Office Ergonomics - Common Office Injuries
Musculoskeletal, vision, and
hearing problems are common in the workplace. By applying
ergonomic solutions, you may be able to reduce
physical problems and improve your comfort and ability to work
system is made up of the structures that support you and help you move, such as
bones, joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Examples of musculoskeletal
problems that may be related to ergonomic issues are:
Solutions. You can reduce your
chances of musculoskeletal injuries and be more comfortable and efficient by
setting up your
workstation and work tools for your own personal
- Your chair should have adjustable seat
height, back, and arm rests, and a base with five wheels for easy movement
without tipping. Lumbar support for your back is helpful. When you sit in your
chair, your feet should rest flat on the floor, and your thighs should be
parallel to the floor. The edge of the chair should be soft and should not
touch the backs of your knees. If you have arm rests, you should be able to use
them without slouching or having your shoulders either hunched up or drooping
- Your desk should be large enough to
accommodate your work area. Arrange your desk so the items you need most often
are within reach, and you don't have to bend or twist
- Your keyboard tray should be big enough to hold your
keyboard and mouse, and the height should be adjustable.
- A footrest
can help support your legs and reduce low back strain, especially if your feet
don't rest comfortably flat on the floor.
- Your computer monitor
should be directly in front of you. The height should be adjustable, with the
top of the screen at about your eye level.
- Your computer mouse can
be a trackball or touch pad, which may help reduce symptoms some people get
from the repetitive motions of a standard computer mouse.
computer mouse should be placed close to the keyboard where it does not cause you to lean forward or to reach too far.
- Contoured or curved keyboards are
designed to help reduce problems in the hands, wrists, and shoulders. They seem
to help some people, but there is no good evidence that they reduce
symptoms. Wrist pads (also called wrist supports or
wrist rests) help support the arms and reduce strain during breaks from typing.
The pads are not intended to be used while you are typing. But some
people find the pads helpful even when they are using their keyboard or mouse.
When you type or use your mouse, try raising your forearms a little so your
wrists are in a neutral position and your arms and hands can move freely. If
you have arm rests on your chair, you may be able to adjust them so your
forearms are parallel to the floor and your wrists are neutral. Your wrist is in a neutral position when the thumb is in line with the forearm and the wrist is bent slightly back, such as when your arm is hanging at your side. You may want to
alternate between resting your wrists on the pads and raising them up. If you
use a wrist pad, it's best to rest your palm or the heel of your hand on the
support, rather than your wrist.