University of California, Riverside


Office Ergonomics

Guidelines for Computer Operators

The simple adjustments outlined below may increase the comfort of your computer workstation. Consider the following to prevent musculoskeletal and visual fatigue:

Adjust the height of your work surface and the height of your chair so that your keyboard is at elbow height. Your feet should be supported by the floor or a footrest. If your work surface cannot be adjusted to the proper height, consider an adjustable keyboard tray.

Adjust the back rest of your chair so that it provides support to your lower back. Do not sit on the edge of the chair; rest your back against the backrest.

Position the screen directly in front of you. The distance between your eyes and the screen should be approximately an arm's length.


Adjust the height of the monitor so that your eyes are level with the top of the screen. If you wear bifocal or trifocal lenses, your eyes should be 3-4 inches above the top of the screen.

Tilt the screen to minimize glare. Tilting the screen will help reduce glare caused by bright overhead lights.

Draw drapes or shades and utilize task lighting rather than bright overhead lighting when working at the computer to reduce glare.

Use a document holder. Documents placed flat on the desk will cause you to lean forward and flex your neck, leading to fatigue and discomfort. The document and screen should be located at approximately the same distance to eliminate constant eye refocusing at varying viewing distances.

Keep the area under your desk clear for adequate leg and knee room.

When keying and mousing, keep the upper arms nearly vertical at your side to prevent fatigue. Elbows should be bent to approximately 90 degrees. Use a wrist rest, if necessary, to maintain your wrists, hands, and arms in a straight horizontal line.

Take frequent micro-breaks and stretch periodically to reduce the soreness and stiffness related to fixed, static work postures.

For more information or to assess your own computer workstation, complete our ergonomic interactive self evaluation and training (Ergo iSEAT) program online.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Human Resources
1201 University Ave., Suite 208
Riverside,CA 92507

Fax: (951) 827-2672