Should I use a laptop or desktop computer? And other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Am I better to use a laptop or a desktop computer?

Desktop computers are much safer to use if you are working on your computer for more than 20 minutes at a time. Unless you set up your laptop like a desktop computer, (with separate keyboard and mouse and the screen at the correct height) using it as one unit can lead to prolonged neck bending resulting in chronic pain in the neck, shoulders and mid back.

I am self-employed. Do I still have to meet occupational health and safety regulations?

Yes, even if you are working for yourself, you must comply with workplace regulations as required under the Health and Safety in Employment Act (2002). Failure to comply can result in hefty fines as well as time off work if you develop an injury, so it’s generally better to be proactive and develop a healthy workspace for yourself.

SitRight WorkWell can provide you with a one-on-one assessment of your workspace.

If SitRight WorkWell assesses my workspace, am I expected to buy the recommended equipment too?

Although we will recommend the most appropriate or suitable equipment and furniture suppliers for your needs, there is no obligation or expectation that you will buy equipment from us.

I currently work from home and use the kitchen table as my desk. Is this OK?

Kitchen tables are designed for eating and are too high for computer use. Unless you are able to relax your shoulders as you type, you are likely to develop shoulder pain, so it is critical that you use an adjustable chair.

How do I choose the right office chair?

If you have lower back pain, it can be hard to find the right chair. There are only a limited number of chairs which give good low back support, but once a chair which gives good back support has been chosen, education in a good sitting posture and correct work positioning will also help. Look at seat depth as well as low back support.

Professional help from SitRight WorkWell can ensure you get the right chair first time.

I get wrist pain with a lot of mouse use. How can I avoid this and still use the mouse?

You would need an assessment of how you currently use your mouse to be sure. You may be able to modify the way you use your mouse, or possibly change to a different mouse. Practicing conscious muscle relaxation can also help.

SitRight WorkWell can assess your technique, advise you on the best mouse for your circumstances and provide information on suitable muscle relaxation exercises.

I often have gritty eyes and headaches at the end of the day. Is it because I’m looking at the computer screen for too long?

This could be a cause, but it is probably combined with lighting in your workplace. SitRight WorkWell can provide you with a light assessment.

If I get SitRight WorkWell in to check out my staff, won’t they all want new chairs?

Most people are very happy with the chair they have. SitRight WorkWell aims to help adjust the existing workstation so that it works better for the user, and will only recommend a new chair if the existing one is unsuitable or unsafe.

Do you have a different question about workplace health and safety practices?

SitRight WorkWell can help you with a range of workplace health and safety issues. Whether you’re in Southland,  Christchurch, Auckland or beyond…wherever you are in NZ, use our Contact Us form or phone Jane now on 03 326 5450 …we’ll be happy to help.

  • News

    • Working on the move?

      Do you spend time on the move? At a hot desk. On your mobile phone?
      If the answer to any of those is ‘often’, then the probability of you feeling neck pain or shoulder pain is high.

      Contact us to assess if your mobile and equipment usage outside of the normal workplace is affecting your health.

    • Employers

      While it’s relatively easy to identify and manage obvious workplace hazards, (like chemicals or industrial machinery) it can be easy to ignore or overlook day-to-day niggles or discomfort related to everyday tasks or the general workspace environment. Find out more about your obligations.


    • What people say about us

      Jane provided me with straightforward advice on my workstation and desk set-up. Her approach was practical and easy to implement. I was staggered to find that a few adjustments to my workstation quickly resulted in relief from existing shoulder and wrist pain.

      R. – Environmental Consultant