Good posture whilst at your computer

Health and Safety and IT

Here are some tips to help you to use a computer comfortably:

Sitting comfortably

  • Sit back in the chair and use the backrest to support your back.
  • Adjust the angle of the backrest in relation to the seat into a comfortable position.
  • Adjust the chair back height to give support to the curve of your lower back.
  • Adjust the seat height so that your elbows are just above the desk.
  • Sit as close to the desk as possible.
  • Vary your sitting position periodically and occasionally lean back and relax.

Keyboard and mouse

  • The keyboard should be directly in front of you and with a minimum space in front so that you can rest your palms whilst not typing.
  • Your wrists should be in a relaxed, neutral position over the keyboard.
  • Position your mouse as close to the side of the keyboard as possible.
  • Take your hand away from the mouse when not in use.
  • Vary the fingers you use if you are not a touch typist.
  • Use keyboard shortcuts as an alternative to the mouse.

Screen position

  • Ensure the screen is located directly in front of you.
  • Adjust the viewing distance from your eyes to the screen so it is comfortable to read.


  • Use easy-to-read fonts such as Arial.
  • Limit the number of colours you use on the screen.
  • Avoid large areas of white if your screen appears to flicker.
  • Use the zoom facility within ‘View’ to increase the on-screen size of the document.


  • If you are using a laptop computer for long periods of time, angle the screen so it can be seen clearly with minimal reflections, and use it on a firm surface at a suitable height for keying


  • Take breaks away from the computer, particularly if you begin to experience any discomfort.

If you see anything in a computer lab that you think is unsafe, please report it to the IT Service Desk or the Faculty that provides the lab.

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