» HR Delavnice in usposabljanja » Healthy computer work


A good workstation ergonomic arrangement will allow any computer user to work in relaxed posture with joints in neutral position. The advantage of such position is optimal load on body structures and reduced risk of developing health problems.

The ergonomic sitting posture induces a significantly higher intradiscal pressure on the lumbar spine (up to 150%) than the standing posture, while unergonomic sitting posture causes up to 250% higher loads.


Sitting adds stress to the structures in the spine. Therefore, choosing the right chair is one of the fundamental steps of ergonomic arrangement of a sitting workplace. A suitable chair has following characteristics:

  • • adjustable seat height,

    lumbar support,

    • the backrest extends at least to the edge of the shoulder blades or higher,

    • provides adjustable support for elbows and forearms,

    • has a non-slip seat,

    • is stable with the ability to swivel and roll

A good office chair must offer a set of adjustments that enable to suit a worker’s size (body dimensions), his particular workstation and the tasks that must be performed there. This is the only way to maintain a natural – optimal body position while sitting, minimizing the energy consumption and putting the least strain on the body’s structures.


Your desk is a critical component of your workstation. First and foremost, it’s important to pay attention to its height.

Set up the correct height of the desk so that when using mouse and keyboard:

  • your upper arms are in a relaxed position next to the body,

  • shoulders are relaxed
  • the forearms rest on the table or on the armrest of the chair
  • the angle between your forearm and upper arm is 90 degrees or more
  • the position of the wrists is as neutral as possible
    Rather than remain seated for several hours at a time, you can raise the level of the desk so you can work at standing height. These types of adjustable-height standing desks are often known as “sit stand” desks.


    Set up your screen directly in front of you. Position the screen about an arm’s length distance from your eyes. Adjust the screen height so that the top of the screen is at eye level.

    When setting up the screen follow these recomendations:

    • place the screen in a location that eliminates glare on the screen

    • place the screen perpendicular to the window, don’t compute while facing an unshaded window or with an unshaded window directly behind you

    clean the screen regularly

      A common cause of neck pain is improper placement of the computer screen, due to which the head is turned to the side while working.


      When using a laptop for work, follow the same recommendations as for working with a stationary computer.

      Use the laptop stand to elevate the laptop to eye level and keep your neck in a natural, upright position.

      The monitor and keyboard are so close together that they cannot both be in good positions at the same time. Therefore use of a separate keyboard and mouse is recommended.

      Laptop computers are not ergonomically designed for prolonged use. If you cannot follow the above-mentioned recommendations, make sure to stretch from time to time.


      A keyboard has a lot more influence than meets the eye. When using the keyboard, make sure to keep your wrists in a neutral position. Place the keyboard in front of you, at the height of your elbows, the “B” key should be aligned with your navel.

      If your keyboard has feet on the back that prop it up, make sure to keep them folded in to avoid unnecessary strain on your wrists.

      Try to use the minimum amount of force necessary to depress the keys.
      Typing with hands at a 45- degree angle elevates carpal tunnel pressure up to ten times in comparison to typing on keyboard placed flat on the desk.


      How to set up your mouse:

      • place the mouse at elbow height, roughly in line with the keyboard,

      • the forearm should rest on the table, shoulders should be relaxed,
      • the wrist should be in a neutral position
      • hold the computer mouse loosely- do not firmly grip

        Advice: If you are not using your mouse for a short period, take your hand off the mouse.

        1. Your ergonomic workstation setup should

          start with the chair.

          Adjust it so that your legs are about parallel with the floor and keep your feet flat (or on footrest). Keep the knees at an angle of 90 degrees.

        2. The next step in your ergonomic office setup is to adjust your desk to the correct height. Your elbows should be bent from 90-120 degrees and the desk should be set to the height of your forearms. This means your shoulders are able to be in the relaxed position as your forearms rest on the desk.
        3. Place the screen directly in front of you, about an arm’s length away.
        4. Place the top line of the screen at eye level, the screen itself should be slightly tilted back. With newer, large screens, the upper edge can also be slightly above eye level.
        5. Sit upright, with 90-120 degree thigh-trunk angle and adequate lumbar support. Don`t forget to support your upper back.
        6. The above listed settings will automatically place the head in the neutral position.
        7. Sit on a well-padded and non-slip seat, there should still be a small horizontal gap between the front edge of the seat pan, and the back of your knees.
        8. Your feet should be flat on the floor or on a footrest.


          Office work can affect your body in many damaging ways. Therefore office ergonomics helps increase efficiency and productivity but ultimately keeps your health and comfort a top priority.

          There are many elements involved in order to set up a healthy workspace. Correctly set up ergonomic chair together with other principles of ergonomic is an effective way of guarding against work-related musculoskeletal disorders.

          Remember, no amount of exercise can make up for the amount of time you spend sitting.

          An important part of good ergonomics are also frequent short pauses from prolonged sitting and the activation of the relevant muscles with targeted active breaks.