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Ergonomics applies the knowledge of a human’s capabilities and limitations to the design of workplaces, workstations, tasks, tools, equipment, and the work environment as a whole. Ergonomics is essentially fitting the workplace to the worker.
The word ergonomics is derived from the Greek roots: “ergo” = work” “nomos” = law or “The Laws of Work”
The primary goal of ergonomics in the workplace is to reduce the risk of a work-related musculoskeletal disorder (WMSD) by reducing or eliminating worker exposure to hazards which promote a WMSD.
Other ergonomic goals include:
- Increase worker productivity and performance
- Decrease worker discomfort
- Improve the overall quality of the work environment
Rest and Break Tips:
Working in the same position for long periods of time at a computer puts your muscles under constant strain, reducing blood flow and oxygen to hard-working tissues. It helps to take a break by alternating the types of tasks you perform throughout the day.
- Use correct posture when working. Keep moving as much as possible throughout the day.
- Eye breaks: Every 15 minutes you should briefly look away from the screen for a minute or two, shifting your line of sight to a more distant scene.
- Micro-breaks: During a micro-break (less than two minutes) stretch, stand up, move around, or do a different work task, such as making a phone call, filing, or any other work that does not involve keyboarding and mouse use.
- Rest breaks: Every 30 to 60 minutes you should take a brief break. Here again, this could be as simple as performing a task that does not involve using your computer.
To have an assessment of your workstation or space, fill out the form and complete the tutorial.
Laboratory Ergonomics- OSHA Guidelines:
Office Ergonomics – OSHA Guidelines:
Correct Posture and Office Chair Setup:
Proper Keyboard and Mouse Setup:
Computer Screen Setup
Document and Telephone Placement
OSHA Computer Workstations e-Tool
University of Maryland, Baltimore - “Ergonomic Education for Computer Workstations Tutorial”
OSHA Computer Workstation Self Evaluation Checklist