About Checklists


Low Back pain ergonomics

Eyestrain Basics

Hand and Arm Basics

Ergonomic products:  pros/cons

Being Effective

Conventional vs. current wisdom

Ergonomic Chairs

Alternative Keyboards

A Checklist

Good ergo weblinks

Good Periodicals

Solving VDT Reflections (Mark Rea)

About Checklists

Checklists as diagnostics and solution-finders aren't very successful, but they can be used as learning tools. 

Below is one that has been successful in helping people "sharpen their eyes" in looking for risk factors.  Possible solutions to each problem are also listed. 

And (surprise!) there are almost always SEVERAL ways to fix a given problem.  But remember our motto:  "For everything you fix, you probably screw up something else."

Things to look for: Possible solutions, depending on further analysis:
Prolonged hunched or elevated shoulder while holding the phone Telephone headset
Elbows splayed out (shoulder abduction) Lower worksurface
Lower chair armrests
Bring chair armrests in closer
Awareness and habit training
Raised or tensed shoulders Habit or tension training
Lower worksurface or keyboard
Lower chair armrests
Raise chair, if foot contact with
     the floor can be maintained
Twisting the head to the side Bring viewed item closer to centerline of view
Elbow flexed for long periods using the telephone Telephone headset
Elbow or forearm resting for long periods on hard or sharp worksurface, chair armrests Pad or round surfaces, corners,
     and armrests
Replace armrests
Telephone headset
Habit training
Wrists bent to the sides when using side keys Habit training
Keyboard with more accessible keys or split keyboard design
Wrists bent back (extended) or forward (flexed) for prolonged periods Habit training
Palm rest
Lower, raise, or change slope
     of the keyboard
Wrists or palms resting for long periods on hard or sharp keyboard or worksurfaces Habit training
Palm rest
Padded or rounded surfaces, corners
Hands held actively over the keyboard during keying pauses Habit training
Palm or forearm rest
Rapid, sustained, or prolonged keying Greater work variety
Aggressive break schedule
Reduce overtime
Forceful keying, key pounding Habit training
Light-touch keyboard
Significant amounts of hand stapling, punching, lifting, opening mail, or other forceful exertions, especially combined with awkward postures Mechanical aids, such as electric stapler or punch
Reduce size of lifted loads
Bring heavy loads close to the body, at a medium height
Substitute sliding (worksurface) or wheeling (floor)
Sharpen letter openers
Prolonged mouse use Greater work variety
Aggressive break schedule
Alternate hands
Alternative pointing devices
Arm support, including small table
Mouse close to body
     (extended keyboard tray)
Learn keystroke substitutes for
Prolonged sitting, especially in only one posture Greater work variety
Aggressive break schedule
Chair that supports posture change, through movement, size, or easy adjustability
Habit training
Move phone and printer to the other side of the office to force standing, or suggest standing when on phone
Check chair fit
Monitor in-out mechanism
Sit-stand worksurface
Lumbar back area not supported Lumbar cushion
Backrest height and tilt
Check chair fit, especially backrest/lumbar height
Feet dangling, not well supported, or a posture which seems to put pressure on the backs of the thighs Lower chair
Lower worksurface
Habit training
Foot rest (last resort)
Chair backrest not used for long periods Check chair fit, especially seat pan depth and height
Check leg room
Check monitor distance and character height
Habit training
Twisted torso Rearrange work
Provide more knee space
U-shaped worksurface layout
Swivel chair
Frequent or prolonged leaning or reaching Rearrange work
Mouse pad, palm or forearm rest
Bring mouse and keyboard
     closer to body
Working with one or both arms "reaching" toward a mouse or keyboard Bring keyboard closer to body
Mouse pad, palm or forearm rest
Bring mouse closer to keyboard
Light sources that can be seen by the worker Cover or shield light sources
Rearrange work arena
Lower other viewed objects
     to lower field of view
Reflected glare on the screen Shield light sources
Shade screen
Glare screen
Move monitor so light enter from
    side angle, not back Do NOT tip monitor down
Lower light levels
Move light sources
Too much contrast between screen and surroundings or document; worker feels relief when bright areas are shielded Lower ambient light levels
Turn off, reposition, or dim task lights
Block offending light sources
Change screen polarity to black on white
Very bright ambient lighting (above 500 lux or 50 fc) or shadowed areas caused by over-illumination Lower ambient light levels to 200-500 lux (20-50 fc) and use task lights
Monitor closer than approximately 65 cm (25") Push monitor back (enlarge font size)
Habit training for reclining
Computer glasses
Bring keyboard forward, possibly
     with a keyboard tray
Different viewed objects (screen, documents) at different distances from the eyes Use document stand or otherwise equalize distances to within about 10 cm (4") if rapid viewing changes are required
Screen or documents not oriented perpendicular to the line of sight (tipped back slightly is even better) Change monitor, document stand
Prolonged near focusing throughout the day with few far-focusing opportunities Move monitor back as far as possible
Habit training
Rearrange space to provide view
Introduce glazing
Monitor image dim, fuzzy, flicker, small, or otherwise difficult to read Upgrade monitor
Use software to enlarge image
Shiny, low-contrast, or small-print documents Improve lighting on documents if
     documents cannot be changed
Forward head posture (peering) or squinting Lower monitor
Tilt monitor back
Check for monitor image quality
     problems, character height or monitor distance
Suggest consultation with vision
Eyestrain complaints Check all aspects of visual
Suggest consultation with vision
Neck extended backwards, head tilted back, even slightly Remove CPU from under monitor
Remove tilt-swivel base from
     monitor (leave ventilation space)
Check for bifocals and suggest
      full-frame "computer glasses"
Neck severely flexed (downward) Tilt face of monitor back
Tilt document - do not lay flat on worksurface
Raise document or monitor to a
     comfortable height
Adjust posture
Habit retraining
Check glasses for proper prescription