DSE Guide


Being comfortable at your desk and computer environment is important for both you and your employer. People generally work more productively if their work environment is correctly set-up. There are a number of things that you can do to ensure you remain well while working with Display Screen Equipment.

In the tips section below, Stuart Nottingham, Registered Occupational Health Chartered Physiotherapist, will walk you through the basics of getting your DSE Workstation setup correctly.

Who is a DSE User?

The DSE Regulations are for the protection of people – Employees and Self-Employed – who habitually use DSE for the purposes of an Employer’s undertaking as a significant part of their normal work. This includes whether they are employed to work:

  1. At their own Employer’s Workstation
  2. At a Workstation at Home
  3. At another Employer’s Workstation

What is a ‘Workstation’

Under the regulations a workstation exists wherever there is DSE. For all DSE the workstation, as defined, is the assembly including the screen, keyboard, other parts of the computer and its accessories (such as the mouse or other input device), the desk, chair and the immediate work environment. Some of these items are specifically mentioned in the DSE Regulations, but anything else in the immediate work environment is also part of the workstation. The guidance below is related to the set-up and use of a workstation.

Process for getting things right

You can do a lot of small things yourself to be more comfortable when working. Take a proactive approach to self management, it can yield good results over a few short weeks. The process steps below will help you to move forward.

  • Understand the key areas for consideration. This is generally done by completing a short DSE assessment
  • If you work in two locations you may need to do this for both work environments
  • Follow the guidance provided for improving your workstation
  • Review how the changes from the guidance have worked, make further modifications as needed
  • Check your DSE workstation as time goes by or things change
  • Make further changes if there are problems
  • If problems are very acute or persist engage with your employer to try to resolve them.
    They may take further specialist advice to support you or you may have wider issues that require a visit to your GP.

Tips to improve your workstation

  1. Adjusting your Chair
  2. Guide for Monitor, Keyboard and Mouse Placement
  3. Getting your Monitor Brightness/Contrast Adjustment Right
  4. Adjusting your Mouse Controls
  5. Breaks and Active Working