Arranging your work area – Papers and books

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Papers and books

Select a work surface or surfaces that are large enough to hold the computer equipment and any additional items required for your work. To help minimize eye fatigue, position any materials to which you frequently refer at about the same viewing distance.

Minimizing your reach
Arrange your frequently used papers, books, or other items to minimize the distance you reach for them. If you frequently refer to books, papers, and writing materials, and if you use a keyboard tray, make sure the tray, when extended, doesn't cause you to lean forward or reach excessively. This can stress your shoulders and back. If you find that such stress occurs, you may want to consider a different type of work setup.

Wrong!
Do not arrange your work area in a way that causes you to repeatedly strain forward to see and reach frequently used items such as books, papers, or a phone.

Using a document holder
If you use a document holder, position it near the monitor at the same distance, height, and angle as the monitor. Positioning the holder in this way can increase your neck comfort as you refer back and forth between your papers and the display screen, by helping you keep your head balanced over your shoulders.

If your primary task is typing from paper documents, you may find it more comfortable to place your document holder directly in front of you and your monitor slightly to one side, or on a slant board between your monitor and keyboard. Consider this option only if you spend more time looking at the paper than at your monitor.