Neutral Postures (stress free):
A formula for your comfort, efficiency and safety at your computer workstation
Ergonomic workstation systems are designed to encourage neutral (stress free) postures. Notice how the forearms and upper legs of the illustrated figure are parallel to the floor, and the wrists and hands are level with the elbows.
Maximize your comfort and efficiency with the Neutral Posture Keyboard Technique
CESSI has created this easy-to-follow guide which is designed to help you organize your work environment so you can develop a neutral posture keyboard technique that will help you become safer, more comfortable, more efficient and reduce discomfort issues. Before we begin our review of the neutral posture keyboard technique, take a few minutes now to study your work environment. Keep in mind that your work environment may be different than the one illustrated here, but the same principles apply. The most important factor in determining your success with the neutral posture keyboard technique is establishing the correct height and distance relationships.
Neutral posture keying technique is as important to your comfort and efficiency as is the correct adjustment of the rest of your equipment in your work environment. Take a moment to study the different hand position diagrams. Place your hands on the keyboard. If they are not parallel to your upper legs and to the floor, then you may be experiencing a flexed or extended wrist posture. If so, you will need to readjust the height of your chair and/or ergonomic keyboard system to permit a neutral wrist posture. Your upper arms should be relaxed by your sides, elbows at a 90% angle and your wrists in a straight position.
Once you have obtained a neutral wrist posture, it may feel a little different than what you are accustomed to. This is perfectly natural. If you continue to use a neutral wrist posture with the support of a wrist rest you will soon become comfortable with the new hand posture and your efficiency will quickly improve. Be patient, stick with it, and you will soon notice discomfort improvements.
Organizing Your Work Environment
Some work environments can be easily adjusted to match your specific physical requirements. Others will require a little imagination and ingenuity. Take a few minutes to find out which parts of your environment can be adjusted. Pay particular attention to your chair height and the height position of your computer monitor. If you are unsure about how your work environment should be adjusted, ask your supervisor for assistance.
While making adjustments to your work environment, keep in mind that your keyboard and computer monitor should be directly in front of you at the appropriate height. If your chair and monitor cannot be adjusted, use something to raise your monitor to the correct height.
Once you are familiar with the adjustment systems, begin by adjusting your chair. Then adjust your keyboard and mouse level, and finally, your monitor height and position.
- Chair: Adjust the height of your chair so your upper legs are parallel to the floor. Adjust the back support so your back is firmly supported and angled slightly backward while your feet are fully supported on the floor or on a footrest.
- Keyboard: The height for your keyboard, and any other input device such as a mouse, should be set so your hands, wrists and forearms are in a straight line and are level with your elbows when your arms are comfortably at your sides. The mouse should not be on a different level from your keyboard.
- Monitor: The top of the monitor screen should be even with your forehead and directly in front of you. Your eyes should focus on the screen at a slight (about 15 to 30 degrees) downward angle.
After you have made all the adjustments and are working in these neutral postures you will start noticing improvements in your discomfort levels, energy level, productivity and a reduction of your fatigue levels. If you are still experiencing discomfort issues after these adjustments have been made, you may want to talk to your supervisor about getting an Ergonomic Assessment to determine where the root cause of your discomfort is coming from.
If you would like to speak to one of our ergonomic specialists about your workplace set-up, please give us a call at 1-800-289-3746 or email us at email@example.com