Health and safety

Work involving Display Screen Equipment, such as a computer screen, must comply with the requirements of the Display Screen Equipment Regulations 1992.


When using your display for the first time today:

  • Raise or lower your seat until your forearms are horizontal. Make sure your wrists are straight when your hands are on the keyboard.
  • Sit right back on your chair so that the back rest can support you.
  • Form a relaxed curve in your lower back and adjust your back rest to provide support when in this position.
  • Use a footrest if your feet do not comfortably touch the floor.
  • Remove any obstacle under your desk that prevents you sitting in an upright position.
  • Position your copy stand close to your screen, e.g. the same height and viewing distance and next to the display screen.  

Adjust your screen to suit your sitting position:

  • Adjust the brightness control to suit the office lighting level.
  • Rest your arms and shoulders whenever your work routine allows.  

When taking a work break or at the end of the day:

  • Exercise your legs and back by stretching and walking.
  • Try to avoid excessive wrist and arm activities, such as writing or knitting, during your work break.
  • Try to rest your eyes by avoiding strenuous eye activities such as reading small print.
  • If you sit during your break adopt informal postures - but remember not to slouch.  

When using your display after a 2-3 hour work session:

  • Check your workstation has not become disorganised, forcing you to sit in an awkward position.
  • Adjust your brightness control if the light levels have altered since you started work.
  • Move your screen and document holder back* a little and adjust their angle to suit.
    [* i.e. moving them away could help most (potentially long-sighted) users]
  • Lower window blinds if sunlight is causing glare.  


Are you sitting comfortably? 

  • Try not to slouch - keep the curve in your lower back.
  • Adjust your backrest - support your lower back.
  • Sit right back in your chair - let the back rest support you.
  • Remove obstructions - don't let obstructions prevent you from sitting upright at your desk.
  • Organise your workstation - place frequently used objects and equipment within easy reach, and limit twisting movements of spine.
  • Place documents in holders where possible - don't lean forward to read hardcopy.
  • Break up your DSE work - use informal postures when not working.
  • Get some exercise - During breaks stretch your legs.

Are your arms and shoulders comfortable? 

  • Adjust your seat height - make sure your forearms are horizontal.
  • Align hands with forearms - try to work with wrists straight.
  • Keep your wrist as straight as possible when using the mouse.
  • Use a footrest if your seat is too high & your feet don't comfortably reach the floor.
  • Adjust your screen angle to suit your sitting height.
  • Rest your arms whenever your routine allows.
  • Avoid arm and wrist activities, such as writing, during rest breaks.

Can you read the screen? 

  • Adjust your display height to minimise head/neck movement.
  • Vary your viewing distance occasionally - this could be done by moving the display slightly after 2 to 3 hours of continuous working.
  • Sit sideways to windows – if possible.
  • Adjust the brightness of display when light levels change.
  • Rest your eyes during work breaks - don't read small print!