Workstation health and safety: what you need to know

March 16, 2015

If you work in an office environment, you may be unaware of the impact that a poorly arranged workstation can have on your health. From postural problems, to eyestrain, headaches and fatigue, there are numerous health problems that can arise from an unhealthy desk layout. The good news is that many of these problems can be avoided. By arranging your workstation to allow for maximum comfort, you can prevent these troubles and benefit from a more healthy and productive working environment.

Desk and chairs

First and foremost, it’s important to have the right chairs and desk. An ergonomically designed chair that has an adjustable back, height and tilt can help you to avoid back pain. To prevent postural problems from developing, adjust your chair so that your lower back is properly supported. Chairs with high backs and contoured lower back areas are particularly effective at providing all-important support and comfort. As a general rule of thumb, your knees should be level with your hips, your elbows at a right angle and your feet flat on the floor. Try to avoid crossing your legs, as this can cause your posture to become twisted.


Computer screens that are too high or too low can cause you to strain your neck. To stop you from having to raise and lower your head, position your screen so that it is directly in front of you and the top of the monitor is at eye level. It’s also important to make sure that your computer is at a comfortable distance – roughly an arm’s length away.

To avoid headaches and eyestrain, your screen needs to be as glare-free as possible. To stop reflection from inside lighting and sunlight, you may need to use blinds or reposition your desk.

Mouse and keyboards

Just like your computer screen, your keyboard should be directly in front of you when you are typing. Try to leave around six inches at the front of the desk to rest your hands and wrists after long periods of typing. To maintain the right posture, keep your elbows at your side while using the keyboard. For added comfort, you may want to use a padded wrist rest. Your mouse should also be as close to you as possible so that you can keep your wrist straight.

Workstation arrangement

If you work in an office environment, your workstation is where you will spend a large chunk of your day, so it’s important to get the layout spot on. To avoid repeatedly twisting and stretching, make sure that frequently-used objects, such as your telephone and stationery, are within easy reach. Meanwhile, your desk must be spacious with adequate room to allow for easy movement.

If you think your workstation is having an adverse impact on your health, take a look around our site to see our ergonomically designed furniture.

Posted in office furniture
Posted by Furniture@Work