1. Chair in relation to desk:

Can the user get close to the workstation without impediment?

Note: Check the chair arms do not obstruct the user on pulling closer to the workstation; Check there is clear leg room under the workstation.

2. Seat height:

Is the user’s seat set high enough to allow him/her to work at the computer without hunching or raising their shoulders?

Are the user’s forearms approx. parallel to the floor when keying?

If no: Raise the seat to a height where the user is able to use the keyboard with their shoulders relaxed and elbows at an approx. 90 degree angle.

3. Thigh’s parallel to the floor:

Once seat height is set (see 2 above), check the following:

Are the user’s thighs parallel to the floor with their feet supported either on the floor or on a footrest?

If no: Determine whether a footstool may assist by trailing a temporary item (e.g. phone books).

4. Sitting back in chair / backrest angle:

Is the backrest supporting the user’s back in an upright position whilst working?

If no: Ensure the user is sitting back far enough in their chair. If they are still not touching the backrest, the angle of the backrest may need to be adjusted forward. Adjust the backrest angle slightly forward and review.

5. Lumbar support / backrest height:

Is the curved lumbar section of the backrest resting in the curve of the user’s lower back?

If no: Either raise of lower the height of the backrest until the curve fits into the user’s lower back (at approx. trouser belt level).

6. Monitor screen:

a) When sitting tall and looking straight ahead, is the user looking at the top third of the monitor screen?

If no: Determine whether screen should be higher or lower.

b) When working at the keyboard, is the screen at a comfortable reading distance (e.g. at approx. arms reach)?

If no: Move the computer closer or further away from the front edge of the workstation.

c) Is the monitor angle adjusted so the user can view the screen easily without tilting their head?

If no: Adjust the angle of the monitor.

d) Is the user’s monitor free of troublesome reflected light?

If no: Adjust the angle of the monitor slightly, and review again.

7. Keyboard use:

a) Do the user’s upper arms fall naturally by their sides when they are keying?

b) Is the keyboard located close enough to the user to avoid the need to stretch forward when keying?

If no to a & b above: Try moving the keyboard closer to the user.

c) Do the user’s wrists adopt a neutral position when keying?

If no: Check to see whether the keyboard “feet” are lowered, adjust of needed and review.

d) Does the user strike the keys gently when keying?

If no: Bring this to the attention of the user. Ask the user to try keying softly.

8. Mouse use:

a) Does the user’s upper arm fall naturally by their side when they are mousing?

b) Is the mouse located close enough to the user to avoid the need to stretch forward when mousing?

If no to a & b above: try moving the mouse and mouse pad closer to the user.

c) Does the user move the mouse using gentle movements of the forearm rather than sideways movements of the wrist?

If no: Bring to the attention of the user and ask them to try to operate the mouse using gentle movements of the forearm.

d)Does the user ever use their non-dominant hand to mouse for short periods as an alternative?

If no: Suggest this as a way of dividing up the workload between the two arms when performing

9. Frequently used items:

Are all frequently used items located within easy reach ( i.e. within normal arms reach)?

If no: Avoid stretching repeatedly to items by relocating frequently used items closer to the user.

Review frequency of use and positioning of telephone. Determine what posture the user adopts when utilising the telephone. If the user is often keying whilst on the telephone for prolonged periods, consider whether a telephone headset is required.

10. Documents:

Are the source documents located in a comfortable viewing range?

If no: Consider how and where to best reposition source documents.

Is a document holder required?

11. Unnecessary clutter:

Is the desk free of unused or irregularly used resources / items?


If no: Consider general clean-up or relocation of items used irregularly.

12. Stretch pauses:

Does the user take regular short pauses from seated work to perform stretches?

If no: Discuss with the user when / how they may perform stretches intermittently.
List three options.

13. Eye breaks:

Does the user routinely interrupt their viewing of the screen to look at items in the distance, blink etc?

If no: Discuss with the user when / how they may incorporate this into their daily routine.
List three options.


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