Keyboard, mouse and monitor

How to adjust

Keyboard height

  • When correctly seated at your desk the height of the keyboard should enable you to have your arms and forearms are at right angles/slightly greater.
  • For a fixed height bench or counter, make the required height adjustment with an adjustable chair.
Positioning your keyboard
  • Locate the keyboard in close proximity to your body and approximately 8cm from the edge of the desk in order to avoid over-reaching while keying. You should be able to relax your shoulders, and have your elbows hanging close to your body and forearms parallel to the keyboard.
Keyboard slope
  • Keep the keyboard flat to avoid cocked wrist position.
  • The keyboard should not be inclined in order to avoid excessive and prolonged extension of the wrist whilst typing.
  • Resting on a wrist-rest while typing or mousing is not recommended.
  • If you feel it is necessary to use wrist rests avoid excessively wide wrist rests or wrist rests that are higher than the space bar of your keyboard.
Typing posture
  • Keep wrists in line with the forearm.
  • Avoid supporting your wrists on any surface while typing or using the mouse.
  • After prolonged absences from work the overall duration of keyboard work should be increased gradually using mini breaks.

Choosing and using your mouse correctly

  • A well-designed mouse should not cause undue pressure on the wrist and forearm muscles.
  • Select a mouse with a design that permits a fairly natural wrist posture.
  • The mouse should be positioned to allow the elbow by the side of the user’s body and the wrist to remain in a neutral position.
  • Moving the whole forearm and not just the wrist from side to side while operating the mouse is also important.
  • Avoid holding elbow away from the body or wrist at an angle to use the mouse.
  • Easy alternation between the left and right hand is a beneficial consideration if extensive mouse use is required. 

Monitor height and distance

  • Adjust the monitor height such that the top of the screen is at the eye level.
  • Make sure the monitor is at a comfortable reading distance (about arm’s length).
  • If using dual screens set them at the same height (as for one screen) and sit directly in front of the most frequently used monitor.
  • Alternatively, you can sit directly in front of where the two screens meet.
  • Get a regular eye examination and if necessary, wear corrective lenses. Tell your eye specialist how often you use the computer.

Visual comfort of the screen

  • Characters on the screen should be clear, have no flicker and be of suitable size.
  • Adjust the contrast and brightness on your computer screen to a comfortable level. Negative contrast screens (dark characters on light background) will reduce the influence of these reflections.
  • If you use bi-focals you may need to position your monitor lower to avoid excessive neck extension.
  • The monitor should be positioned to avoid glare - ideally, perpendicular to any window/strong light sources, not directly underneath. If it is unavoidable for your desk to be near a window, ensure that neither you or your screen face the window.
  • If your monitor is well away from the window and there are no other sources of bright light, use a low level service light. This is important especially if you need to do prolonged desk work.
  • Tilt the screen so that reflections are directed below eye level.

  • Purchase a screen with matt or light diffusing surface. Or use a glare screen.