Re: Ergonomics re CTS

Subject: Re: Ergonomics re CTS
From: Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM
Date: Thu, 4 Apr 1996 09:46:00 -0600

"The typing surface should be 21 to 22 inches above the floor. This
height should allow you to sit straight, with your feet flat on the
floor, and to hang your arms straight down from your shoulders and
bend 'em 90 degrees at the elbow to reach the keyboard. Also, make
sure that the back of the thigh immediately above the knee is
slightly higher than the chair seat to avoid circulatory problems in
your legs. When you are looking straight ahead, your eyes should be
looking at the center of the monitor screen."

21-22 inches??? That would be a *very* uncomfortable position for me to
type in, considering that would put the top of the keyboard more than 3
inches below the top of my knees!!

I think the idea of absolute measurements for these things are ridiculous.
Every body is different, so the measurements should all be relative to the
size of the body. When I sit with my feet flat on the floor and my knees
bent at 90 degrees, my elbows are more than 26 inches off the floor. But
then I'm a Big Dude. When my wife (who draws herself up to a storming 5'4"
when she gets mad) sits in my office chair her feet don't even touch the
floor. Anyone who thinks one single height can serve the two of us is

Take bicycles, for example. The ideal seat height is not an absolute
measurement. The seat height is based upon making the distance between it
and the pedal (when rotated farthest from the seat) about 107% of your

Office conditions have to be based the same way, but also allowing for the
tasks of the user. The monitor heght given is sure to cause neck problems
for someone with bifocals. I don't have bifocals, but I still find that
monitor height to be too high for comfort, as well. I prefer the top of the
monitor to be at about eye level. This prevents me from repeatedly having
to make major posture shifts when I refer to the books lying open on my

One thing I *do* do regularly is change my workstation parameters. I'll
raise or lower my chair, move the keyboard tray, etc. None of these
adjustments are more than an inch or two, but it keeps me from freezing my
body in one position for extended lengths of time. I have most of my
physical problems when I've been in one position too long.

Have fun,
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 124

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
In God we trust; all others must provide data.
Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
If JCI had an opinion on this, they'd hire someone else to deliver it.

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