DePaul University Environmental Health and Safety > Ergonomics > Injuries & Prevention > Preventing Injuries

Preventing Injuries

Repetition, awkward posture, high force levels and eye strain can lead to discomfort and injury when using a computer. Here are some ways to reduce your risk exposure:

Repetition

  • Alternate tasks
  • Share tasks with coworkers
  • Take frequent breaks from keying/or mousing
  • Reduce or eliminate unnecessary work

Awkward Posture

  • Sit supported against the back of your chair
  • Avoid bending or twisting your neck or trunk
  • Keep shoulders relaxed and arms close by sides when working
  • Keep elbows at a 100 to 110 degree angle when using the keyboard and mouse
  • Keep wrists in a straight or neutral position when keying or mousing
  • Keep fingers in a relaxed position when keying or using the mouse
  • Keep work materials within close reach
  • Use a telephone headset for frequent/prolonged phone use
  • Change positions/tasks frequently

Force/Pressure

  • Key with a light touch
  • Avoid prolonged or excessive grasping of the mouse
  • Use larger diameter pens to reduce grip when writing
  • Use electric stapler for large stapling jobs
  • Select a chair with adequate padding
  • Avoid resting elbows and wrists on sharp or hard edges and surfaces

Eye Strain

  • Reduce glare on your computer screen by adjusting its placement and tilt, using a glare guard or using window blinds and light filters
  • Rest eyes intermittently by focusing on distant objects
  • Take visual breaks
  • Blink often when viewing the monitor
  • Wear appropriate corrective lens for computer work
  • Adjust the font, flicker and contrast of your monitor screen
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