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ealthy Computing Tips

Healthy Computing: Work Area

© Erik Peper PhD

The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Healthy Computing Tips by Erik Peper PhD. View all columns in series
When working in an office, we accept the ergonomic situation as it is. Often, the set-up is not optimum and may increase the risk of discomfort. Decrease your risk and enhance your health when you check your WORK AREA.

How to check your WORK AREA:

Use the following checklist, Work Area*. To any question that you answered with NO, explore strategies to reduce the risk of injury.

The work area is designed or arranged for doing computing tasks so that...

  1. Thighs have clearance space between chair and monitor table/keyboard platform (thighs not trapped). YES/NO
  2. Legs and feet have clearance space under monitor table so employee is able to get close enough to keyboard/input device. YES/NO
  3. Document holder, if provided, is stable and large enough to hold documents that are used. YES/NO
  4. Document holder, if provided, is placed at about the same height and distance as monitor screen so there is little head movement when employee looks from document to screen. YES/NO
  5. Wrist rest, if provided, is padded and free of sharp and square edges. YES/NO
  6. Telephone can be used with head upright (not bent) and shoulders relaxed (not elevated) if employee does VDT tasks at the same time. YES/NO
  7. Workstation and equipment have sufficient adjustability so that the employee is able to be in a safe working posture and to make occasional changes in posture while performing VDT tasks. YES/NO

*Adapted from Workstation Check List developed by OSHA. For more detail see:

Copyright 2003 Erik Peper, Ph.D. and Katherine Hughes Gibney
Permission to copy and distribute Healthy Computing Email Tips for personal use is granted. Distribution or copying of Healthy Computing Email Tips for commercial purposes is prohibited without prior written consent of the copyright holders

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About The Author
Erik Peper, Ph.D. is an international authority on biofeedback and self-regulation. He is Professor and Co-Director of the Institute for Holistic Healing Studies, Department of Health Education, at San Francisco State University. He is President of the Biofeedback Foundation of Europe (2005) and past President of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback.......more
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