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Office Ergonomics Contents 1. Introduction 2. Office Computer Workstations 3. Computer Workstation Evaluation Checklist 4. Appendix A 1. Introduction Ergonomics is the process of designing the work environment to fit the worker, rather than fitting the worker to the work environment. The goal of this ergonomic program is to minimize accidents and illnesses due to chronic physical and psychological stresses, while maximizing productivity and efficiency.

Cumulative trauma disorders (CTD) or repetitive motion strain injuries are musculoskeletal disorders that result from repeated exposure to physical stressors. Stressors affect tendons, ligaments, nerves, muscles and bones. Physical stressors in the office environment are caused by sustained awkward postures, repetitive motions, using excessive force or compression. 2. Office Computer Workstations The workforce population varies greatly in physical size and stature. The idea of the average size person is obsolete.

Adjusting office furniture and office equipment help employees make changes in the office to ensure proper posture is maintained throughout the day. There is no single “correct” posture or arrangement of components that will fit everyone. However, there are basic design goals to consider when setting up a computer workstation or performing computer-related tasks. Consider your workstation as you read through this guide and see if you can identify areas for improvement in posture, component placement, or work environment.

This guide provides suggestions to minimize or eliminate identified problems, and allows you to create your own “custom-fit” computer workstation. Good Working Positions: To understand the best way to set up a computer workstation, it is helpful to understand the concept of neutral body positioning. This is a comfortable working posture in which your joints are naturally aligned. Working with the body in a neutral position reduces stress and strain on the muscles, tendons, and skeletal system and reduces your risk of developing a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD).

The following are important considerations when attempting to maintain neutral body postures while working at the computer workstation: • Hands, wrists, and forearms are straight, in-line and roughly parallel to the floor. • Head is level, or bent slightly forward, forward facing, and balanced. • Shoulders are relaxed and upper arms hang normally at the side of the body. • Elbows stay in close to the body and are bent between 90 and 120 degrees. • Feet are fully supported by floor or footrest. • Back is fully supported with appropriate lumbar support when sitting vertical or leaning back. Thighs and hips are supported by a well-padded seat and generally parallel to the floor. • Knees are about the same height as the hips with the feet slightly forward. Regardless of how good your working posture is, working in the same posture or sitting still for prolonged periods is not healthy. You should change your working position frequently throughout the day in the following ways: • Stretch your fingers, hands, arms, and torso. • Stand up and walk around for a few minutes periodically.



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