Office Ergonomics

If you would like to talk about your work environment, are ready to purchase ergonomic equipment (keyboards, chairs, etc.), or feel you might have pain or discomfort from the effects of repetitive stress or work area set up please contact: Josh Reilly (454-4820 or email). If you feel you are experiencing pain or discomfort from the effects of repetitive stress or an unergonomic work area setup, please notify your supervisor.

Adjusting your Work Area - Stretches and Exercises

County of Santa Cruz Employee Ergonomics Web Page

Adjusting your Work Area

Adjusting Your Chair

  • Adjust your chair before you start working on your computer
  • Height: feet flat on the floor, good thigh support, knees slightly lower than your hips (hip angle >90 degrees)
  • Seat tilt: adjust the seat tilt angle for forward, upright, or reclined tasks; generally the seat pan is tilted slightly forward to open the hip angle
  • Backrest: the lumbar support height should be adjusted to meet the arch in your low back
  • If your chair needs to be too high because of the height of the work surface, use a foot stool

Work Surface Layout and Keyboard Placement

  • Desk or keyboard at about elbow level, so your forearms are parallel to the floor
  • Mouse placed next to the keyboard and at the same level
  • DO NOT place your mouse on your desk above your keyboard. You should not be reaching for your mouse.

Computer Monitor Placement

  • Position the computer monitor in front of you with the top of monitor at eye level, the distance should be about the same as for normal reading
    • People who wear bifocal glasses might need to place their monitor slightly lower (you should be able to see what’s on the top of your screen without tipping your head back)
    • If your monitor is too dim and is causing you eye strain you should get it adjusted or replaced. Let your supervisor know and they will contact HSA Infosvcs.
  • The monitor should be placed in front of the keyboard

Document Placement

  • Position documents in your line of vision, or near your monitor, by importance
  • Document holder should be the same height and distance as the screen

Your Shoulders and Arms

  • Have arm supports (chair armrests, padded/rounded desk edge, and/or wrist rests) to use when pausing or when holding stationary postures

Your Wrists

  • Maintain your wrists in a neutral, horizontal position while keyboarding. Do not type or rest with your wrists bent up or down.
  • Use soft wrist rests to rest your arms during the natural pauses during keyboarding
  • Make sure you do not rest your wrists on a hard surface or the edge of a desk. Have your supervisor order you a soft/gel wrist rest.


  • Frequently used or heavy objects should be in the near reach zone, low priority items in the far reach zone
  • Add work surfaces for writing, phone, and rarely used items


  • Neck rest or head set for frequent phone use or when writing/keyboarding


  • Uniform brightness near screen or documents. Do not face a bright window.
  • Make sure your monitor isn't too dim or too bright
  • Glare: use glare screen and/or hood
    • Make sure you have the type of glare screen which doesn't dim your monitor too much
  • 20/20 break (every 20 minutes focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds) 

Stretches and Exercises