310-AQT-01-IGDO © 2019, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS)
1 877 494 WSPS (9777) | 905 614 1400 | www.wsps.ca
OFFICE WORKSTATION DESIGN
Hand-held input devices, such as a computer mouse, are
commonly used in computer work. A mouse should be
placed as close to the user’s side as possible and at a height
that allows the arm to hang relaxed from the shoulder. The
wrist should be in a ‘neutral’ position (that is, so the hand
is in line with the forearm). This position causes the least
physical stress. The mouse should be able to move freely.
The size and shape of the mouse are also important. For
example, to prevent cramped hand postures, different-sized
devices may be required for different users. The mouse
should also be shaped to minimize bent wrist postures.
Buttons on the mouse should be located to avoid awkward finger and hand postures. Settings can be
adjusted for left-handed users and to change the speed and distance of mouse travel and clicking actions
required. Users should loosely hold the mouse and move it from the shoulder rather than just the wrist.
This distributes muscular demands better and reduces wrist movements and static loading. Alternative
input devices are also available such as trackballs, joysticks and digitizing tablets, and may be preferred
by some users depending on task, application and/or personal preference.
Proper positioning of monitors is essential to preventing
neck and eye strain. Computer monitors should be placed
so that the top of the screen is at, or slightly below, the
user’s eye level. The viewing distance between the user’s
eyes and the screen should be 50 to 100 cm.
If the screen is viewed continuously or frequently, it should
be directly in front of the worker. For bifocal or trifocal
wearers, the top of the screen should be slightly lower
(or moved back further) to avoid awkward neck posture.
An alternative is to obtain prescription lenses for computer work. Some offices have multiple monitors
which pose additional challenges. Contact WSPS for further guidance.