Office Ergonomics is
the science of fitting the workspace environment to the worker.
Also called biotechnology, human engineering or human factor
engineering, office ergonomics is the applied science of equipment
design for the office that is intended to maximize productivity by
reducing operator fatigue and discomfort.
Anyone who sits at a
computer for long periods of time must take a pro-active approach with
office ergonomics to prevent the physical problems they could face as
More than 28 million
Americans use computers each day according to officials at the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). When office
ergonomics is not applied many risk incurring carpal tunnel syndrome,
tendonitis, tenosynovitis, deQuervain’s syndrome, tennis elbow,
thoracic outlet syndrome and others, all commonly classed under the
general heading of Repetitive Strain Injuries and Cumulative Trauma
Disorders. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the most common and costly
cumulative trauma disorder. Back injuries are second
ergonomics, employers can prevent musculoskeletal disorder hazards by
properly designing the job or work station and selecting the
appropriate tools or equipment for that job to create an ergonomic
offers ways to solve, or alleviate, most of the problems associated
with the use of computers. Ergonomic office solutions include
adjusting and controlling the physical environment, the design of the
desk and chair, the placement of the screen and keyboard, the position
of the document, and the placement and intensity of office lighting.
Alleviation of health
problems utilizes office ergonomics principles, which entail the
planning and adapting of equipment, tasks and office procedures to
promote well-being and efficiency of workers. Office ergonomics is in
its essence the study of comfort in the work environment. Office
ergonomics is the art of accommodating the workplace to the needs of
the worker’s body.
Office ergonomics recommends the use
of an ergonomic mouse which is designed to minimize the stress on the
hand and is therefore an ergonomic preventative tool. According to the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, good ergonomics is good
economics, and in light of the increasing Repetitive Strain Injuries
associated with the use of the computer mouse in the modern office,
the ergonomic mouse is one of the most important ergonomic office
tools to invest in today.
proposes an ergonomic keyboard as the answer to a host of postural and
repetitive stress injuries endured by users of traditional keyboards.
An ergonomic office keyboard does not require significant pronation of
the hands or abduction of the elbows, permits the shoulders to be
comfortably relaxed while the wrists are not extended or adducted and
allows all fingers, including the little finger, to make extension and
flexion movements from resting position to depress the keys. This
ergonomic design, permits the hands to rest on suitable support
surfaces causing no pressure increase in the carpal tunnel.
makes an ergonomic chair an imperative in today’s office because
people who sit for long periods are at risk for back disorders.
Millions of people are suffering from the effects of improper and
incorrect seating at the computer, and billions of dollars are lost in
time off from work and money spent on doctors and hospital bills. A
properly designed chair is essential to an ergonomic computer
workstation in the ergonomic office. It affects posture, circulation,
pressure on the spine, and comfort. Poor chair design is one of the
most significant causes of musculoskeletal stresses and strains. In an
ergonomic office an employer can dramatically improve productivity and
minimize downtime of employees by providing proper ergonomic chairs
that are comfortable and user friendly.
adhere to sound ergonomic principles in designing ergonomic office
workstations. The workplace ergonomics of the workstation increases
worker productivity by minimizing fatigue and strain, eliminating
wasted motion, and improving comfort. An ergonomic workstation
adjusts and controls the physical environment, the design of the desk
and chair, the placement of the screen and keyboard, the position of
the document, and the placement and intensity of office lighting. When
workstation office ergonomics are applied, most of the problems that
people encounter at standard computer workstations such as
neck, shoulder, back pain, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome, which
often results from long term computer use, are solved
or at least alleviated
principle of office ergonomics is to incorporate rest periods in the
course of the workday. Ergonomics in the workplace allows
approximately 5 minutes break for every hour of work, and a 15 minute
break every two hours. Stretching all of the muscles used to perform
ones job has now been proven to be vital in preventing a host of
undesirable Repetitive Stress injuries.
utilizes many ergonomic products made to interface between man and
machine so that the physical capacity of the worker and the demands of
the job are equalized. Much suffering and cost is avoidable with
office ergonomics through good computer ergonomic workplace design,
teaching employees the basic principles of office ergonomics and
computer workstation ergonomics, providing ergonomic computer
furniture, and ergonomic computer accessories and products and
encouraging good work habits, such as frequent breaks.