Ergonomics for Students

HOME WORKSTATION ERGONOMICS FOR STUDENTS

University life is inherently sedentary, which can affect your health and overall wellness. Musculoskeletal problems, tendon injuries, eye strain and muscle strain are just a few conditions students can develop when you use a computer without a good ergonomic setup. As many of us transition to attending class from home, it’s important that we take some time to set-up our home workstations to support us working efficiently, comfortably and safely.

CREATIVE SOLUTIONS

Adapting home workstations using common household items is encouraged. Check out General principles and resources for setting up your workstation below and pages 2 & 3 for tips.

WEBINAR

Watch our Home Office Ergo Webinar to learn tips and tricks for setting up your temporary home office. (Use your CWL to sign into wpl.ubc.ca and search “Home Office Ergo” in the CANVAS catalogue)

PURCHASING EQUIPMENT

There are many options to suit your ergonomic needs. Refer to our equipment catalog for examples of ergonomic keyboards and mice for temporary home workstations.

GENERAL PRINCIPLES & RESOURCES FOR SETTING UP YOUR WORKSTATION

Workspace. Find a dedicated space, even if it means setting up and taking down each day.

Commute. Take a walk. Go for a bike ride. Meditate. Find an activity to help you transition between school and personal life.

Feet firmly supported with your knees approximately level with hips. Use a footrest or box if your feet are not firmly supported on the ground.

Chair. A fully adjustable chair is ideal. At minimum the chair should fit you and the backrest should be reasonably comfortable and have a slight recline.

Keyboard & Mouse. Use an external keyboard and mouse and position them below elbow level.

Monitor. Top line of text at eye level and arm’s length away with the font sufficiently large to be able to comfortably read from the screen with a neutral neck posture.

Headset. Use a headset or speaker phone to allow a neutral neck posture while on the phone.

Eye Health. Check out UBC’s Visual Ergo Guide for tips.

Movement Breaks. Join UBC’s Rec Instagram Live Movement Breaks Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2pm.

Stay Connected. Connect with your peers. Offer support if needed and appropriate.

Mental Health. Check out UBC’s Health and wellness resources.

HOME WORKSTATION EXAMPLES

Many of us had not planned to work from home for extended periods and may not have ideal equipment. Nonetheless, there are many things you can do to improve your workstation set up. Each of the examples here have pros and cons and you will need to consider which combination of factors will work best for you. If you have a full computer workstation at home, try to set up your office according to standard office ergonomic guidelines.

Remember to change positions often. If you have questions, contact ergonomics.info@ubc.ca.