US Dept of Labor

Occupational Safety & Health AdministrationWe Can Help

Back to eTools

Computer Workstations eTool

Workstation Components

Selecting and arranging your workstation components

Appropriate placement of the components and accessories for the desktop computer workstation will allow you to work in neutral body positions, help you perform more efficiently, and work more comfortably and safe.

A laptop workstation creates special challenges due to its computer design, size, and the variety of areas in which it is used. While many aspects of this eTool will be applicable to laptops, special considerations may be necessary when working with laptop units.

The following sections explain how to select and arrange specific workstation components.

Chairs

Chairs

A chair that is well-designed and appropriately adjusted is an essential element of a safe and productive computer workstation. A good chair provides necessary support to the back, legs, buttocks, and arms, while reducing exposures to awkward postures, contact stress, and forceful exertions.

Desks

Desks

A well-designed and appropriately-adjusted desk will provide adequate clearance for your legs, allow proper placement of computer components and accessories, and minimize awkward postures and exertions.

Document Holders

Document Holders

Document holders keep printed materials needed during computer tasks close to the user and the monitor. Appropriate placement of the holder may reduce or eliminate risk factors such as awkward head and neck postures, fatigue, headaches, and eye strain.

Keyboards

Keyboards

Proper selection and arrangement of the computer keyboard helps reduce exposure to awkward postures, repetition, and contact stress.

Monitors

Monitors

Choosing a suitable monitor and placing it in an appropriate position helps reduce exposure to forceful exertions, awkward postures, and overhead glare. This helps prevent possible health effects such as excessive fatigue, eye strain, and neck and back pain.

Pointer/Mouse

Pointer/Mouse

In addition to the conventional mouse, there are trackballs, touch pads, finger tip joysticks, and pucks, to name a few. Selection and placement of a pointer/mouse is an important factor in creating a safe computer workstation.

Telephones

Telephones

Telephones add to the convenience of a workstation; however, telephones have cords that can get tangled up, and can cause the user to assume awkward postures.

Wrist/Palm Supports

Wrist/Palm Supports

Wrist or palm rests can also increase your comfort. Although opinions vary regarding the use of wrist/palm supports, proper use has been shown to reduce muscle activity and to facilitate neutral wrist angles.

Back to Top

Thank You for Visiting Our Website

You are exiting the Department of Labor's Web server.

The Department of Labor does not endorse, takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over the linked organization or its views, or contents, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on the destination server. The Department of Labor also cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site. Thank you for visiting our site. Please click the button below to continue.

Close