by Michael Roberts, Occupational Health Physiotherapist

Check The Key Elements:

With your elbow relaxed under your shoulder, is the working surface/keyboard & mouse just below elbow height?
Raise/lower the chair to achieve this. And are the keyboard & the mouse close to the front edge of the desk? Is the mouse way out to the right of you – you may need to try a short keyboard.

Are your feet well supported on the floor?
There should be no pressure under your thigh from the seat edge. If you’re feet aren’t well supported you’ll need to get a footrest.

Is the seat too short, too long or too hard?
When you’re bottom is in back of the seat there should be a gap between the front edge of the chair and the back of your calf, but not a huge gap; and you should be sitting on the seat foam, not feeling the hard seat board through the foam.

Is your low back supported?
The backrest should be raised & firmly support the small of your back. Does the backrest fit your whole back snugly – adjust it or try a few other chairs.

Do you use the reclined work posture?
We recommend you adjust your chair angle back and rest your shoulder blades against the top of the backrest; this rests your back & shoulder muscles; keep your bottom in the back of the chair; don’t slide forward or let your back slump. A tall backrest chair will allow you to rest back and relax those aching neck & shoulder muscles.

Are you sitting tall?
Raise the screen to about face height; keep your head & chest up; if you let yourself slouch forward you’re asking for a pain in the neck. The top of the screen should be at eye level or slightly below (15 degrees at most) – unless you wear bifocal or multifocal glasses – then the screen should be low so you don’t nod your head to look at he screen.

Is the screen close enough?
Put the screen surface at around arm’s reach to stop neck and eye strain.

Are you craning your neck to look at copy & reference documents?
Ensure that copy & reference documents are angled up on a holder either at screen level or immediately under the screen. Perhaps a reference holder between the keyboard and the screen might help your neck and save space on your desk.

Download Ergo Self Check PDF