Display Screen Ergonomics (DSE)

In the UK £6 billion of production is lost each year due to work related musculoskeletal injuries. Many of these are preventable because they are caused by poor working practices that can be changed or adapted, creating less risk of injury. With an increasing number of people working in offices for long hours in relatively fixed positions, performing repetitive movements while working in stressful environments there is a greater need for workplace ergonomic assessment.

The latest Health and Safety Executive statistics show that over one million people a year are affected by Musculoskeletal Disorders making them the most common occupational illness. This costs employers 11.6 million days in sick leave.

As demonstrated by the picture, this is a common posture we all adopt when seated at a computer, however this can easily be avoided with appropriate ergonomic adjustments.

Working with both employer and employee, a physiotherapist with specialist knowledge in ergonomics and work related conditions, can perform an individual work station assessment. This can improve health, posture and ultimately performance and productivity.

Our DSE qualified physiotherapists provide a one on one evaluation of employee workstation.


What does the assessment include?

  1. Assessment of computer interface, screen, chair, mouse, keyboard, desk and environment
  2. Personal risk assessment and provision of equipment, exercises and any advice which may help to prevent injury
  3. Assessment of posture, and any existing musculoskeletal disorders.

Why DSE assessments are beneficial?

They ensure staff carrying out sedentary jobs are far less likely to suffer injuries within the workplace environment
  • Reduce sick days
  • Ensure higher work and improved morale.

When sitting at a computer for long periods of time, neck and shoulder stiffness and occasionally low back pain can become a problem.

Your arms and legs should be at 90 degree angles to the body, and the wrists should extend in a straight line from elbows through to finger tips. This will help prevent injury to the hands and arms.

Try to ensure you make adjustments to your work station ergonomics so as to comply with these recommendations. Also be sure to stretch at least every hour or whenever you feel stiff.  You should try and get up and do a different job for 5 minutes every half an hour.

Ask a colleague to take a photo of you whilst working, so you can see where you need postural adjustment.

Should you feel our DSE advice would help make your work easier and reduce those aches and pains, please contact Spire Dunedin Physiotherapy on 0118 955 3413 or email dunedinphysio@spirehealthcare.com