Ergonomics

Ergonomics focuses on designing workstations, tools, and job tasks for greater safety and efficiency, helping to reduce employee injuries resulting from such ergonomic hazards as repetitive motion. (Repetitive motion injuries include back injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tendinitis.)

Ergonomics Documents

Back Basics (PDF): Did you know that sitting at your desk all day can put more pressure on your back than standing? Making simple changes in the design of your workplace or in your work habits may prevent back strain and help you avoid back problems.

Healthy Computing Tips

How to Take Microbreaks

Stretch Breaks: take a 5-minute break away from your computer every half hour and do these stretches

Download Stretch Break, an innovative computer program that reminds you to take short stretch breaks while working

A User-Friendly Workstation (PDF): diagram of a user-friendly workstation plus tips on how to make your workstation user-friendly

Supervisor Tips: Making Your Office "User-Friendly" for Computer Users

Ergonomics Links

Ergonomics at Work, provided by University Health Services, promotes ergonomics in campus work environments though workshops, consultation and coordination of the campus network of departmental computer workstation evaluators.

Healthy Computing Tip: How to Take Microbreaks

Do you take your micro breaks? "Of course" you might say, thinking that you get up to walk to the printer or have tea every hour or two. If you are taking your microbreaks every 30 to 60 seconds, you can ignore this message. Otherwise, read on and TAKE MICROBREAKS.

How to TAKE MICROBREAKS:

Every 30 seconds, while working at the keyboard or mouse, drop your hands to your lap and exhale. Let your shoulders, arms, and hands go limp. After 1-2 seconds, bring your hands back to the keyboard or mouse and continue your work.

Develop a plan to take microbreaks whenever you have an interruption such as:

  • When the phone rings
  • At the end of a paragraph
  • During computer pauses
  • When you are reading email
  • When someone stops by to speak with you
  • At the end of a column of numbers
  • When you're thinking about what you want to write

Remember that a momentary interruption in muscle tension can make the difference between discomfort and health. Think about carrying a heavy object; if you set it down for just a moment, your muscles relax and you are able to continue carrying it.