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OSHA Offers Health Tips for Office Workers

Static postures and repetitive tasks associated with desk and computer work put your office staff at risk for cumulative trauma disorders, and CTDs can easily become serious lost-workday illnesses.

OSHA is well aware of the office worker's risk for musculoskeletal injuries--not just to hands and wrists, but also to neck, shoulders, back, arms and legs. The agency has issued the following list of its Top 10 Health Tips for office workers.

  • Adjust your chair to fit your body.
  • Sit with your shoulders relaxed, thighs parallel to the floor, and feet flat on the floor.
  • Shift your position often and take frequent rest breaks.
  • Exercise by gently stretching fingers, arms, head and shoulders.
  • Place your computer monitor directly in front of you 18-24 inches away, with the top just below eye level.
  • Use a document holder at eye level.
  • Put the keyboard at elbow level and hold wrists straight while typing.
  • Place the mouse next to the keyboard and move your whole arm to move the mouse.
  • Rest your hands in your lap when you're not typing or writing.
  • Organize your desk so that frequently used items are within 14- to 18-inch reach.


The Top 10 Health tips have been reprinted with permission from "OSHA Up to Date", a publication of the National Safety Council. Other recommendations for equipment and workstation design are available at OSHA's Web site