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