Where is your problem area?

Choose a marker to find out about risk factors and how to minimize them

Discomfort Area: Shoulders

Discomfort Area: Shoulders

 

Risk Factors How to Decrease Risks
Phone use is greater than one hour per day 1-2 hours per day:
  • Use speaker phone
  • Use head set
  • Hold phone with hand, don't cradle with neck
  • Phone rest
2 or more hours a day:
  • Use speaker phone
  • Use head set
Mouse position is too far from keyboard Move mouse closer to keyboard
Wiggling wrist while using the mouse
  • Move from elbow or forearm
  • Use Evoluent mouse
  • Use track ball mouse
Using mouse solely with right hand Use mouse with left hand
Arm rest is too far apart and individual leans on one rest
  • Remove arm rests
  • Use arm rests that have vertical and horizontal adjustments
Lifting heavy items with one arm Use two arms or reorganize office space
Keyboard drawer only holds keyboard
  • New, wider keyboard drawer that accommodates mouse
  • Use roller mouse wrist rest
Keyboard is too far away, too high, or too low
  • Bring keyboard closer
  • Install keyboard drawer
  • Raise chair height
  • Keep arms at 90 degree angle when typing
  • Remove wrist rest or use narrow wrist rest
Monitor too far away and person leans forward to view screen
  • Check vision prescription
  • Tilt chair seat back and use backrest and footrest
  • Bring monitor closer
Back rest on chair does not fit individual; low back and no shoulder support
  • Purchase chair with adjustable backrest
  • Adjust the height of the back rest
Arm rests are too high or too far apart
  • Set up armrests that are slightly wider apart than the shoulders
  • Use arm rests with a vertical and horizontal adjustment
  • Try working in the chair without arm rests

Content provided by University of Minnesota Department of Environmental Health and Safety

 

Discomfort Area: Wrists

Discomfort Area: Wrists

 

Risk Factors How to Decrease Risks
Mouse is positioned far away from the keyboard; the wrist is bent at an awkward position; Mouse may be too low
  • Place mouse close to keyboard or on left side of keyboard
  • If mouse is on right side of keyboard add additional mouse pads until wrist is no longer bent
Tight pinch grip on pen and heavy writing
  • Use a soft pen grip
  • Use a pen with a wider diameter
Keyboard is poorly placed Align keyboard drawer at elbow height
Calculator is positioned too high or too far away
  • Place calculator on desk with wrist in a neutral position (straight wrist)
  • Raise up chair and use footrest to support feet
  • Install pad for wrist rest in front of calculator
Keyboard is too high, too low, too far away Place keyboard near elbow height with shoulders relaxed
Wrist rest is too high, too low, too hard, too soft, or in the way Remove the wrist wrest or use one that is comfortable
Elbows are above the keyboard height and there is a crease at the wrist
  • Lower chair height (Knees should not be higher than hips)
  • Install a keyboard drawer
  • Purchase soft foam on the edge of the table
Elbows are below the keyboard height
  • Lower keyboard using keyboard tray
  • Use footrest and raise height of the chair. Knees should be at the same height as hips.
Repetitive job without variety
  • Take frequent breaks
  • Work on stretching exercises
  • Redesign job with more variety
  • Reduce outside activities involving highly repetitive hand motion

Content provided by University of Minnesota Department of Environmental Health and Safety

 

Discomfort Area: Neck

Discomfort Area: Neck

 

Risk Factors How to Decrease Risks
Monitor is too far away and head is tilted forward or person is nearsighted Bring monitor closer, up to 15-25 inches away (roughly arms length away), or change vision prescription
Mouse is too far to one side, too high, or too far forward Move mouse closer to keyboard height
Documents on desk or documents too far to one side Place the document and the monitor at height that allows neck to be neutral (straight)
Individual wears bifocals and tilts head back
  • Lower monitor and bring monitor closer (approximately 15-20 inches or arms length away)
  • Wear computer glasses
  • Use bi-level table that allows monitor surface to be lower than the keyboard surface
Monitor too low, neck tilted forward Raise monitor
Phone cradled between neck and shoulder Phone use 1-2 hours per day:
  • Use speaker phone
  • Use head set
  • Hold phone with hand, don't cradle with neck
  • Use phone rest
Elbows are above the keyboard height and there is a crease at the wrist
  • Lower chair height (Knees should not be higher than hips)
  • Install a keyboard drawer
  • Purchase soft foam on the edge of the table
Phone use 2 or more hours a day:
  • Use speaker phone
  • Use head set

Content provided by University of Minnesota Department of Environmental Health and Safety

 

Discomfort Area: Eyes

Discomfort Area: Eyes

 

Risk Factors How to Decrease Risks
Monitor tilted too far away Change monitor position
Direct light in eyes Reduce light, use glare screen or change monitor position
Low relative humidity and dry eyes
  • Wear glasses instead of contacts
  • Close eyes, cover eyes with hands and relax eyes
Eyeglass prescription too weak or too strong Change eyeglass prescription
Monitor too high (example)
  • Lower monitor
  • Keep neck straight
  • Purchase adjustable height monitor
Monitor off to side (example) Center monitor

Content provided by University of Minnesota Department of Environmental Health and Safety

 

Discomfort Area: Low Back

Discomfort Area: Low Back

 

Risk Factors How to Decrease Risks
Chair back is down at bottom of seat; seat pan is too long
  • Adjust the height of the chair back or lumbar support
  • Make sure seat pan is the correct depth. The front edge should not touch the back of the calf.
  • Adjust seat pan tilt
  • Purchase chair with shallow seat pan or sliding seat pan
Feet are dangling from chair
  • Use a footrest to allow thighs to be parallel to floor
  • Lower chair and install a foot rest.
Keyboard in poor location or too far forward Move keyboard closer
Back injury or medical condition prevents sitting for long periods
  • Use a sit stand workstation
  • Use a standing workstation for writing
  • Add beveled floor mat to relieve stress on feet
  • Purchase chair with good lumbar support
  • Purchase chair that has a tension adjustment allowing the back to move with the person.

Content provided by University of Minnesota Department of Environmental Health and Safety

 

Discomfort Area: Legs

Discomfort Area: Legs

 

Risk Factors How to Decrease Risks
Chair seat is too big; individual has to sit forward or cross legs to relieve discomfort
  • Purchase chair with adjustable, sliding seat pan
  • Purchase chair with smaller seat pan
  • Use foot rest to alleviate pressure on the back of the leg
  • Short term: use lumbar support to shorten seat
Chair seat too small; poor weight distribution
  • Adjust seat pan
  • Purchase chair with longer seat
Pain in buttocks - knees higher than hips (usually problem for tall people)
  • Raise chair height
  • Raise height of keyboard
Pain in calf or back of thigh below knee
  • Install foot rest
  • Install keyboard drawer (attempt to get thigh angle parallel to floor
  • Use chair with shorter seat pan.
Top of leg hurts, can't cross legs Table top too thick; purchase a thinner table

Content provided by University of Minnesota Department of Environmental Health and Safety