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Home > Ergonomic Resources >  Office Ergonomics Workstation Discomfort Symptoms and Solutions

Workstation Discomfort Symptoms and Solutions

This graphic illustrates the proper way to set up your workstation. If you are experiencing discomfort while at work, such as back pain or eye strain, click on a number in the graphic to match your symptoms with our solutions.

E-mail Greg Casura casur001@umn.edu or Neil Carlson carls001@umn.edu if you would like an on-site evaluation to improve your current workstation setup.

Discomfort Area: Shoulders


Risk Factors How to Decrease Risks
Phone use is greater than one hour per day 1-2 hours per day:
  • Use speaker phone
  • Use head set
  • Hold phone with hand, don't cradle with neck
  • Phone rest
2 or more hours a day:
  • Use speaker phone
  • Use head set
Mouse position is too far from keyboard Move mouse closer to keyboard
Wiggling wrist while using the mouse
  • Move from elbow or forearm
  • Use Evoluent mouse
  • Use track ball mouse
Using mouse solely with right hand Use mouse with left hand
Arm rest is too far apart and individual leans on one rest
  • Remove arm rests
  • Use arm rests that have vertical and horizontal adjustments
Lifting heavy items with one arm Use two arms or reorganize office space
Keyboard drawer only holds keyboard
  • New, wider keyboard drawer that accommodates mouse
  • Use roller mouse wrist rest
Keyboard is too far away, too high, or too low
  • Bring keyboard closer
  • Install keyboard drawer
  • Raise chair height
  • Keep arms at 90 degree angle when typing
  • Remove wrist rest or use narrow wrist rest
Monitor too far away and person leans forward to view screen
  • Check vision prescription
  • Tilt chair seat back and use backrest and footrest
  • Bring monitor closer
Back rest on chair does not fit individual; low back and no shoulder support
  • Purchase chair with adjustable backrest
  • Adjust the height of the back rest
Arm rests are too high or too far apart
  • Set up armrests that are slightly wider apart than the shoulders
  • Use arm rests with a vertical and horizontal adjustment
  • Try working in the chair without arm rests