Telecommuters may be exposed to ergonomic risk factors similar to
those of office workers. Risk factors include, but are not limited to:
repetitive movements, awkward postures, excessive force, and static
SLAC Ergonomic Telecommuter Services
An ergonomic specialist can help ensure offsite workspaces are safe
by evaluating and providing recommendations to reduce or eliminate
ergonomic risk factors. For ergonomic assistance, please contact the
Occupational Health Department at x2281.
Ergonomic Tips for Telecommuters
Setting up your Workstation:
Course 291 - Ergonomics Training for the Office Worker – is a
comprehensive online course that guides learners through a
self-assessment of their workstation to help ensure proper setup.
Telecommuters are encouraged to take this course from all workstations
used – including your home, offsite location, and your office at work.
Using a Laptop Computer:
Compact laptop design with joined keyboard and monitor forces laptop
users into awkward postures. To address ergonomic risks:
- Use a separate keyboard and mouse for prolonged laptop use (>1
- Position the keyboard and mouse to allow the shoulders to relax,
elbows to be at the sides, and the hands to be at or slightly below
- Place the laptop on a riser to position the monitor at an
Guide to Laptop Ergonomics [pdf] for more information and refer to
Ergonomically Correct Postures for additional information.
- One to two minute microbreaks every 20 to 30 minutes are
recommended to reduce sustained awkward postures and repetitive
- Breaks are emphasized when using a laptop or other
ergonomically-compromised work stations.
- Refer to the
Stretching and Microbreaks page for more information.
Follow these basic equipment positioning recommendations when working
on either a desktop or laptop:
- Comfortable, adjustable chair: A good ergonomic chair will have
adjustable features such as seat height, seat pan tilt, seat pan
depth, and back support; and height adjustable arm rests
- Work Surface: The keyboard and mouse are ideally positioned at a
height just below or at seated elbow height. Options include finding
a table with a height that matches your seated elbow height, sitting
higher in the chair with a footrest or installing a keyboard tray if
the desk height is too high.
- Monitor: The top 3/4ths of the monitor is ideally adjusted to
eye level. Options include use of a monitor stand, laptop riser, or