EVALUACI“N ERGONOMICA COMPUTADOR

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    Evaluating your

    computerworkstation

    How to make it work for you

    Oregon OSHA

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    About this documentEvaluating your computer workstation is an Oregon OSHA Standards andTechnical Resources publication. Reprinting, excerpting, or plagiarizing anypart of this publication is ne with us! Just give us credit as a courtesy.

    Thanks to the Workers Compensation Board of British Columbia forpermission to adapt illustrations from the excellent guide, How to make

    your computer workstation ft you, for use in this guide.

    Layout, design, and editing:

    Layout, design, and illustrations: Patricia Young, Oregon OSHA

    Illustrations: Phillip Fehrenbacher

    Editing and proong: DCBS Communications

    Questions or comments?

    Wed like to hear from you. Contact Ellis Brasch, Oregon OSHA503-946-7399; e-mail: ellis.k.brasch@state.or.us.

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    Evaluating your

    computerworkstation

    How to make it work for you

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    Contents

    IntroductionHow is your computer workstation treating you? .....................................6

    1 Evaluating your workstation

    Chair ..........................................................................................................10Work area ..................................................................................................12

    Desk or work surace .................................................................................13

    Keyboard ...................................................................................................14

    Mice and other pointing devices ..............................................................15

    Monitor .....................................................................................................16

    Laptop computers .....................................................................................17

    Telephones ................................................................................................18

    Document holders ..................................................................................... 19Footrests ....................................................................................................20

    Lighting and glare .....................................................................................21

    Temperature, humidity, and static electricity ...........................................22

    2 Problems and solutionsBack ...........................................................................................................24

    Neck ..........................................................................................................26

    Shoulder ...................................................................................................27

    Mouse use .................................................................................................28Forearm and hand ....................................................................................29

    Leg ............................................................................................................30

    Vision ........................................................................................................ 31

    3 Health concernsFatigue .......................................................................................................34

    Vision ........................................................................................................36

    Noise ..........................................................................................................37

    4 ChecklistsEvaluation checklist ...................................................................................38

    Purchasing checklist ..................................................................................40

    Resources ..........................................................................................44Oregon OSHA services ....................................................................... 44

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    Introduction

    How is your computer workstation treating you?How do you feel after spending a day working in front of a computer? Do youhave sore eyes or headaches? Do your wrists, arms, shoulders, back, legs, orneck feel stiff or uncomfortable? You probably suspect computer work as theculprit but dont know how to prevent the discomfort or you just accept it aspart of the job.

    The aches and pains that can result from working at a computer take days,weeks, or months to develop. They may eventually fade away or they maydevelop into chronic conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome (injury tonerves in the wrist); tendinitis (swelling of the tendons) in the wrist or elbow;or tenosynovitis(swelling of the sheatharound a tendon). Com-

    puter work that makesyou feel sore, stiff, oruncomfortable has oneor more of the follow-ing causes:

    Repetitive movements for example, you typefor long periods with-out rest.

    Awkward postures for example, your neckis bent too far forwardor your wrists are benttoo far back.

    Static posture yousit for long periodswithout getting up orstretching.

    Working at a computermay not always beexciting, but it doesnthave to be uncomfort-able. This guide helpsyou set up and use acomputer workstationso that youre comfort-able and productive.

    Do you have some o the aches and pains

    described below? Proper workstation layoutand correct posture can prevent them.

    Courtesy of the Workers Compensation Board of

    British Columbia. Ilustration used with permission.

    Upper backand neckdiscomfort.Adjust your chair,monitor, theposition of yourdocuments, or usea phone headset.

    Eyestrain, burning eyes,and headache.Task lighting, viewing distance,monitor brightness, contrast level,or font size may need adjusting.

    Wristand handdiscomfort.Straightenyour wristswhen you aretyping or usinga pointing

    device. Adjustkeyboard slantor use awrist rest.

    Shoulder or elbowdiscomfort.

    You may be reaching too far foryour pointing device or it maynot be at the proper height.

    Lower backdiscomfort.Adjust yourchair or takemore frequentrest breaks.

    Muscle cramps, aches, ornumbness in your legs.Adjust your chair or seat-backangle. You may needa footrest or more leg room.

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    Part One tells you how to evaluate a computer workstation so you can set itup correctly. Two highlights solutions to common physical problems related tocomputer use and Three presents the health issues. Youll nd checklists in Fourto help you conduct a workstation evaluation and purchase appropriate work-

    station components.

    What is a computer workstation?A computer workstation is the environment around your computer:

    Furniture chair and desk or other work surface

    Computer equipment computer, monitor or at panel display, keyboard,mouse or pointing device

    Accessories document holder, footrest, telephone, palm rest, mouse bridge

    Ambient factors noise, illumination, glare, temperature, humidity, andstatic electricity

    Examples o unriendly computer workstations.Working at a computer may not always be exciting butit doesnt have to be uncomfortable.

    How is yourcomputerworkstationtreating you?

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    Evaluating your workstation

    Chair

    Work area

    Desk or work surace

    Keyboard

    Mice and other pointing devices

    Monitor

    Laptop computers

    Telephones

    Document holders

    Footrests

    Lighting and glare

    Temperature, humidity, and static electricity

    1

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    ChairThe chair is your foundation for comfortable computer work. It must t youand be appropriate for your tasks. What to consider when selecting a chair:

    Stability. Select a chair that has a ve-point base.Seat pan. The ideal seat pan allows two to three ngers width (3-3.5 inches)from the front edge of the seat pan to the back of your lower leg at the kneewhen your back touches the backrest. The seat pan should allow your lower

    back to contact the backrest.

    Seat-pan padding and fabric. Hard, unpadded seatpans are uncomfortable to sit on for more than an

    hour. Soft, deeply padded seat pans cause you

    to sink in too far, shifting pressure from thebuttocks to surrounding tissues. Theresult is tension in the hip muscles.

    The front edge of the seat pan shouldhave a softly padded, rounded frontedge (called a waterfall edge). Straight,unpadded edges compress thigh tis-

    sues and restrict blood circulation, which cancause pain and numbness in the legs. Seat-cover fabric

    should be porous and breathable. A slippery seat pan will cause you to slideaway from the backrest and provide little back support.

    Seat-pan angle.The seat pan should adjust toreclining, at, or forward angles the three basicangles for seated work so that you can achievea comfortable posture.

    Backrest. The backrest should be largeenough to support your entire back,

    including the lumbar (lower back) region,but not so large that it interferes with yourarms: 15 to 20 inches high and 13 inches wideis pre