Modern working practice, elongated hours and travel demands can all increase our risks of injury from musculoskeletal disorders. So whether we are sat at our desks, hunched over a laptop or working while on a long train journey we all need to take a collective responsibility for managing the risks to our wellbeing.

Recently published figures suggested that a staggering 56,000 employees reported injuries in 2012 caused by keyboard and repetitive work alone. Some of the complaints included aches and pains in hands, wrists, arms, neck, shoulders or back, particularly after long periods of uninterrupted use.

Given the increasing health risk associated with computer working and the potential impact to businesses, employers must reinforce good practice, posture and workstation set-up with their employees.

Here are some top tips to help you and your workforce minimise your risk:

  • Get comfortable – Adjust your chair and workstation to find the most comfortable position. Your forearms should be approximately horizontal and your eyes the same height as the top of the monitor.
  • Release the pressure – Avoid excess pressure from the edge of your seat on the backs of your legs and knees. A footrest may be helpful.
  • Make space – Make sure you have enough workspace. Ensure that there is space under your desk to move your legs freely. Remove any obstacles such as boxes or equipment.
  • Avoid those awkward moments – A document holder may help you avoid awkward neck and eye movements.
  • Re-arrange – Arrange your desk and screen to avoid glare or bright reflections. Try different arrangements of keyboard, screen, mouse and documents to find the best arrangement for you.
  • Keep moving – Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods. Some movement is desirable, but avoid repeated stretching to reach things you need.
  • Break it up – Make use of opportunities to take a break from the screen.

For more information about our Ergonomics (DSE) support services please contact us at or call +44 (0) 141 244 0181