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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 kgreen15@umn.edu or Neil Carlson carls001@umn.edu if you would like an on-site evaluation to improve your current workstation setup.

Discomfort Area: Low Back


Risk Factors How to Decrease Risks
Chair back is down at bottom of seat; seat pan is too long
  • Adjust the height of the chair back or lumbar support
  • Make sure seat pan is the correct depth. The front edge should not touch the back of the calf.
  • Adjust seat pan tilt
  • Purchase chair with shallow seat pan or sliding seat pan
Feet are dangling from chair
  • Use a footrest to allow thighs to be parallel to floor
  • Lower chair and install a foot rest.
Keyboard in poor location or too far forward Move keyboard closer
Back injury or medical condition prevents sitting for long periods
  • Use a sit stand workstation
  • Use a standing workstation for writing
  • Add beveled floor mat to relieve stress on feet
  • Purchase chair with good lumbar support
  • Purchase chair that has a tension adjustment allowing the back to move with the person.