Guide to Ergonomic Office Workstation Design

An office workplace design should meet the needs of the business and protect workers from ergonomic strain.

This diagram can serve as a guide to designing an ergonomic workstation for your office employees. 

Key guidelines for office workstation design

  • Worker posture should be properly maintained while tasks are being performed.
  • A 90-degree angle should be maintained between the back and upper legs, upper and lower legs, and upper and lower arms.
  • The worker's head should be up and level.
  • Feet should be flat or on a foot rest - not dangling.

Ergonomic Office Workstation Design Tips: 


 1. Chairs

  • Adjustable seat height
  • Five legs for stability
  • Flooring-appropriate casters
  • Rounded, padded front seat edge
  • An easily swiveling seat
  • Firm, supportive backrest with angle and height adjustment
  • Padded for comfort but ventilated to prevent heat accumulation
  • If arm rests are included, they should not hamper arm movement

 2. Keyboard

  • Keyboard stand height should be adjustable to be level with the elbow 
  • Keyboard should need only slight to moderate pressure on the keys while typing 
  • Angle of the surface should be adjustable 
  • When properly placed, is flat or angled only slightly upward 
  • Slightly concave keys will better form to fingers 

 3. Monitor

  • Needs a swivel base 
  • Screen top should be no higher than eye level and not more than 15 degrees below eye level 
  • Should have anti-glare screen which is kept clean 
  • Should not be positioned in front of a bright light source 
  • Should be placed about 18-24 inches from the worker's face 
  • Should have a tilt screen 

 4. Copyholder

- Distance and height are the same as for the monitor screen

 5. Table/Desk

  • Adjustable
  • Allow ample leg room
  • Roomy enough for the worker's needs
  • Has "immediate access zone" for the mouse
  • Ample space for knees (at least 30" wide x 19" deep x 27" high)
  • Construction should be durable
  • Work surface should not be dark colored to avoid too much contrast

 6. Office Space

  • Should not fill spaces with furniture, boxes or drawers
  • Avoid bright lights within the worker's field of vision
  • Lighting should be steady
  • If additional lighting is needed, consider task lighting
  • Noise level should not be distracting
  • Keep the work space clean and dust levels low
  • The work area should have ample air circulation
  • Workspace temperature and humidity should be relatively comfortable at 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit and 30-50% humidity

Following office ergonomic guidelines when creating your workstation design could help prevent strain and injury that could cause workers to suffer and lead to workers' compensation claims. 


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