Workstation Set-Up Quick Guide

Workstation and Chair Set-up checklist

Here is a simple workstation set up guide which can be used to ensure people are set up correctly.  We have compiled this through our many years of assessment of workstations.

Working posture: Sit ‘straight on’ to your workstation, head upright, shoulders relaxed, upper arms by your side, elbows at right angles just above desk height, forearms parallel to the floor, a 90 degree plus angle between your trunk and thighs (open angle) with thighs sloping

slightly downwards and knees slightly lower than pelvis, feet flat on the floor or a foot rest.

Item Information X
1 Seat Height ·      Elbows just above desk top with shoulders relaxed

·      90 degree plus angle between trunk and thigh

·      Feet flat on the floor, shorter users may require a footrest if desk is not adjustable

2 Seat Depth ·      Buttocks right at the back of the seat

·      Gap of three fingers from the edge of the seat to the back of the knees

3 Backrest Height ·      Small of the back adequately supported by lumbar support in the backrest
4 Armrests ·      With shoulders relaxed and elbows at right angles, armrests should touch underside of forearms

·      Rotate, slide or adjust height of armrests to ensure they don’t clash with the desk

5 Chair Tilt Tension ·      Adjust tension to suit your bodyweight, when feet are off the floor you should be able to ‘float’ in the chair
6 Chair Tilt Lock ·      Keep chair unlocked most of the time to encourage healthy movement

·      Lock chair in upright position for short periods when required

7 Height Adjustable Desk ·      Stand upright, shoulder relaxed and elbows at right angles

·      Set the desk height so that it just touches the underside of your forearms when elbow are at right angles

·      Sit for 40 minutes and stand for 20 minutes every hour, this will give you the maximum benefit through postural change

8 Keyboard ·      Wrists in neutral, horizontal position with elbows at right angles

·      Keyboard directly in front of you at a distance to allow you to maintain relaxed shoulders

·      Space in front of keyboard to rest your wrists on

9 Mouse ·      Mouse close to the side of the keyboard

·      When manoeuvring mouse keep wrist straight with the heel of your hand supported by the desk

·      Remove hand from mouse when not using it

·      Use keyboard shortcuts whenever possible

·      If using mouse intensively then move keyboard to the side and place mouse in line with shoulders at forearm length with elbows at right angles

10 Screen ·      Approx arm’s length away from you

·      Top of screen should be in horizontal line of sight

·      Screen should be directly in front of you unless you refer to other documents more often (copying from text, in case of touch typists)

·      Control glare and reflections at source by the use of blinds


11 Documents ·      Should be placed to the side of the screen or between the screen and keyboard by using a document holder
12 Equipment location ·      Most frequently used items should be placed close by

·      If right handed place mouse on your right and phone on your left and vice versa

·      If using the phone very often a headset should be utilised

13 Breaks ·      Take shorter frequent breaks rather than a single long one

·      Take advantage of natural breaks away from your desk (i.e. filing, printing, making drinks)

14 Healthy Movement ·      Introduce healthy movement when at your desk (i.e. moving feet and legs, stretching)


15 Vision ·      Rest eyes away from monitor by looking at distant objects

·      Ensure you are aware of eye test arrangements


16 Reporting problems ·      Report any discomfort to your line manager or occupational health department as soon as possible


Download the Workstation set-up guide here

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