Looking for ergonomics guidelines

I’m 6’ 2" and things never seem to “fit”.
I’m looking for guidelines that you all may have used for setting desk height, monitor height, seat height, foot rests, etc.

My body thanks you in advance.

It could be worse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXtWu31MZUQ :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Have you seen this John?

https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/ck1.htm

It may help.

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/computerworkstations/positions.html

https://cap.mil/Documents/CAP_Ergo_Guide.pdf

2 Likes

gonna follow this thread and just add 1 1/2" to everything

1 Like

Thanks for this, it was very helpful.
Every picture I’d seen in the past showed people keyboarding without armrests. I had mine lower and essentially didn’t use them. Raised them up and now use the keyboard and mouse/trackpad with elbows supported. Same with writing with pen and paper.
It’s much better.

When I worked at a Fortune 100 company, I developed some pain in my right wrist and shoulders. After reviewing with the company doctor, they dispatched an ergonomics specialist to my desk. What I learned from her really changed things for me and I never really experienced pain again. I’m sure that you can get better advice from people sharing links and videos. But here’s what that ergonomics specialist said that worked for me.

Firstly, she pulled my desk chair away from my desk and out into the open. She told me to sit in the chair comfortably and to put my hands where they naturally felt they should go if I was just going to sit there for a while. I was a bit surprised by this, but I played along and put my hands on my lap. “Ah ha,” she said. With that, she told my that our natural positions for hands is as close to our laps as possible.

After my little chair lesson, she looked at my work setup. My keyboard and mouse were on the desk, pushed up toward the monitor. I liked this layout because I could put papers and notes on the desk between me and the keyboard.

When she saw this, she told me that I needed to make some changes to my setup so that I could work in a healthy position.

So, she “prescribed” me two things: a keyboard tray and a new mouse.

I was skeptical because, up to this point, I hated keyboard trays. I’m fairly tall (6’4”) and keep my chair at its highest level. And that just gets in the way of a keyboard tray. But I still trusted this person and said I would give it a try.

About a week later, my new items arrived and a maintenance tech came to install my keyboard tray. It was a fancy one that allowed me to adjust the height and angle, along with the traditional pulling in and out from under the desk.

The mouse took longer to get used to. It was WEIRD, especially at the time (circa 2006). Instead of my hand going on the top of it, it went on the side. I think that several new models have come out since then that are way better. But this one was kind of hard to hold, especially when I had to pick it up when mousing toward the edge of the mouse pad.

I hated all of this at first, but it grew on me. It turns out, having my hands closer to my lap really made a difference. And having my mouse hand in a more natural position made a difference too. In a matter of days, my pains started dissipating.

That keyboard tray moved with me through several office moves and job transfers and I eventually stopped using the crazy mouse.

Today, I use a height-adjustable standing desk with a regular Apple keyboard and touchpad. And I don’t currently use a keyboard tray. But I keep the keyboard and touchpad very close to the edge of the desk. I also keep the desk lower than a traditional desk and replaced my desk chair wheels with some that are slightly larger so I could sit higher. These combined effectively put my keyboard about at the same level as if I were using a keyboard tray. And even though the touchpad puts my hand in a more unnatural position than my weirdo mouse, it doesn’t cause me any issues for some reason.

If I ever feel any shoulder pains, I can usually pinpoint something that I am doing that is causing it. Maybe my posture has been off or I don’t have the desk low enough. Either way, with these simple skills that ergonomics professional taught me so many years ago, I feel like I’ve been set up for success.

Your mileage may vary, of course. But I hope that this helps at least a little bit.

2 Likes

Thanks much for this write up Chris.
It echoes my inclination to lower my desk below the standard 28” height. Unfortunately the legs on one end of one of my desks aren’t adjustable. I bumped my chair height up a bit and it seemed to help with this.

Anyway, thanks again for spending the time to share your experience.

1 Like

Here’s the desk chair wheel set if you need just a bit more chair height.

8T8 Rollerblade Office Chair… https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KSTLLBO?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

1 Like