A. Display Screen

When work is conducted at a computer, the top of the display screen should be at, or just slightly below, eye level. This allows the eyes to view the screen at a comfortable level, without having to tilt the head or move the back muscles.

Control glare at the source whenever possible; place VDTs so that they are parallel to direct sources of light such as windows and overhead lights, and use window treatments if necessary. When glare sources cannot be removed, seek appropriate screen treatments such as glare filters. Keep the screen clean.

B. Chairs

The chair is usually the most important piece of furniture that affects user comfort in the office. The chair should be adjusted for comfort, making sure the back is supported and that the seat pan is at a height so that the thighs are horizontal and feet are flat on the floor. An ergonomically sound chair requires four degrees of freedom - seat pan tilt, backrest angle, seat height, and backrest height. Operators can then vary the chair adjustments according to the task. In general, chairs with the most easily adjustable dimension permit the most flexibility to support people's preferred sitting postures.

Armrests on chairs are recommended for most office work except where they interfere with the task. Resting arms on armrests is a very effective way to reduce arm discomforts. Armrests should be sufficiently short and low to allow workers to get close enough to their work surfaces, especially for tasks that require fixed arm postures above the work surface.

C. Working height

The work surface height should fit the task. The principle is to place the surface height where the work may be performed in such a manner as to keep arms low and close to the body in relation to the task. If the working height is too high, the shoulders or the upper arms have to be lifted to compensate, which may lead to painful symptoms and cramps at the level of the neck and shoulders. If, on the other hand, the working height is too low, the back must be excessively bowed, which may cause backache. Generally, work should be done at about elbow height, whether sitting or standing. Adjustable work stations should be provided so that individuals may change the stations to meet their needs. A workstation without an adjustable keyboard height and without an adjustable height and distance of the screen is not suitable for continuous work.

D. Work/Rest Schedules

One solution for stress and fatigue is to design the computer operator's work so that tasks requiring concentrated work at the terminal are alternated with non-computer based tasks throughout the workday. Also, a short break (5-10 minutes) should be taken at least once each hour when involved in continuous work at the computer.