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Save Your Back…and Your Wrists!

As our society grows more dependent upon technology, the amount of time people spend in front of a computer screen can reach upwards of 15 hours a day. It is important to be seated safely while working, and make sure to take 1-2 breaks each hour by standing up or walking around for a few minutes.

• Adjust your chair so that thighs are parallel to the floor when feet are flat on the floor on a footrest.
• Adjust your chair backrest so it provides good support to lower back.
• Adjust the armrests to support under forearms with elbows resting comfortably at 90 degrees.
• Adjust the keyboard height so that it is even with or slightly lower than seated elbow height.
• Use a well-padded wrist rest to reduce contact stress between wrists and work surface.
• Avoid leaning on hard work surfaces while keying or using the mouse.
• Adjust the monitor so that eyes are even with the top 1/3 of the screen.
• If wearing bifocal or progressive lens eyeglasses , place the monitor as low as possible or
on the desktop surface.
• Monitor viewing distance should be 18-24” from your eyes.
• Place frequently used items such as telephone, note pads, keyboard, mouse
and reference materials in close proximity (18” reaching distance).
• In-Line document holders are recommended for people who regularly refer to paper documents
while at the computer.
• Consider using a headset or speakerphone when hands are needed while on the telephone.

Barb Phillips, MS OTD, OTR/L has been practicing Occupational Therapy for nearly 30 years. She currently runs her own ergonomic and corporate wellness business:
Ergo Life Solutions provides on-site ergonomic evaluations and interventions for home and corporate offices, insuring that people are safe while at work. Barb has worked as an adjunct faculty in the occupational therapy departments for the University of Southern California and California State University of Dominguez Hills. She also teaches exercise classes to stroke survivors at Santa Monica College and assists with the brain interface research project at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center.

You can reach Barb at:

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