This applies to any situation where you work intensively in a fixed position. Ergonomics , exercise and eyesight apply to many jobs, but using a PC or Mac is one of the most common. The following slides will go through each bullet point in turn.
The next slide illustrates these points.
Note how the seat back holds the lower part of the spine in a “S” shape. This is effective only if the person sits at the back of the chair seat and does not bend forward. Arm-rests can stop the chair from being close enough to the desk.
Avoiding bending the wrist because the nerves go though the middle of the joint and wear on the nerves’ sheath causes severe pain. The mouse is considered to be the main cause of strain. Whenever possible, use keyboard short-cuts instead. Position the mouse close to you. Hold is loosely – don’t grip it tightly. Move your whole arm, not just your wrist.
Using a laptop PC can mean that the screen is not in a good position. If used in a fixed position, consider either a separate keyboard or a separate screen. The next slides go into more detail on the points in this slide.
The screen should normally be directly in front of you unless you are a touch-typist who needs to look at the screen only intermittently – otherwise you shouldn’t need to twist to see it. If there is glare from the sun through the windows, use blinds or similar if you can’t face in another direction. Position the screen so there aren’t reflections from either the window or room lighting. If necessary, task lighting may make reading documents more comfortable.
Concentrating on the screen can reduce your natural blink rate, which can cause dry and sore eyes. Frequent mini-exercise routines ensure that affected small muscles get movement and increased blood supply, which keeps them healthy. There is no requirement for a rest break every hour, what is necessary is to move and change posture to exercise your larger muscles.
See your organisation’s policy for your procedures. Only those who use a PC / Mac intensively for more than an hour each day qualify. Intermittent use of a PC (e.g controlling a machine or a print-server) does not qualify. If you have certain eye conditions which require spectacles only for PC work but not for other activities, you may qualify for free spectacles for that use only.
VDU & PC UseVDU & PC Use
VDU / PC use does not directly cause health problems, but if
used extensively and intensively, incorrect set-up or your
posture can cause pain in your eyes, neck, back and hands.
Avoid these by ensuring that you follow these guidelines
Keyboard & mouse
Adjust your chair
see what each lever and knob does!
seat height and tilt.
back height and tilt.
your back should be supported and vertical.
you should be close to the edge of the desk.
your forearms should be horizontal when your hands are
on the keyboard.
your feet should be flat on the floor or footrest.
Sitting at the workstationSitting at the workstation
1. Space for legs – no obstacles under the
2. Seat height adjusted so that your forearms
3. Back rest adjusted to support your lower
4. Footrest if needed to remove pressure on
underside of thighs and the back of the
5. Chair position close to desk.
6. Space in front of the keyboard to rest your
hands / wrists when not keying.
7. Screen height and angle for a comfortable
8. Desktop clear of clutter.
Sit up straight -
Don’t slouch or hunch your shoulders.
Sit at the back of the seat so the backrest
supports your spine.
keep an ‘S’ shaped spine.
use a headset if you need to use the
telephone and keyboard at the same time.
Keyboard and MouseKeyboard and Mouse
• Forearms horizontal.
• Hold your arms above the keyboard
so your wrists are horizontal.
• Hands straight in front of the
• Forearms horizontal.
• Mouse close to you.
• Wrist straight and level – not twisted nor
• Light pressure – don’t grip the mouse
Workstation & lightingWorkstation & lighting
The screen should be at approximately
arm’s length from your eyes.
The screen should be just below your eye
level, at 90º to your line of sight.
avoid glare and reflections.
sufficient space for the keyboard.
adequate space for other papers / work.
use a document holder alongside the screen if copying
Workstation and lightingWorkstation and lighting
1. Adequate lighting.
2. Adequate contrast – consider a task
3. Distracting noise minimised.
4. Leg room sufficient to allow postural
5. No glare from sunlight.
6. No reflection of lights from the screen.
7. Screen image stable and readable.
8. Keyboard moveable for correct position.
9. Work surface of sufficient size and free
from clutter and reflections.
10. Chair properly adjusted.
11. Footrest if needed.
Look up into the distance and
blink every minute or two.
stretch fingers, neck and back
every five minutes.
stand, stretch and move every hour.
If you suspect a problem,
have your eyesight checked.
The cost of the eye-test is
paid by the Company if your
job requires prolonged work
at a VDU/PC
Report any problems or malfunctions
of your workstation immediately.
Adjust your chair so that
your back is supported and vertical
you are close to the edge of the desk
your arms are horizontal when your fingers are on the
Your feet should rest flat on the floor - if they don’t,
then use a footrest
Position the screen and document at the same
distance (arm’s length) from you with the top just
Arrange adequate lighting without glare or reflections
Sit up STRAIGHT! Don’t slouch - keep a ‘S’ shaped spine
Exercise at least hourly: Stand, stretch, flex all muscles
Report problems and malfunctions immediately