Safety Resource Library

Computer Pains

Ergonomics: Computer Pains

If you have discomfort at your computer workstation, report it to your supervisor and request an ergonomic assessment. This chart may be helpful in troubleshooting the problems.

If you have
Neck, upper back, and shoulder tightness, tension or discomfort
It’s Probably caused by
CrickedNeck

  • Head is tilted down during reading, writing or viewing the computer screen.
  • Hands and arms extended while typing, mousing, writing, or using hands in manipulating/ holding work.
  • Head is too far back during reading, writing, or viewing the computer screen.
  • Leaning forward on the work surface and supporting the weight of the head and trunk
  • Head and neck are tilted in a lateral direction holding the telephone between the shoulder and ear.

Try this to eliminate or reduce your pain

  • Elevate work surface, reading materials, and/or computer screen to eliminate head tilt.
  • Move work closer so that the elbows are straight down from the shoulder (arms hang naturally) with the forearms/wrists parallel to the floor.
  • Tilt the backrest forward so as to keep the ears, shoulders and hips in alignment.
  • Consider computer glasses to avoid the “head bob” of using bifocals/progressive lenses.
  • Ensure chair is a good fit providing adequate support for the back.
  • Move the monitor closer to promote easier viewing and reduce eye strain.
  • Use a headset.
  • Use a speaker phone.
If you have
Hand, wrist, and lower arm discomfort
It’s Probably caused by
Hand-WristDiscomfort

  • The wrist is deviated in an unnatural position.
  • Excessive application of force during typing/keying.

Try this to eliminate or reduce your pain

  • Arrange the keyboard (or other input device) to produce a neutral wrist position.
  • Reduce excessive force through training and practice.
If you have
Lower back pain and discomfort
It’s Probably caused by
BentBack

  • Lumbar curvature is not being maintained and supported

Try this to eliminate or reduce your pain

  • Bring backrest in further horizontally through an in and out adjustment or by tilting forward, and/or changing the lumbar curvature adjustment (if equipped).
  • Adjust backrest vertically so that it is placed just slightly above the pelvis to provide support in the lumbar region (lower back).
  • Lower chair and/or use footrest so that feet are supporting the weight of the feet and lower legs only.
  • Adjust backrest vertically so that it is placed just slightly above the pelvis to provide support in the lumbar region (lower back).
If you have
Buttocks discomfort
It’s Probably caused by
ManonBall

  • Sitting too far forward in the seat pan and not using the backrest.
  • There is too much pressure on the back of the thighs.

Try this to eliminate or reduce your pain

  • Sit deeper in the chair. It may be necessary to adjust the seat pan horizontally or obtain a different chair with a better fit.
  • Sit deeper in the chair to distribute the pressure more evenly from buttocks to thighs. Use the seat pan depth adjustment or a footrest to obtain a better fit and relieve pressure.

Image credit: 123RF Stock Photo

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