How to Design an Ergonomic Workplace

Poorly designed workplaces and computers can make people uncomfortable and unproductive. This article explains what to buy and how to use a computer ergonomically.

A bad working environment can be very expensive for businesses and painful for individuals. Among office workers, repetitive strain injuries are common, not to mention headaches, sore eyes, and aching backs and shoulders. Adjustable monitors and keyboards and good seating arrangements can reduce the risk of injuries. Getting the right temperature and keeping noise down can maximize productivity.

Ergonomic checklist

  • Position your keyboard and mouse. Experts recommend that you place your keyboard and mouse so that you can use them with your body in a relaxed, comfortable position. If you have to reach for them or hunch your shoulders to use them, they’re in the wrong place. Try alternating between your left and right hand when using the mouse to get a break.

  • Get comfortable with your notebook. Consider buying a docking station and external keyboard (with number pad) and mouse for your notebook when you use it for extended periods. Alternatively, a notebook stand can make using a notebook in the office more comfortable and convenient.

  • Choose ergonomic keyboards. Look for a keyboard that has different levels of tilt, including the ability to lie completely flat.

  • Reduce eyestrain with an adjustable monitor. Put the monitor directly in front of you at arm’s length. Adjust the height so that you can see it with your back straight and your eyes tilted slightly downwards. Try to avoid reflections or glare on the screen. A monitor that can swivel and adjust in height will be more comfortable because you can adjust it as you change your posture during the day. Consider using an adjustable second monitor for your notebook when it’s in the office – it’ll be more comfortable for extended use.

  • Reduce noise to increase productivity. Ringing phones, music and loud noises increase stress, interrupt concentration and reduce productivity. Try to minimize unwanted noise. Set the right temperature. Productivity falls if the temperature varies far from around 25oC. Getting too hot or too cold can slow you down.

HP recommends

  • HP keyboards have three options to make them as comfortable as possible. Using the keyboards’ tilt legs, you can set them at a zero-degree (flat), six-degree or 12-degree angle.

  • For notebook users: an HP Adjustable Notebook Stand and docking station, when combined with an external monitor, keyboard and mouse, lets users use their notebook more ergonomically when it’s in the office.

  • HP external mice, including the HP USB Optical Travel Mouse and the credit card sized HP Bluetooth PC Card Mouse.

  • HP LCD flat-panel monitors are easily adjusted so that users can get comfortable, however tall they are or whatever their working conditions, including some models that can be positioned very low for people wearing bifocal, trifocal or progressive lenses.

  • Energy efficient, quiet, cool PCs. As desktop PCs get more energy-efficient they generate less waste heat and, besides saving energy, this makes offices cooler and more comfortable.

For more information

For more information about creating an ergonomic workplace, visit

For more on HP accessories, visit:

1 Requires separately purchased Ultra Capacity Battery and customer download of the latest Intel graphics driver and HP BIOS. Notebook must be configured with optional Intel 80 GB SSD drive and HP Illumi-Lite LED Display and requires Microsoft Windows® XP operating system. Battery life will vary depending on the product model, configuration, loaded applications, features, and power management settings. The maximum capacity of the battery will decrease with time and usage.

This business advice article published in association with HP. Find out more about HP Laptops, Tablets, Desktops, Printers & Servers

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