office ergonomics

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Office Ergonomics: 

Office Ergonomics

What Is Office Ergonomics?: 

What Is Office Ergonomics? Office Ergonomics is taking a look at the design of your office system to match the design of your monitor, mouse, keyboard, and input devices. We look at how these devices interact with your workplace, working environment, and work tasks.

Ergonomics Applies To:: 

Ergonomics Applies To: The layout of the office, including the floor plan and storage systems The choice of office equipment such as input devices, monitors, and keyboards Set-up of the office workstation such as choice of office furniture (desk, chair, and accessories) and how they are arranged The office environment including temperature, air quality, and noise


The best furniture and equipment will not prevent problems unless staff know: How to adjust it Why they should be concerned about adjusting it


Jobs that require excessive repetition, awkward postures, and/or forceful exertions are associated with musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD’s) such as tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and bursitis. Jobs that require excessive bending, twisting, and materials handling (lifting, pushing, pulling, etc.) are associated with increased risk of back strain.


Recognizing the early signs and symptoms can help prevent more serious health and safety concerns from developing!

Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI’s): 

Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI’s) RSI’s are common among adults who work long hours at computers. This injury occurs when too much stress is repeatedly placed on one part of the body – such as a wrist from clicking a mouse over and over – resulting in pain and swelling, muscle strain or tissue and nerve damage.

Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI’s): 

Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI’s) The early warning signs of RSI’s include: Tingling Numbness or pain in the affected area Stiffness or soreness in the neck or back most of the time Feeling of weakness or fatigue in the hands or arms that does not improve with rest

Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI’s): 

Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI’s) Many put up with the pain thinking it will go away. Musculoskeletal-type injuries are cumulative in nature. They build up over time and people often ignore it until it stops them from doing the things they enjoy. The longer you let it go, the longer it takes to heal.

Benefits Of An Ergonomic Program: 

Benefits Of An Ergonomic Program Less pain and fatigue Increased productivity Improved quality of work Better employee morale

Workstation Design: 

Workstation Design Considerations include: The chair The line of sight angle Work surface Keyboard and mouse height Thigh, knee, lower leg and foot clearance Forearm inclination Elbow height Wrist posture

Guidelines For Work Reaches: 

Guidelines For Work Reaches When arranging items on a desk, how do you decide what should be placed close and what can be placed far away? Primary Zone – frequent reaches (approx. 360 mm) Ex: phone, calculator Secondary Zone – infrequent reaches (approx. 500 mm) Ex: pens, paper, files Tertiary Zone – occasional reaches (approx. 700 mm) Ex: binders, books, pictures


Where are the things YOU use most?

Your Chair: 

Your Chair Adjusting Your Chair Take the time to get to know your chair! Play with all the adjustments. Chair (side view)

Your Chair: 

Your Chair Chair Height – should be adjusted to accommodate a comfortable relaxed posture of the upper arms and shoulders. Adjust the chair so the arms hang relaxed, with the elbows roughly at right angles, and the wrists straight on the keyboard.

Your Chair: 

Your Chair Backrest – The backrest should be adjusted up or down so that the lumbar support fits within the small of the back.

Your Chair: 

Your Chair The Seat – Adjust the seat forward or backward to an angle comfortable for the back and legs, making sure the feet can remain on the floor.

Your Chair: 

Your Chair Armrests – If you have adjustable armrests on your chair, adjust the armrest height, angle and width to a position that supports the elbows and forearms. Maintain the preferred posture with the elbows close to the body. If the armrests get in the way, they can be removed.

Your Keyboard: 

Your Keyboard Locating the keyboard at an appropriate height and angle for a worker is critical for maintaining comfortable hand, arm and shoulder postures.

Your Keyboard: 

Your Keyboard Keyboard Placement – The keyboard should be located at a height that allows the worker to key with the upper arms hanging relaxed from the shoulders and the elbows at roughly right angles. This will allow the wrists to be fairly straight while keying.

Your Mouse: 

Your Mouse Mouse Placement - The elbows and arms should be close to the body and the shoulders should be relaxed. Placing the mouse at the same height as the keyboard and as close to the keyboard as possible will minimize postural stress.

Your Mouse: 

Your Mouse If the mouse is the main interface with the computer, it may be preferable to locate it directly in front of the worker. The keyboard, if used as secondary interface, may be placed off to one side.

Your Monitor: 

Your Monitor Monitor Placement – The monitor should be positioned slightly below the worker’s eye height. A suitable viewing distance to your monitor has been found to be between 15.8 inches and 29.2 inches

Your Monitor: 

Your Monitor The worker should be able to view the entire content of the screen with no forward bending of the head and neck. The postural goal is for the head to be upright and facing forward. The monitor needs to be adjusted for those wearing bifocals or trifocals. Monitor height should be lowered so the neck is in a neutral position when looking at the top row of text on the screen.

Your Monitor: 

Your Monitor Monitor Stands

Your Documents: 

Your Documents Document Placement – A document holder should be used to locate the documents at such a height that the worker is not excessively bending his or her neck.

Other Considerations: 

Other Considerations Printer/Scanner – The frequency of use, importance, and sequence should be evaluated to help determine optimal placement. Sometimes it is preferable to locate such equipment at a distance from a worker, necessitating a walk and physical change of posture to use the equipment.

Other Considerations: 

Other Considerations Task Lamp – Make it easy to see what needs to be seen. A well-designed lighting system is flexible and takes into account frequent changes in workstation layout and equipment.

Tips To Help You Through The Day: 

Tips To Help You Through The Day LOOK away from the computer screen and rest your eyes. TAKE regular rest breaks to ease muscle aches, eye strain and stress. USE rest breaks to stand up, move around and change mental activity.

Case Study: 

Case Study

Now What?: 

Now What? When you get back to your workstation, what are you going to do? Get a partner . . . assess each other’s workstation. Use the checklist provided. E-mail Marj with any changes you make to your workstation.


Why? The End

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