Display Screen Equipment User Guide

display screen equipment

The prolonged use of display screen equipment can result in physical and psychological problems if the workstation is incorrectly adjusted to suit the user or the environment is poor. However, there are some simple steps that can be taken to prevent these problems, which involve adjusting the workstation and/or the environment to suit the user.

Getting comfortable

Adjust your chair and the screen to find the most comfortable position for your work.

As a broad guide, your forearms should be approximately horizontal and your eyes the same height as the top of the screen.

Make sure you have enough work space to take whatever documents or other equipment you need.

Try different arrangements of keyboard, screen, mouse and documents to find the best arrangement for you.

A document holder may help you avoid awkward neck and eye movements.

Arrange your desk and screen to avoid glare, or bright reflections on the screen. This will be easiest if neither you nor the screen is directly facing windows or bright lights. Adjust curtains or blinds to prevent unwanted light.

Make sure there is space under your desk to move your legs freely. Move any obstacles such as boxes or equipment.

Avoid excess pressure from the edge of your seat on the backs of your legs and knees. A footrest may be helpful, particularly for smaller users.

Keying in

Adjust your keyboard to get a good keying position. A space in front of the keyboard is sometimes helpful for resting the hands and wrists when not keying.

Try to keep your wrists straight when keying. Keep a soft touch on the keys and don’t overstretch your fingers. Good keyboard technique is important.

Using a mouse

Position the mouse within easy reach, so it can be used with the wrist straight.

Sit upright and close to the desk, so you don’t have to work with your mouse arm stretched. Move the keyboard out of the way if it is not being used.

Support your forearm on the desk, and don’t grip the mouse too tightly.

Rest your fingers lightly on the buttons and do not press them hard.

Reading the screen

Adjust the brightness and contrast controls on the screen to suit lighting conditions in the room.

Make sure the screen surface is clean.

In setting up software, choose options giving text that is large enough to read easily on your screen, when you are sitting in a normal, comfortable working position. Select colours that are easy on the eye (avoid red text on a blue background, or vice-versa). Individual characters on the screen should be sharply focused and should not flicker or move. If they do, the screen may need servicing or adjustment.

Using Your Laptop

Laptop and other types of portable computers tend to have smaller keys and screens than full size display screen equipment (DSE). As a result, they encourage poor posture and tend to be less comfortable to use for long periods of time. Increasing levels of muscular skeletal disorders, back, neck and wrist pain are occurring due to the widespread use of portable computers.

If portable computers have to be used for extended periods of keyboard work at a time, managers should ensure that a docking station, with a full size monitor and keyboard are provided. This will allow for suitable posture and visual distances to be achieved thereby preventing the onset of muscular pains, spasms and fatigue or even possible long-term injuries.

IF a laptop is essential for business purposes ensure:

  • It is only used when it is appropriate to do so and for which it was designed i.e. occasional use.
  • It is placed on a firm surface.
  • The position of the keyboard should allow for relaxed shoulders and horizontal forearms.
  • The screen of the laptop should be at an adequate height and angled to keep reflections and glare are kept to a minimum. Ensure a correct posture is achieved and the head does not have to be noticeably inclined.
  • It is not used for prolonged periods of time – use greater than one hour is inadvisable. An appropriate and adjustable chair is used.
  • Short frequent breaks are taken – during breaks the opportunity should be taken to stretch and gently exercise the trunk, upper limbs and neck.

Whenever possible, connect a standard keyboard, mouse and monitor to provide better working arrangements.

Working in Hotels

Many hotels will provide a suitable area for laptop uses. These may include public laptop areas. Usually there will be a table and suitable chair to use within your room.

Do not use a laptop when sitting on an easy chair or sofa, working with a laptop on your lap or whilst stretching out on a bed – such posture will cause strains to your neck and shoulders.

Working with a laptop in cars

Where possible, this should be avoided; however on occasions where this may be unavoidable the following guidance can be adopted for the short periods you may need to use a laptop within a car.

It goes without saying never use a laptop when driving.

Use the passenger’s seat when using your laptop to allow a great space for movement and adjustment of your chair.

Limit the time you use to a maximum of 30 minutes a day.

Contact Cambridge Safety if you need more details regarding display screen equipment and how to manage your time on them effectively.

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