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Workstation Ergonomic Guidelines and Recommendations

The following provides guidelines on customizing workstation environments. The aim is to make these environments as comfortable and healthy as possible for all users, especially those with Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) and similar disabilities.

An increasing number of people who use computers on a regular basis are developing RSI. There is a need to accommodate users of campus computing facilities who have these types of disabilities. At the same time, it is desirable to help reduce pain and discomfort for anyone using the computing facilities.

"Ergonomic" is a frequently overused and misused term, but it speaks to fitting the environment and work tools to the individual. In a multi-user environment such as a computer lab, the best way to address the wide range of sizes and preferences of the campus population is to provide adjustability for the major elements of the workstation. Physical standards enumerated in other sections of this document (aisle space, knee clearance, work surface height) typically refer to the needs of a wheelchair rider and these may not address the needs of non-wheelchair users with hand and arm limitations (who tend to sit lower in a regular chair). Identifying one or several workstations in each computing facility for use by people with upper extremity limitations may be one way to provide accommodations. At the same time, an increasing number of campuses around the country are recognizing the value of providing some adjustability for as many workstations as possible for the benefit of all users. Paying more attention to work style and taking breaks is also important.

Ergonomic Guidelines Table

Please view the Table of Ergonomic Guidelines for a complete outline when designing work stations for healthy computing. You can also view individual elements of the guidelines using the following links:

While the recommendations are drawn from data that considers the shortest women and the tallest men, it is important to keep in mind that the makeup of the SFSU population may place the average more towards the middle and lower portion of the range.

*Workstation Guidelines and Recommendations courtesy of SFSU Disability Programs and Resource Center's Adaptive Technology Program.

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