Step 1 - Chair Adjustment
Adjust the height of your chair so that your thighs are parallel to the floor and your feet rest flat and firmly on the floor. Next, make sure that the chair height also allows you to assume a neutral keying posture. If you cannot adjust the chair height to achieve both these postures, (as may be the case if you use your keyboard at a fixed height such as on top of a desk), then adjust the height of your chair to achieve a neutral keying posture and use a footrest for your feet.
Adjust the back rest so that it supports your lower back and fits the curvature of your spine. If your back rest is not adjustable, you can use a substitute that provides lower back support. This can be a lower back cushion, small pillow or a rolled-up towel.
Adjust the tension of the seat tilt to allow you a comfortable, slightly reclined position.
If your chair has adjustable armrests, adjust both the height and width to support your arm weight in a comfortable position. However, don't rest your weight on your arm rests for prolonged periods, as this can put excessive pressure on your forearms.
You should change your seated position frequently throughout the workday.
Step 2 - Keyboard Adjustment
If you have a keyboard tray, you should adjust it only after you've adjusted your chair. If you do not have a keyboard tray, you can either adjust your chair height or work surface height to achieve a comfortable keying position.
Adjust your chair, desk top or keyboard tray to a height that allows you to keep your forearms relatively parallel with the floor and your elbows at the same height as the middle row of letters on the keyboard.
Adjust the angle of your keyboard to make sure that you can keep your wrists straight while keying. You can experiment with a wrist rest to see if this helps you key in a more comfortable position.
Your seated position in relation to the keyboard should allow you to keep the angle between your upper arm and forearm between 70 and 115 degrees.
Your mouse should be positioned next to and at the same height as your keyboard. Keep both the mouse and keyboard within your immediate reach zone. If you use a keyboard tray, you may need to use an accessory to allow you to keep your mouse next to the keyboard.
Step 3 - Monitor Adjustment
Place the monitor so that the screen is at a comfortable viewing distance for the type of work you're doing. This is usually between 18 and 24 inches or an arms' length away.
Position your monitor to reduce and minimize glare or reflections on the screen from overhead lights, windows or other sources. Try tilting and/or swivelling your monitor on it's base to help reduce glare. If you cannot avoid glare or reflections, you may find an anti-glare filter to be helpful. Remember that these types of filters can degrade the clarity of the image on the screen and should only be used after all other methods of eliminating glare have been tried. You can also try placing a monitor hood on top of your monitor to help reduce glare.
Position your monitor to avoid open windows or brightly painted walls directly in your field of vision
Adjust the brightness and contrast of the screen at a comfortable level. You may have to do this more than once a day, as the light in the room changes. The controls for brightness and contrast are usually located on either the front, side or the back of the monitor. Check your operator's manual for the exact location.
Step 4 - VDT Desk
Organize your desktop or work surface so that the materials and equipment you use regularly are within easy reach.
If you use a mouse, place it on a mouse pad and position it close to the keyboard so you can keep your arm in a comfortable position with your elbow bent and close to your body.
Adjust your task lamp to avoid reflections on your screen and to illuminate the materials you need to see clearly.
Adjust your copy holder so that it is at a comfortable angle and positioned close to your screen and at the same level. You may want to position your task lamp to illuminate the documents on your copy holder.
Experiment with the placement of your monitor, screen and other items you work with to find the arrangement that is most comfortable for you.
When working with your VDT Equipment, you should "work smart." Whenever you begin to feel tired, you should stand-up and stretch or try changing positions. You should also rest your eyes occasionally throughout the workday. It is up to YOU to adjust and use proper postures when working with your VDT equipment.
Step 5 - Sitting Posture
Head and Neck
The posture you maintain for your head and neck should be close to that in the picture. Try to avoid extreme twisting or tilting of your head and neck. In viewing your monitor or document holder, you should move your eyes back and forth rather than moving your head. However, you should vary your tasks so that you do not keep your head and neck in a fixed position for prolonged periods.
For the most part, sitting up straight in your chair is a very good, overall posture you can assume to prevent back discomfort. In sitting up straight, try to keep your lower back supported by the seat back and lean back slightly (about 5 - 15 degrees) to further reduce the forces on your spine and muscles. Always avoid slouching forward, as this can place abnormal forces on your spine which can lead to discomfort. Most importantly, you should avoid sitting in the same posture for prolonged periods of time.
While sitting, almost 65 percent of your body weight rests on your buttocks. This can cause restricted blood flow which leads to a "tingling" sensation or the feeling of "falling asleep". To avoid these sensations, change your seated position often by shifting your weight in your chair.
Arms and Hands
You should try to sit with the angle between your forearm and upper arm 70 to 115 degrees, whichever is the most comfortable for you, as shown in this picture. Your wrists should be held as close to straight or "neutral" as possible. This neutral posture helps prevent strain on the ligaments and nerves of the wrist and fingers as you type on the keyboard.
Generally, you should sit with your upper legs and lower legs at as close to a 90 degree angle as possible. Your thighs should be fully supported by the seat cushion and should
be parallel with the floor. To avoid blood restriction or nerve compression, which can cause your legs to "fall asleep", you should change your position periodically.
You should rest your feet flat on the floor. If you have adjusted your seat height correctly and cannot rest your feet flat and comfortably on the floor, a footrest can be used.
Step 6 - Workstation Setup
The seat back (or back rest) of your chair should support the inward curve of your lower back. You should adjust your seat back so that it fully supports the lumbar region of your lower back. A back rest that extends up to the shoulder blades can provide additional support to the upper back. If your seat back is not adjustable, you can use a small pillow or cushion to support your lower back.
The seat pan of your chair supports most of your weight on your buttocks and thighs. This part of the chair should be cushioned with the front of the cushion slightly rounded to provide proper support. The height of the seat pan should be adjusted to allow your thighs to be parallel to the floor and your feet to rest flat on the floor or on a footrest.
The seat base provides the tilt/swivel pivot point of the chair and distributes weight evenly on the floor. The tilt/swivel tension of the chair can usually be adjusted for your preference. The base can have four or five support legs on caster wheels that allow you to position yourself easily at your workstation.
Your monitor should be placed so that the top of the screen is just slightly below eye level and at an arms' length away (approximately 18 - 24 inches). Most monitors have a tilt/swivel base so you can adjust the angle of the screen to reduce or avoid reflections and glare.
A monitor stand may be necessary for positioning your monitor at the correct height. A monitor stand can be as simple as a telephone book placed under the monitor or as sophisticated as an articulated arm (as depicted here). Whatever you use, make sure it is stable and safe to support the weight of your particular monitor.
Your keyboard should be placed to allow you to key with your wrists in a neutral (eg. straight) posture. To achieve this posture you may have to adjust the height of your chair to correspond with the height of the keyboard on top of your worktable or use an adjustable keyborad tray.
VDT Work Table
Often, the work table used for your VDT work is a simple desk. The use of a desk is acceptable as long as you set-up the individual components (eg. chair, keyboard and monitor) to allow you to use correct posture. It is up to you to adapt your set-up and work habits to fit your particular situation.
A footrest may be necessary if you cannot adjust your chair height so that your thighs are parallel to the floor AND your feet can rest flat. This depends on your individual size and other particular characteristics of your workstation. (eg. keyboard placement, desk height, etc.).
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