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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 Kate Greenberg or Neil Carlson if you would like an on-site evaluation to improve your current workstation setup.

Discomfort Area: Wrists

Risk Factors How to Decrease Risks
Mouse is positioned far away from the keyboard; the wrist is bent at an awkward position; Mouse may be too low
  • Place mouse close to keyboard or on left side of keyboard
  • If mouse is on right side of keyboard add additional mouse pads until wrist is no longer bent
Tight pinch grip on pen and heavy writing
  • Use a soft pen grip
  • Use a pen with a wider diameter
Keyboard is poorly placed Align keyboard drawer at elbow height
Calculator is positioned too high or too far away
  • Place calculator on desk with wrist in a neutral position (straight wrist)
  • Raise up chair and use footrest to support feet
  • Install pad for wrist rest in front of calculator
Keyboard is too high, too low, too far away Place keyboard near elbow height with shoulders relaxed
Wrist rest is too high, too low, too hard, too soft, or in the way Remove the wrist wrest or use one that is comfortable
Elbows are above the keyboard height and there is a crease at the wrist
  • Lower chair height (Knees should not be higher than hips)
  • Install a keyboard drawer
  • Purchase soft foam on the edge of the table
Elbows are below the keyboard height
  • Lower keyboard using keyboard tray
  • Use footrest and raise height of the chair. Knees should be at the same height as hips.
Repetitive job without variety
  • Take frequent breaks
  • Work on stretching exercises
  • Redesign job with more variety
  • Reduce outside activities involving highly repetitive hand motion