Top tips from Ergonomics Expert Alison Biggs of HealthyWork

When working in an office with Display Screen Equipment (DSE) various problems can occur if you are not set up properly at your workstation. This can include back pain, neck pain, arm and wrist pain etc, all affecting the health and productivity of workers. Alison Biggs of Healthywork Ltd, gives advice on best Ergonomics Workstation set up for Office Workers to help minimise common problems and comply with current legislation.

The HSE website gives guidance to comply with the DSE Regulations 1992/2002 and provide two useful publications – The law on VDUs: An easy guide and Work with display screen equipment: Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992. The former gives practical guidance, in plain language, on how to comply with the Regulations with a minimum of effort and expense and the latter is for employers who need to check the detail of particular requirements, or anyone who wants advice on the application of the Regulations beyond ordinary VDUs in offices.

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 (for more info see Alison’s previous article Sitting on an Office Chair: 7 Top Tips). Therefore cheaper chairs which do not allow the chair back rest to remain unlocked during use or where the movement is the chair back rest and seat tilting backwards together, do not change the angle in the hip and low back region and so static postures causing stiffness, pain and discomfort continue.

Top 6 Workstation Ergonomics Tips

Set your workplace up

As well as the chair advice above, here are some more tips to help improve ergonomics when sitting at a computer workstation:

  1. Chair Height – Adjust the height of your 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.
  2. Frequently Used Objects in Easy Reach – Keep frequently used objects such as the phone, keyboard, mouse etc within easy reach to avoid over-reaching and bending and your elbows can 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 and use keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft or shortcuts for Macintosh and to avoid extended mouse use.
  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 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.
  6. Take a Break – Take micro-breaks during tasks, and rest breaks away from the computer.

For more information on how to comply with the DSE Regulations or if you wish to arrange an Ergonomic Workstation Assessment due to individual health needs contact Alison Biggs on alison@healthywork.org.uk or visit the website at https://healthywork.org.uk

 

How to Set Up Your Workstation Ergonomically

Leave a Reply

Contact Us

Name*

Organisation*

Email* (Completing this field gives us permission to contact you)

Request a callback

Phone Number*

Assessment Geographical Location (for quote)*

Please select one*
Medical condition ongoing or some treatment previously required for the health issueOccasional minor aches and pains (non-medical)

Health Situation/Issue*
Prevention of minor aches and painsLow back or hip painUpper back/neck or shoulder painWrist or hand painFatigueKnee or leg issuesStress/anxiety/depression/mental healthMemory/thought problemsVision/hearing changesOther health situation

Main job task or those of issue*
Seated/Office/DSE tasksSeated driving tasksHand grip tasksReaching - high tasksStanding/walkingSquatting/kneeling - low tasksManual handling/liftingMemory/planning/cognitive/processing tasksCommunication/vision/hearing tasksNo job role

More information and possible assessment requirements

I consent to Healthywork Ltd collecting the above information, in order to progress this enquiry. Check out our Privacy Policy on how we protect and manage your submitted data.

I would like to subscribe to the Healthywork Ltd newsletter/blog. Sign up to our monthly newsletter to receive our latest news and tips.

[recaptcha]

Recent Posts

Testimonials

EquiLend

DSE Risk Assessments:

‘The feedback has been excellent and many people have expressed how much they enjoyed meeting you, as well as benefiting from your expertise. Also the report is a lot more comprehensive that I thought so thank you!’ (October 2018)

Chris Reilly
EquiLend

CRF Institute/Britains Top Employers

Our visit from Alison was an eye-opener. We thought that we knew what we were doing but every single team member learned something new. We learned how to use our equipment properly, we learned how to sit properly and we have all made adjustments to how we work since her visit. Everyone in the team has given feedback since that they are more comfortable in their daily work, and one person who has been in pain for months has changed her position and is now pain-free. Alison is friendly, easy to work with and great value for money. As manager, I thought that I would have to invest in a lot of new equipment but the reality is simply that we weren’t using what we had properly. I would definitely use Alison again and will write a workstation assessment into our on-boarding process for any new employees joining our team.

Eleanor Nickerson, Manager CRF Institute/Britains Top Employers

David Higham Associates

They (the employees) were all happy with the work you did on the day you came in. Thanks a lot for your help. (Workstation Risk Assessments, November 2011)

Tine Nielsen David Higham Associates

White Label Recruitment Marketing

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

Thanks for the (DSE Risk Assessments) report. We’ve already acted on your recommendations, invested in a few key pieces of equipment and changed our (bad) habits. So thanks for helping us to proactively stay healthy or keep our legacy issues in check!

(January 2018)

Tracey Anderson
White Label Recruitment Marketing

AME

Alison has carried out 100s of assessments for AME some of which have involved multi disciplinary work with other stakeholders such as physiotherapists, computer technicians. Her work with the NHS and medical knowledge has brought an enhanced level of credibility to the work based employment assessment that she undertakes.

Clients trust her, she is diplomatic and highly professional at all times even when placed under considerable pressure to meet tight deadlines and juggle conflicting priorities.

Andy Taylor, Access Made Easy

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

ARK Schools

Ergonomic Assessments at ARK in London and at one of the Academies in Elephant and Castle, South london, assessing the ergonomic needs of teachers.

ARK Schools, based in Central london

Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine

Alison provided workstation assessments and advice during our relocation. Although we are a small organisation it was important to obtain professional and expert help and I would recommend Alison to others without hesitation. (Workstation Risk Assessments and Ergonomic Assessments 2012)

Kathryn Swanston, Chief Executive, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine

KMG Health Partners Ltd

Alison Biggs has been a Specialised Assessor on KMG Health Partners roster since its UK inception in 2004. We highly recommend her based on her knowledge, skills, diversity, quality and client / customer care. She has also been extremely flexible with scheduling and geographic locations. You can expect positive outcomes from accessing her service.

Ergonomic Assessments, Functional Capacity Evaluations and Job Demands Analysis for clients over the UK: including, Devon, Bristol, Kent, London, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Bedfordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Yorkshire and Northern Ireland.

Gail Kovacs

Axminster Carpets

Our HR advisor has read your report and said it was the best she has read in 35 years!

Worksite Assessment performed in Axminster, Devon.

Adam Clark