To understand the best way to set up a computer workstation, it is helpful to understand the concept of neutral body positioning.
This is a comfortable working posture in which your joints are naturally aligned. Working with the body in a neutral position reduces stress and strain on the muscles, tendons, and skeletal system and reduces your risk of developing a musculus skeletal disorder (MSD).
The following are important considerations when attempting to maintain neutral body postures while working at the computer workstation:
- Hands, wrists, and forearms are straight, in-line and roughly parallel to the floor.
- Head is level, or bent slightly forward, forward facing, and balanced. Generally it is in-line with the torso.
- Shoulders are relaxed and upper arms hang normally at the side of the body.
- Elbows stay in close to the body and are bent between 90 and 120 degrees.
- Feet are fully supported by the floor or a footrest may be used if the desk height is not adjustable.
- Back is fully supported with appropriate lumbar support when sitting vertical or leaning back slightly.
- Thighs and hips are supported by a well-padded seat and generally parallel to the floor.
- Knees are about the same height as the hips with the feet slightly forward.