How to set up your workstation?

6 Tips to review How to set up your workstation by Alison Biggs

When working with Display Screen Equipment (DSE) various problems can occur if you are not set up correctly. These can include back, neck, shoulder, arm, wrist and hand pain.  Symptoms can become worse, affecting the health and productivity of workers.

The HSE website gives guidance to comply with the DSE Regulations 1992/2002 and provide two useful detailed publications – The law on VDUs: An easy guide and Work with display screen equipment: Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992. Some give practical guidance, in plain language, on how to comply with the Regulations with a minimum of effort and expense.

Of all the advice available on office ergonomics, Alison recommends that sitting posture is the most important. There are several movement mechanism options available on office chairs and all chair users should use their chair in an unlocked mode to prevent static postures. Cheaper chairs may not allow the chair back rest to remain unlocked during use.  Or the chair back rest and seat are fixed so do not change the angle in the hip and low back region. This static postures causes stiffness, so pain and discomfort continue.

The 6 Workstation Tips

Set your workplace up

Here are some more general tips to help improve ergonomics when sitting at a computer workstation:

  1. Chair Height – Adjust the height of your office chair to allow your elbows to be horizontal with the keys and then rest your feet rest flat on the floor or on a footrest so your thighs are parallel to the floor, with the hips and knees horizontal. For more detailed chair advice see: Pain using an Office Chair: 7 Top Tips
  2. Frequently Used Objects within Easy Reach – Keep frequently used objects such as the phone, keyboard, mouse etc within easy reach to avoid over-reaching and bending. Elbows remain by your side.
  3. Keep Wrists Straight and equipment at same Height -Place your keyboard and mouse on the same surface height, keep your wrists straight when keying. For more detailed advice see: Pain using a keyboard: 9 Top Tips.  Avoid extended mouse use. Use keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft or shortcuts for Apple Mac . For more detailed advice see: Pain using a mouse: 12 Top Tips
  4. Consider a Headset if you Talk and Type – If you frequently speak on the telephone, or have to simultaneously use the keyboard during calls, either use a telephone headset or place the call on hands free/loud speaker mode to avoid neck strain and allow use of both hands.
  5. Place the monitor at Eye Level – The top of your monitor should be at eye level and directly in front of you at an arm’s length distance. For more detailed advice see: Pain using a Monitor: 7 Top Tips. 
  6. Take a Break – Take micro-breaks during tasks, and rest breaks away from the computer.

See our Services related to this topic:

A prevention assessment for no symptoms or minor/occasional symptoms, see DSE Workstation Risk Assessment. to fulfil the HSE DSE Regulations 1992

If you have ongoing health needs, you may need a more in depth review,  see Ergonomic Workstation Assessment. to also advise on reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010.

See our Case Studies:

Ergonomic Assessment in an Office Role Case Study

Ergonomic Assessment of a Teacher Case Study

Ergonomic Assessment & Return-to-Work Case Study

See our blog articles related to this topic:

Contact Us for further advice and a quotation.

See our Useful Links page which includes diagnosis specific advice from organisations which can help.

DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and it is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regime, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Healthywork Ltd does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions or other information that may be mentioned on this website. Reliance on any information appearing on this website is solely at your own risk.

How to Set Up Your Workstation?

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FCE testimonial by WTW

I met with our client, Electrolux on Friday to review all their services and they couldn’t praise your recent report highly enough.  It is enabling them to work with the employee much more constructively. They advised that they will not hesitate to use your services again – so thank you so much.

 

 

Kate Barnes, Commercial Manager
Willis Towers Watson

Viridor Ltd

I found today’s assessment very helpful indeed, and am trying my best to keep my keyboard as close to me as possible – makes a big difference when I do, it’s even increased my speed and accuracy, lol.

Also, and more to the point, the pain in my back hasn’t got any worse today, and I haven’t used the wrist support, so having my arms supported (on arm rests) is clearly doing something for them already.

V. Jones Viridor Ltd

Sensory Dimensions

Ergonomic Assessment Functional Capacity Assessment Evaluation DSE Assessment Workstation Milton Keynes Cambridge Oxford North London - sensory

Many thanks indeed for the report.  Very thorough and a lot for us to do to help our member of staff.

I really appreciate the quick turn around.  (May 2017)

Simon Hails
Sensory Dimensions

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Ergonomic Assessment testimonial by Fegans

Ergonomic Assessment Testimonial by Fegans

Thank you once again for the excellent service you have provided.  Jane was very satisfied with the assessment and I would be happy to recommend you to others needing workstation or other work-place assessments. (December 2017)

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FCE testimonial by Snows Group

FCE testimonial by Snows Group

We are extremely impressed with the service you have provided and will definitely keep your details on file for any future issues. (November 2011)

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Somek and Associates

I have known and worked with Alison Biggs of Healthywork since 2003. I have always found her to be extremely professional and committed any work project, and very knowledgeable about her specialist field.

Ergonomic Assessments and Functional Capacity Assessments for Medico-legal cases provided in Essex, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and London.

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Ergonomic Assessment testimonial by Capita

Ergonomic Assessment testimonial by Capita

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Healthywork delivered approx 750 Ergonomic Assessment to the customer Royal Bank of Scotland, and other companies in the RBS group such as Direct Line, NIG Insurance, Churchill Insurance, Coutts & Drummonds. Assessments were conducted all over the UK as bank branch and regional office assessments were required.

Fiona Colegrave

Survey feedback following a DSE Assessment

It (The DSE Assessment) provided some invaluable advice and recommendations to help make my workstation more comfortable and prevent future injury.

Anonymous

Jan 2018

Anonymous

UNUM

Alison is professional at all times, she is easy to work with, adaptable and open to discussing how, through the reports she produces she can meet the changing needs of her clients.

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HTG Trading (trading as Hubbard)

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