Ergonomics is the study of fitting the work/job to the individual. Ergonomics matches the design of tools, controls, and equipment to fit the safety needs of the operator. Since each of us has different needs, ergonomic design of tools, equipment, and workspaces must be adjustable to accommodate a varied range of body types.
Poorly designed work stations and poor working practices can lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). MSDs are disorders of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage and spinal discs. Examples of MSDs include: carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff syndrome, De Quervain's Disease, trigger finger, tarsal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, epicondylitis, tendinitis, Reynaud's phenomenon, carpet layers knee, herniated spinal disc, and low back pain. MSD injury accounts for more than one-third of all occupational injuries and illnesses each year, most of which are preventable. These injuries predominantly occur when employees work in awkward postures for extended periods of time or at tasks that require repetitive motions.
Understanding basic ergonomic principles is essential for prevention of injuries. Each employee needs to understand the ergonomic risk factors related to his or her work tasks and solutions to minimize such risks. The main risk factors are 1) forceful exertions, 2) repetitive motions, 3) awkward posture, 4) static posture, 5) compression or contact stress, 6) poor lighting, 7) vibrations, 8) high noise levels, and 9) cold temperatures.
Documents - Documents to download to help ensure your time working from home is safe
An Ergonomic Self Assessment Tool - How to assess your work-station and make simple changes for an ergonomic set-up
Work Ergonomically - Tips on ergonomics for the home office worker.
Ergonomic Checklist - Wherever you are practicing good ergonomics can help workers stay healthy.
Ergonomic Stretches - Twelve quick stretches to do every hour to keep healthy.
Web Sites -
Four Tips for the Perfectly Balanced Laptop - With a more portable and compact computer comes a new set of ergonomics challenges; follow these four tips to help you address them.
Tips for Taking Work Home - Here are some tips to improve your comfort when working from home.
The Ergonomics for Working from Home - An informative video from Humanatech on how to set up your home workspace.
Home Office Ergonomics - a video from Steve Meagher the Ergonomics Guy.
Laptop Ergonomics - Basic Tips for Adult or Child Laptop Use at Home, Work or School
For Computer Users
- Adjusting Office Chairs
- Computer Vision Syndrome and Computer Eye Glasses
- CU Ergo
- Easy Ergonomics for Desktop Computer Users
- Ergonomically Correct Postures
- Office Ergonomics -PDF
- Healthy Vision on the Job
- Office Ergo
- Office Ergonomics-Injury Prevention - PDF
- Proper Use of a Computer Mouse
- CU Ergo
- Bi Level Table
- Foot Rest
- Head Set
- Keyboard Tray (Staple site)
- Mouse Bridge
- Lab Ergonomics – PowerPoint format
- Checklist – PDF format