Workplace Ergonomics - How Should Your Work Space Be Set Up?


Ergonomics is the science of designing the workplace to ensure workplace related injuries are minimal and productivity is optimal.

A poor workplace design may lead to fatigue, strain on muscles, and frustrated and hurting employees. Not being aware of your surroundings in the workplace may also have detrimental effects in the long run including arthritis, emotional stress, and musculoskeletal injuries.

There are certain provisions that need to be taken when joining a new work environment.

These relate to how your equipment and IT peripherals are set out in front of you.

To ensure an optimal work space, some things to pay close attention to include:

  • Head – directly over shoulders without straining forward or backwards, and about an arm’s length from the screen
  • Neck – relaxed and not straining forward
  • Shoulders – kept down with the chest open and wide
  • Back – upright or inclined slightly forward from the hips. Maintain the slight natural curve of the lower back
  • Elbows – relaxed, at about a right angle
  • Wrists – relaxed and in a neutral position, without flexing up or down
  • Knees – relaxed and in a neutral position, without flexing up or down
  • Chair – angled slightly forward to facilitate proper knee position
  • Screen – at eye level or slightly lower
  • Fingers – gently curved
  • Keyboard – best when kept flat and at or just below elbow level
  • Feet – firmly planted on the floor. Some people may need a foot rest

When commencing your Work Integrated Learning placement or job, take a few minutes at the start of your day to ensure the above guidelines are met. 

Most organisations will have a dedicated Operational Health and Safety (OHS) Manager whom you can call on to help adjust your workplace if required.

Feeling more comfortable with your set up can really help you feel better throughout the day and perform better.

If you are not feeling comfortable within your work space, let one of our Placement Consultants know and they will be happy to help and make you feel more settled. 

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