Good Ergonomics Requirements At A DSE Workstation
The numbered issues are as follows:
- Adjustable height and angle to seat back.
- Good lumbar support.
- Adjustable height seat to bring the hands to a comfortable position on the keyboard. The seat also has a stable five-star base.
- Correct seat height adjustment and keeping the feet supported prevents excess pressure on the underside of thighs and backs of knees.
- Foot support if the user cannot get their feet on the floor.
- Space for postural change, no obstacles under the desk; this allows the user to fidget and change position as they work.
- Forearms approximately horizontal when hands are on the keyboard.
- Minimal extension, flexion or deviation of wrists; wrists should be straight and flat when on the keyboard indicating proper seat height adjustment.
- Screen height and tilt should be adjustable so as to allow comfortable head position.
- Space in front of the keyboard to support hands/wrists during pauses in typing; a wrist-rest can provide further support if required.
In addition to these points:
- The desk should be laid out to minimize the need for twisting or overreaching (e.g. when reaching for a telephone).
- A document holder may be required.
- If frequent telephone use is necessary when using the keyboard, a headset may be required.
- Workplace lighting should be provided to avoid reflections on the screen and glare.
Unfortunately, some of these good ergonomic principles cannot be applied to the use of a laptop computer. If laptops are going to be used in the workplace then:
- Allow short-duration use but not long-duration use.
- When laptops are going to be used for long durations apply the same management approach of workstation assessment, frequent breaks, eye test, information, and training.
- Provide a docking station and/or separate screen, keyboard, and mouse, as required, to allow the user to convert the laptop to a more adjustable configuration.