Incorrect workstation set-up poses health risks such as musculoskeletal problems, upper limb disorders, fatigue, stress and eyestrain. These health issues are typically not caused by the display screen equipment itself but as a result of how it is used.
The best way to ensure your workstation is set-up correctly is by undertaking a workstation assessment and applying ergonomic principles.
The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 suggest that breaks should be ‘periodically’ taken; there are no stated timings within the regulation. A suggestion would be as a minimal guideline at least 5 minutes in every hour should be spent away from the screen or undertaking other activities that might provide the opportunity to change posture.
Don’t forget to make sure you change posture regularly and refocus your eyes. You can do some simple stretching exercises at your desk, or try the 20-20-20 rules (every 20 minutes, look up from your screen at something about 20 feet away for about 20 seconds).
Eye strain has become a major job-related complaint due to the length of time many employees are required to be at their desks or undertaking screen work. Problems can range from physical tiredness, increased number of errors to soreness of the eyes, twitching or red eyes.
If you are experiencing eye discomfort you should discuss what might be causing the problem with your manager which could lead to booking an eye test or assessing the working environment or working patterns.
Things you can do to reduce pain from excessive mouse use includes:
If you have two screens at your workstation they should be sat side-by-side and the outer edge of each screen should be twisted towards you. Where possible, they should be the same height and size.
Firstly, you should talk to your employer who are required to undertake a workstation assessment by someone competent and provide you with DSE training.
If you are still experiencing pain or discomfort then discuss it with your manager so that the risk assessment can be reviewed and alternative measures taken to prevent harm.