Ergonomics in the Workplace

Ergonomic Chair

The goal of ergonomics is to prevent soft tissue injuries and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) caused by sudden or sustained exposure to force, vibration, repetitive motion, and awkward posture.

A well-designed office allows each employee to work comfortably without needing to over-reach, sit or stand too long, or use awkward postures (correct ergonomic design).  Sometimes, equipment or furniture changes are the best solution to allow employees to work comfortably. 

 

Computer Workstation

 

Head                Head, back and ears, shoulders and hip aligned.

Neck                Never hold phone between ear and shoulder.  Use headphones or shoulder rest if necessary.

Eyes                 Should be 18” to 24” away from and level with the top 1/3 of your screen. 

Elbows             Should be at your sides at a slightly open angle.

Chair                Should support your lower back. Spine should maintain “S” curve.

Keyboard         Place at elbow height.  Keep  wrists straight or slightly bent.

Mouse             Keep next to and at the same height as keyboard.

Chair height     Should allow you to bend knees at a right angle, with feet flat on the ground or on a food rest.

 

  

Exercises and Stretches

Exercises are recommended for healthy adults and should not lead to any pain or discomfort.

Frequent stretching keeps a proper blood and nutrient supply to the working muscles and tissues throughout the workday and prevents fatigue and discomfort and reduces the risk of MSD injuries while reducing stress and increasing energy.

Benefits of regular stretching:

  • Increases range of motion, reduces sprain-strain injury risks, and helps control postural fatigue.
  • Reduces internal friction and stiffness involving muscles, tendons, joints, and ligaments.
  • Reduces soreness and fatigue from long-term sitting, driving, bending, or reaching
  • Improves comfort and decreases fatigue related to physical exertion, lifting, using tools and so on.
  • Improves posture and can decrease back pain and injury.

 For a list of exercises, click on the link below:

https://www.ors.od.nih.gov/sr/dohs/HealthAndWellness/Ergonomics/Pages/exercises.aspx

 For reference information, visit: https://www.osha.gov/workers/