Ergonomics in the Workplace – Workstations

4 steps to help you adjust your workstation.

Ergonomics covers all aspects of a job, from the physical stresses it places on joints, muscles, nerves, tendons, bones and the like, to environmental factors which can affect hearing, vision, and general comfort and health.

By addressing workplace ergonomics you can:

IMPROVE

REDUCE

Productivity Injuries
Quality of work Costs
Comfort at work Upper back & neck pain
Work station efficiency Headaches
Employee happiness & wellness Absenteeism

Common problem areas:

Back, neck, upper limbs

Commonly caused by:

• Repetition and over strain of tendons and joints
• Unbalanced and prolonged postures
• Chronic: cyclic inflammation and weakness

4 steps to adjusting your workstation

1. Your chair

What makes an ergonomic chair?
• 5 star base of support
• Height adjustable base
• No armrests present
• Height of chair to be at a height so that your forearms are parallel to the desk with your shoulders relaxed and elbows at 90 degrees.
• If your feet can’t reach the floor comfortably, you require a footrest.
• Backrest at 90o to 100o to the floor.

2. Visual display unit

•  VDU should be approximately one arms length away from the user.
• This is the average focal distance for a person and reduces the need to slouch forward to read the screen
• The top of the VDU should be at eye-level.
• People with bi-focals may need to have their VDU lower to avoid excessive neck extension.

3. The Keyboard

• The keyboard should be positioned approximately 8cm from the edge of the desk.
• The keyboard should be located directly in front of the user.
• The keyboard should not be inclined to avoid excessive and prolonged extension of the wrist whilst typing.

4. The Mouse

• The mouse should be positioned to allow the elbow by the side of the user’s body and the wrist remains in a neutral position.
• Positioning the mouse too far backwards and to the right (right hand dominant people) places the wrist in an unnatural angle which can predispose the user to carpel tunnel and tennis elbow type symptoms.

Source: Sydney University – Workplace Ergonomics

Presented by Fiona Wolfenden & Tessie Phan

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