The University of Iowa

SAFETYmatters - Office Ergonomic Tips

Article Published 09/15/17

The goal of office ergonomics is to design your office workstation so that it fits you, and allows for a comfortable working environment for maximum productivity and efficiency.  Following a few simple guidelines can help you significantly improve your office workspace.

Office Ergonomics Tips

Resource:  UI Ergonomics program 

Follow these 10 office ergonomics tips to help you avoid fatigue:

  1. If possible, make sure that the weight of your arms are supported at all times if performing prolonged keying.
  2. Watch your head position, and try to keep the weight of your head directly above its base of support (neck).
  3. Don’t be a slouch! Slouching puts more pressure on the discs and vertebrae of your back. Use the lumbar support of your chair and avoid sitting in a way that places body weight more on one side than on the other. Move your chair as close to your work as possible to avoid leaning and reaching. Make sure to “scoot” your chair in every time you sit down.
  4. The monitor should be placed directly in front of you, with the top no higher than eye level. The keyboard should be directly in front of the monitor so you don’t have to frequently turn your head and neck.
  5. Talking on the phone with the phone receiver pinched between the neck and ear puts strain on both your neck and shoulder muscles; don’t do it!
  6. The keyboard and the mouse should be close enough to prevent excessive reaching which strains the shoulders and arms.
  7. Avoid eye strain by making sure that your monitor is not too close, it should be at least an arm’s length away.
  8. Take steps to control screen glare, and make sure that the monitor is not placed in front of a window or a bright background.
  9. You can rest your eyes periodically for several seconds by looking at objects at a distance to give your eyes a break.
  10. Your feet should not be dangling when you are seated. If your feet don’t comfortably reach the floor or there is pressure on the backs of your legs, use a footrest or lower the keyboard and chair.

Do Reversal of Posture Stretches - these help to:

  • Increase your ability to perform everyday tasks at Work and Home;
  • Decrease your risk of Musculoskeletal and Cumulative Trauma Disorders;
  • Lead to less joint wear and tear and reduced osteoarthritis joint stiffness and pain;
  • Reduce muscle fatigue and soreness;
  • Increase blood supply and nutrients to your muscles, tendons, and joints; and
  • Reduce stress