Is your monitor workstation at the proper working
Is your work surface large enough?
Are the surfaces free of distracting reflections?
Do the tables provide adequate leg room?
Modern office equipment guarantees health protection
It is in everyone's own interest to protect their health, it
is also a company concern of the highest priority. Sickness
and the resulting downtime lead to increased business costs.
A recent European study reported that sick days per member in
1999 amounted to 16 work days on average). More than a
quarter (27.2 %) of all the downtime results from muscle and
skeletal illnesses, such as those typical in the office.
These figures demonstrate that health protection is
absolutely necessary in the office because office work is
connected with high mental stress. Ergonomic and workforce
oriented workstation and room planning come into effect here
to reduce the strain on people. An initiative that is
supported by the applicable rules and regulations for
workstation design in the office.
Here are just a few important examples:
Sitting in static body postures strains musculature and
the spine. Ergonomic, well formed work chairs
support "dynamic sitting behaviour" and reduce the
serious consequences on health and work quality.
Incorrect working heights lead to tensed postures.
Variable height workstations enable everyone to
find an optimum sitting posture.
Lack of movement impairs physical and mental dynamics, it
reduces muscle activity and blood circulation and
endangers the elasticity of the spinal discs.
Workstations that encourage movement
prevent sickness costs and consequential costs. A part of
this is also sufficient area for
movement both at the workstation and in the
Direct and reflected glare when working in front of
computer screen endangers people's sight. A glare-free
screen arrangement is therefore mandatory.
Insufficient or incorrect room lighting has
similar consequences. This needs to be adapted to the
type of work and the workstation arrangement.
Visual and acoustic disturbances impair
concentration and are "pre-programmed" sources of
error. Acoustically effective wall systems "defuse" even
High-performance office systems provide many opportunities to
maintain and encourage human output. They
ensure preventative protection of health, encourage
employees' motivation and commitment and reduce sickness and
The German VDU workplace ordinance (BildschirmarbV) and
other relevant rules and regulations define the way
workstations should look. Ergonomic and technical office
findings support and substantiate these rules and regulations
in their most important details.
Important rules for arranging the workstation
Support - don't impede
Binding rules for work surface area 1.28 m²:
Single surface workstations = 1600 mm wide x 800 mm deep
(at every point)
Combinations 1.28 m² in total, 800 mm deep (at every
Exception: Workstations with low work space requirements are
allowed to be reduced to 1200 mm wide. Working height is
not the same as table height. The individual working
height is specific to each person.
The maximum working height should not exceed 750 mm
Height adjustable workstations must have an adjustment
range of at least 680 to 760 mm
The working heights for manual and monitor activities
must be the same, the height difference needs to be
compensated for by lowering the work surface
Movement yes, risk no!
Free movement area at the "personally assigned workstation"
is at least 1.5 m², at no place can this be less than 1 m,
wide and 1 m deep. No interference or superimposition by
other surfaces with the exception of:
The access to the personally assigned workstation
The functional surfaces of furniture in the workstation
provided these do not produce places where shearing,
pinching or bumping may occur
Leg room - freedom of movement
Free, unimpaired leg room at the workstation must be at
least 600 mm wide and 650 mm (690 mm is better) high.
Workstations and room arranged for continuous change of
posture - for sitting, standing and moving.
Arrangement of monitor workstations
Select the type of workstation according to the
For monitor work only - single-surface workstations
For combined work - single or multi-surface workstations
Adjust the angle of the workstation according to the
Computer-oriented activity - 90° or optimally 45°, the
machine work surface is lower than the manual work
Paper-oriented activity - 30° and 60° are OK, 45° is
optimal, both work surfaces are at the same height
Always up to the mark
The first line on the monitor no higher than eye
No chance of glare
Avoid direct and/or reflected glare: no windows and no
bright or illuminated surfaces behind the monitor or behind
the user. Always use the correct brightness/contrast ratio.
The user's direction of view should be parallel to the window
Recognising instead of guessing
Regulate the ambient brightness: adjustable light shade
systems are mandatory. If possible, set up the monitor away
from the walls towards the middle of the room.