things.
- Remove from your desk any papers books or supplies that you do not use daily. These can be stored in drawers, files, or other places that won’t interfere with your work area.
Making your work space comfortable, 9 out of 10 people suffer from pain linked to the way they work at their desks.
Ergonomic accessories give extra support to your back, neck, shoulders, wrists—even legs and feet. No matter what your needs, these ergonomic products help you create your own personal comfort zone.
Whether you choose adjustable keyboard trays or drawers or a desk-edge keyboard manager, you can make any workstation more comfortable and productive.
More than a mouse pad, wrist supports keep your hands in proper position and offer support for both mouse and keyboard.
Improve circulation and posture by elevating your feet at work.
Put all your desktop technology in the right position for access and comfort.
Monitor and Laptop Supports
A monitor riser or laptop riser puts your technology in the right position for comfort and access.
Reduce back strain with added support and comfort. Choose between lumbar back support and full back support.
Choose a privacy filter to prevent prying eyes from seeing your screen. Use screen protectors to reduce glare and prevent screen damage.
The perfect document holder keeps your notes at eye level to help you avoid neck strain.
3M™ Workspace Solutions
- Make office comfort and productivity a priority. Whether it means getting up and changing your position several times a day or rearranging your work area to alleviate stresses and strains, 3M provides products designed to help increase comfort and productivity.
- Help protect your eyes, choose the right monitor position. Position your monitor 20 to 30 inches from your eyes, with the top of your monitor no higher than eye level. Choose a 3M™ Monitor Arm or Stand to help assure optimal positioning.
- Keep your computer monitor screen clean, use 3M™ Office cleaners and wipes to keep your monitor clean and free of fingerprints and smudges.
- Arrange your workstation for head and neck comfort. Use a 3M™ Document Holder to place source documents at about the same height and distance as your monitor screen so that there is little head movement when you look from your document to screen. A 3M™ Adjustable Keyboard Tray will allow you to alternate among a variety of positions for optimal comfort. Position your most used items within 18 inches in any direction using 3M™ Desktop Organizers available in a variety of sizes to fit the supplies you need.
- Support your arms, elbow and wrists with a wide variety of 3M™ Adjustable Keyboard Trays and Drawers, designed to provide a large, stable surface to hold both your keyboard and input device without extensive reaching. Choose input devices designed to operate easily and fit your hand size. With its unique, vertical grip, the 3M™ Ergonomic Mouse is clinically proven to reduce muscle strain and discomfort associated with carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive stress injuries compared to a traditional mouse. Large and small sizes available for an ideal fit. Placing a 3M™ Gel filled Wrist Rest at your workstation helps cushion and support your wrist. Wrist rests are designed to fit a variety of keyboards, including ergonomic keyboards.
- Support your back, legs and feet. Your feet should rest firmly on the floor or on a footrest. 3M™ Foot Rests help you maintain proper posture, support the lower back and increase circulation to the legs and thighs.
- Be mindful of your office environment. The room temperature, lighting, air quality and noise levels in your office should be conducive to working comfortably. An environment that is stuffy, noisy, improperly lit or too cold or hot can produce additional stress or tension. 3M™ Glare Reducing Task Lights and 3M™ Office Air Cleaners can help improve these factories and contribute to a better overall work environment.