How should I adjust my workstation?

This advice is based on the Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Regulations and good practice:

  • Adjust your chair height to a position that allows your arms to be parallel with the floor when you type. If you cannot now comfortably place your feet flat on the floor, you will either need a footrest or a higher desk. Your employer should provide this.
  • Adjust the angle and height of your backrest. It should support your lower back. Adjust the tilt of your seat so that your body is inclined slightly forwards. This encourages you to sit upright and keep your back straight.
  • Adjust your screen position so that your eyes look down on it from an angle of between 15 and 20 degrees (i.e. slightly below eye level).
  • Adjust the viewing angle of the screen to minimise reflections and glare.
  • Adjust your keyboard so that your desk supports your wrists and forearms, and the angle feels comfortable during use.
  • Arrange your desk and equipment to minimise the amount of bending, twisting and stretching you need to do while working.
  • If you spend a lot of time reading from source documents or typing copy, place a document holder beside the screen.
  • Take regular breaks. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) advises people to vary tasks, stand up to take phone calls and move around every 20 minutes or so.
  • Take exercise breaks after a prolonged spell of typing and using a mouse. Stretching aids blood flow and helps break up the effects of static postures.

posture diagram - copyright Labour Research Deparment

Also consult the HSE workstation checklist.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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