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Office Ergonomics Awareness. The George Washington University Office of Risk Management. Ergonomics. The relationship of people to their tools, tasks, and environment Tools are designed to fit the employee Today’s discussion will focus solely on office tools, tasks, and environment.

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Office Ergonomics Awareness

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Office ergonomics awareness

Office Ergonomics Awareness

The George Washington University

Office of Risk Management



  • The relationship of people to their tools, tasks, and environment

  • Tools are designed to fit the employee

  • Today’s discussion will focus solely on office tools, tasks, and environment

Key concepts

Key Concepts

  • Neutral Posture (GOOD)

    • Defined as the position our bodies take in the absence of gravity (e.g., in space)

    • Position in which repetitive stress injury is least likely to occur

  • Static Positions (BAD)

    • Muscles become fatigued when blood flow is reduced

Office related risk factors

Office-Related Risk Factors

  • Repetition

  • Sustained static exertions

  • Forceful exertions

  • Localized contact stresses

  • Posture

Workstation design

Workstation Design

  • Chair

  • Monitor

  • Keyboard

  • Mouse

  • Desk



  • Choose one with maximum adjustments and simple controls

    • Height

    • Seat depth

    • Seat angle

    • Lumbar support

    • Arm rests

    • Tilt

Neutral postures include

Neutral Postures Include

  • Sitting

    • Head balanced naturally over shoulders (not protruding in front of body)

    • Shoulders relaxed, not hunched

  • Forearms and thighs parallel to the floor, at a 90 angle to upper arms and lower legs



  • Adjust so

    • Feet rest comfortably on the floor or are supported by foot rest

    • Lumbar region of the spine receives support (don’t sit on the front edge of chair)

    • Backs of legs are supported

    • Armrests support shoulders and arms

    • You are comfortable

Monitor positioning

Monitor Positioning

  • Directly in front of body

  • About 18-30 inches away from body (arm’s length)

  • Top of monitor about eye level, or slightly below

Keyboard trays

Keyboard Trays

  • Keyboard tray with adjustability (swivels left and right, tilts forward and back, allows for mouse, extends to different heights and positions)

  • Position so wrists are in neutral posture

Neutral postures include1

Neutral Postures Include

  • Wrist posture

    • Wrists straight, not bent or twisted



  • Several new styles of keyboards

  • Designed to promote neutral posture



  • Should be at the same level and distance as the keyboard

Office ergonomics awareness


  • Least flexible component

  • Obtain accessories to make due with existing furnishings

  • If able to purchase new, look for designs that will allow correct monitor, keyboard, and mouse positioning

Minimizing static positions

Minimizing Static Positions

  • Change Positions Frequently

  • Take breaks from repetitive tasks to work with other equipment and muscles

  • Exercises



  • Take an active role in designing your workspace to prevent injuries

  • Strengthen and improve flexibility

  • Put practices to work in the office and at home



  • Occupational Safety & Health Administration

  • Texas A&M - Office of Risk Management and Safety

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