According to the Oxford Dictionary, ergonomics is defined as the study of people’s efficiency in
their working environment. We believe injury prevention is a joint responsibility between both
employer and employee. Below are some basic guidelines to help you make your work
environment efficient and decrease the risk of injury.
- Make slight changes to the way you are seated throughout the day.
- Stretch on a regular basis.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor (or footrest) with knees bent at 90 degrees. If your feet do
not touch the ground, use a footstool or pillow under your feet so your knees are at a 90
- Do not cross your legs or ankles.
- Your backrest should support the natural curve in the lower back (lumbar) area.
- Your hip-torso angle should be in the 90 to 120-degree range.
- Have your arms come straight down from the shoulders, elbows at 90 degrees and should
be relaxed. If needed, place pillows under your buttocks or get a taller chair so your arms
can be at a comfortable 90-degree angle.
- Place the keyboard on a stable, level surface directly in front of you.
- Hold wrists straight while typing
- Adjust the keyboard to fit your hands, which may mean getting a different keyboard.
- For one-handed data entry, position the keyboard in front of the keying area.
- Use the wrist only for resting
- Keep your arms close to your side, elbows bent at 90 degrees
- Place and use your mouse next to your keyboard
- Keep your wrist straight and use your arm to move it around
- The height of your monitor should be roughly 4-5 inches below eye level
- Your eyes should be about 18-24 inches from the screen
- Tilt the screen to minimize reflected glare
- Alternate the position of document holder on either side of the monitor to change your head
- Get your vision tested regularly
- Take rest breaks for your eyes
- Make sure surfaces are clean and dust-free
- Adjust the brightness and contrast on your monitors so that characters are brighter than the background
General Work Area
- Arrange items (pens, staplers, hole punches, etc.) so that you don’t have to twist or
- Do not type while holding the phone cradled on your shoulder
- Keep the floor space around your desk clear
- Reduce excessive noise
- Take frequent rest breaks and move around, even if just for 30 seconds every hour or so,
to ease muscle aches and eye strain
- Don’t wait for the pain to seek medical attention
Work Station Quick Check:
- Monitor height is slightly lower than eye level and 18”-36” from eyes
- Monitor and document stand are at the same distance from eyes
- Keyboard and mouse are beside one another and at the same height
- Wrists are straight
- Shoulders are relaxed and back
- Your backrest is adjusted to provide lumbar support
- Knees are bent at 60-90 degrees
- Feet are supported either on the floor or on a footrest
- You have taken a micro break in the last 30 minutes 10. You have altered your body
position within the last hour
For tension in the neck and shoulders
People who sit at a desk all day are prone to tension in the neck and shoulders. Try this stretch
once or twice a day to keep your shoulders relaxed, retracted and upright.
1. Sit comfortably on the edge of your seat with your feet flat on the floor and your back
2. Drop your left hand to your side with your fingertips pointing away from your body and
lifted so your hand is parallel to the floor. Leave your right hand in your lap.
3. Slowly let your left ear fall towards your left shoulder
4. Raise your left hand out to the side and away from your body until you feel a slight
pulling sensation in the side of your neck. If necessary, you can place your hand on the
top of your hand and apply gentle pressure to increase the stretch but do not overstretch.
5. Hold for 30 seconds and release
6. Repeat on the opposite side.
For tension in the back
1. Sit in your chair and place your right arm behind your right hip.
2. Twist towards the right side and hold for 10 seconds.
3. Repeat on the left-hand side.
4. Repeat a total of 3 times on each side for every hour of sitting.
Take frequent walk breaks
Take walk breaks when you feel sleepy or stressed. A quick walk will increase your energy and