Upper Body Solutions

Minimizing risks of RMIs

Reduce the risk of developing these RMIs by avoiding the common workplace factors that contribute to them.


Always Work With Your Wrists Straight.

Avoid Common Causes Common Solutions
Wrist bent

Keyboard too high or too low

Use an adjustable keyboard support.

Adjust your chair height or work surface.
Keyboard tilted upwards

Use a split keyboard.

Using an input device

Try an alternative input device (mouse, trackball, trackpad).

"Planting" wrist on support while keying

Keep your forearms, wrists and hands aligned in a straight, neutral line.

Pivoting wrist while mousing

Keep your keyboard close, shoulder and wrist relaxed while keying.

When using a portable computer, use the palm support during pauses, not while keying.

When using a portable, use two hands to "point and click".

Use your whole arm when mousing.

One handed key combinations

Use two hands for key combinations.


Keep Your Upper Arm Positioned Near Your Sides.

Avoid Common Causes Common Solutions
Arms extended

Using an input device at a different surface height than your keyboard

Use a worksurface or a keyboard support that accommodates both devices.

Reaching for an input device

Try a more compact input device.

Use a more compact keyboard or mouse bridge.

Position your input device directly to the right or left of your keyboard

Keyboard too high or too low

Use an adjustable keyboard support.

Adjust your chair height.

Monitor too close

Position your monitor to accommodate your visual needs while avoiding over-reach to input devices.

Materials stored under the workstation interfere with leg space.

Do not store materials in your leg space.

Use vertical storage.

Keyboard support restricts leg clearance.

Use a low profile keyboard support.

Adjust the keyboard support to allow for more leg clearance.


Work With Your Shoulders in a Relaxed Position.

Avoid Common Causes Common Solutions
Shoulders raised

Armrests pushing up on the elbows

Lower or remove the armrests.

Keyboard support too high

Lower the keyboard support.

Use an adjustable keyboard support.

Armrests interfere with work surface

Raise your chair and use a foot rest.

Adjust / remove armrests.

Physical tension or stress

Take short breaks to stretch.

Recognize and reduce sources of stress.


Keep Your Neck Straight While Working.

Avoid Common Causes Common Solutions
Neck bent

Cradling a phone between the shoulders and neck

Use a phone headset or speaker phone.

Hold the phone in your non-dominant hand.

Unable to touch type

Learn to touch type.
Source documents on table top

Use a document holder next to or in front of your monitor.

Monitor not directly in front of the keyboard

Position the keyboard in line with the monitor.

Monitor too high or too low

Position monitor at eye level or slightly below.

Adjust the monitor height and tilt.

Trying to read monitor through bifocal glasses

Consider using single focus lenses at the computer.


Keep Frequently Used Items Within Easy Reach.

Avoid Common Causes Common Solutions
Awkward motions

Extended reaching to reference materials

Store materials within 16 - 18 inches.

Move yourself to the materials rather that reaching.

Organize your desk top.

Reaching for the phone

Position the phone within easy reach.

Use a phone headset.


Vary Your Tasks to Allow Movements and Breaks.

Avoid Common Causes Common Solutions
Prolonged postures

Prolonged keying or mousing

Stand up; take frequent, short breaks.

Vary your tasks so that you alter your posture.

Exercise regularly to maintain overall health and fitness.

Use a phone headset.

Extensive phone use

Frequently look into the distance for a moment.

Prolonged monitor viewing

Close your eyes periodically.