Discover your employability skills

What is the purpose of this task?
To understand the importance of posture when working at a
What will you learn from this task?
To understand what the term ergonomics means
To carry out an assessment of your work station and make necessary
adjustments to safeguard your health
You will need
Access to a workstation with a computer
Workstation quiz (and answers)
Workstation assessment
Workstation adjustments
Task: Quiz
Firstly: do you know what “ergonomics” means? Now try answering these questions:
A VDU, a VDT, a monitor and display screen equipment (DSE) are different
types of equipment
Working at a computer for long periods can damage your health
Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) can result from overuse of a keyboard
Working at a computer for long periods can damage your eyesight
Working at a display screen causes headaches
There is a legal limit to how long you can work at a computer
Computer monitors give off radiation which can be harmful
Computer monitors can trigger epilepsy
Using a computer mouse for long periods can cause injury
Research shows that pregnant women should not work at computers
Quiz: Answers
Ergonomics is the application of scientific information
concerning humans to the design of objects, systems and
environment for human use…. (Institute of Ergonomics and
Human Factors)
This means your workstation and computer equipment have
been designed to accommodate you and allow you to work
safely and efficiently. However, it is likely that you will need to
make some adaptations to your workstation depending on your
individual height, reach and working style in order to get the
best out of them.
Quiz: Answers
False: They are all the same type of equipment
False: you can have problems from incorrect use though, so to avoid any ill effects
look at workstation design.
False: You may get aches and pains in your hands, wrists, arms, neck, shoulders or
back, but these are more correctly called upper limb disorders.
False: but you can experience tired, dry eyes. Use eye drops and drink plenty of water.
True: Headaches can be caused by screen glare, out of focus images, poor posture or
wearing the wrong glasses or lenses.
False: there is no legal limit but you should take breaks depending on the intensity of
the work.
False: they give out light which is not harmful.
True: because mouse work concentrates activity on one hand and arm (and one or two
fingers) it can lead to aches and pains in the fingers, hands, wrists, arms or shoulders.
False: there is no causal link between problems in pregnancy and working at a
True: but very rarely – people who suffer from photo-sensitive epilepsy and are
susceptible to flickering lights and striped patterns may be affected.
Task: Workstation assessment
• Working in pairs, take turns to sit at your desk with your
computer in your normal working position
• The other person should complete the workstation
assessment for their partner, noting any features that
need adjustment
• If you only have access to a desk, complete what you
• Allow time for feedback
Task: Workstation corrections
• Use the workstation adjustments sheet to note any changes
you can make to improve your working position
• How many changes did you have to make to your
• Why does this matter?
• Find out more about health and safety from the
Health and Safety Executive

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