Health & Safety with Computers


Health and Safety with Computers

Safe Computer Use

While you are using a computer it is important that you are comfortable and consider pointers that will reduce your chances of getting OOS (ocupational overuse syndrome) or RSI (repetitive strain injury).


Body positions

There is more than one good body position so find one that works for you. Here are some general guidelines:

• Keep the hollow in the base of your spine well-supported
• Face straight onto your work
• Loosen your shoulders
• Have your elbows loose at your side
• Keep your wrists straight
• Look down by pivoting your head about the joint at the top of your neck
• Experiment with different backrest angles
• Don’t slump forward
• Change your position often
• Do some limbering up movements
• Keep your thighs above horizontal
• Keep your knees and ankles open (90° or more)
• Keep your feet well supported (don’t let them dangle)


Getting comfortable in your workstation

To make your seat higher, take your weight off the chair and pull the lever on the right hand side of the chair up. When the chair is at the height you want it to be, release the lever.

To make the seat lower, sit on the chair and pull the lever on the right hand side of your chair up. When the chair is at the height you want it to be, release the lever.

• Your feet should be flat on the floor
• Your thighs should be about horizontal


Set the backrest height

The small of your back should be supported.
Your buttocks should fit comfortably into the space between the bottom edge of the backrest and the seat pan.


Adjust the backrest angle

There is a knob on either the side or back of the backrest that you can turn either way to adjust the backrest angle.

Think about your shoulders

• Are they low and relaxed?

Think about your elbows

• Are they loose at your sides?


Draw yourself up to your workstation

Is the height of your keyboard comfortable?

Your upper arms should be straight up and down and your forearms about horizontal.


Adjust the position of your keyboard / mouse

Your keyboard shouldn’t be too far away (a space of 50mm between the desk edge and keyboard). Your mouse should be placed where you don’t need to reach for it when you take your hand from the keyboard.


Adjust the position of your screen

This varies from person to person but should be in a range from about 450-800mm.



For ease of reading you might like to place your workbooks on a bookholder.


How to prevent eye strain

• Take micropauses (a 5-10 second break every three minutes or so)
• Take a break every hour for 10 minutes
• Use the buttons at the bottom of your screen to adjust brightness and contrast on your screen
• Reduce glare
• Blink often
• Look out the window at a distance scene
• If you have doubts about your eyes, visit an optometrist