When I'm at work: Using a computer - Learner's workbook
A typical computer workstation looks something like the picture below.
Identify each of these items at your workstation.
- Monitor (may also be called a 'screen')
Before you start any work with computers you must ensure that you follow safe work practices. You must be comfortable when working at a computer and must always tell your supervisor if you feel you are in any pain or are feeling uncomfortable.
Not only for your comfort, but Australian law states that you have to be safe at work. Ergonomic requirements means how you use the computer equipment to ensure you are comfortable and safe whilst working.
Ergonomic is a term used to describe furniture and equipment that has been designed for comfort, efficiency and safety especially in the workplace.
Following is a list of areas around your workstation that you need to pay particular attention to.
- The height and layout of your workstation
This is vital for you to be able to do your work well. Your feet should be on the ground and your hands should be resting on the keyboard.
- Chair height, seat and back adjustment
These should be checked and adjusted on a daily basis as some other person may sit at your chair and change the adjustments without you being aware.
- Monitor (or screen) position
You should not be looking up or down at your monitor (or screen), but it should be directly in front of you at eye level or slightly lower.
- Keyboard and mouse position
These should be placed to best suit you. The keyboard should be in front of you. The mouse should be on your right if you use your right hand or on your left if you mainly use your left hand.
Lighting should be strong and not cause any glare.
- Checking your workstation
- Regular breaks
Try to get up for a few minutes every hour when using the computer. You may like to walk around or do some exercises to relieve any muscle strain. Some examples of stretching exercises are below.
Drop your head slowly first to the left, then to the right. Drop your chin to your chest, then raise it, letting your head drop back. Turn your head to the left, then to the right. Repeat two or three times.
With your elbows at your sides slowly roll your shoulders forward three or four times. Then roll them backwards three or four times.
Raise your arms straight out to the sides at shoulder level.
Rotate your arms forward in small circles three or four times. Then rotate them backwards three or four times.
Clasp your hands behind your back, locking your elbows. Raise your arms high, then let them drop. Repeat three or four times.
Place your forearms and wrists flat on the desk. Keeping your wrists on the table, bend your hands and fingers back. Repeat three or four times.
Place your hands palm down and spread your fingers into a fan. Count to five, then relax. Repeat three or four times.
Tick the areas from this topic that you have successfully completed.