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Your computer workstation might not seem to be a potentially hazardous environment, but how you spend your time there can strain muscles and tendons and lead to musculoskeletal disorders. “Maintaining good posture at your desk is critical,” says John muir health occupational therapist Cheryl Murphey. “Make sure your feet are flat on the floor or supported by a footrest, your back is supported by your chair, and your wrists and forearms are straight.”

For more tips on setting up a user-friendly workstation, check the following guidelines from Murphey and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration.

  • Chair – Select a height-adjustable chair with a five-legged base, a seat that adjusts for depth, and a backrest that reclines and provides adequate lumbar support. armrests should sup- port lower arms, keep elbows in and allow relaxed shoulders.
  • Desk – Select a desk suited for your height, or try an adjustable-height desk. avoid storing items under your desk, to allow room for legs and feet.
  • Monitor Set monitor perpendicu- lar to windows to minimize glare and directly in front of you, to avoid turning your head, neck and torso. Sit 20 to 30 inches away from the monitor to mini- mize eyestrain. The top of the screen should be at or just below eye level.
  • Keyboard and Mouse – When you type, wrists and forearms should be straight, with elbows at keyboard height and close to the body. Place keyboard and mouse close together.
  • Phone – Place the telephone within easy reach, and don’t prop it between your head and shoulder—opt for a hands-free headset or speakerphone.