SAFETY TIP TUESDAY- NCESD

Provided by the North Central ESD Workers Compensation Trust

Ergonomics - It's All About Comfort!

Ergonomics is the science fitting the job to the worker, not the worker to the job in order to prevent musculoskeletal injuries (MSI).


Factors that can contribute to MSI include:

  • Force
  • Awkward postures/positioning
  • Static postures (staying in the same position for more than 20 seconds)
  • Repetitive activities
  • Contact stress (continuous contact of sensitive body tissue with a hard or sharp object/surface).

Body Position Matters

  • Keep your spine aligned while sitting or standing.
  • Avoid bending at the back for long periods. When working with students pull up a chair and sit down or bend your knees and squat down for short periods.
  • Avoid twisting to reach items. Move your feet, turn your body and face the item instead of twisting.
  • Avoid overreaching. If you must reach up overhead, get a step stool or ladder to stand on.
  • Avoid reaching over obstructions. Move the obstructing object or change your position before you reach for what you need.
  • Take breaks & stretch to reduce fatigue and musculoskeletal discomfort. Gentle stretching can ease muscle tension and improve circulation.

Setup Your Computer for Comfort

  • Adjust your chair so your feet rest comfortably on the floor and thighs are parallel to ground.
  • Adjust the chair backrest so it's tilted backwards slightly (~10⁰) and the lumbar support is level with curve of your low back.
  • Position the monitor in front of you at a comfortable viewing distance, 18 - 30" or approximately an arm's length away.
  • Set the top of the monitor at or just below eye level. If you use bifocals or trifocals, you may need to raise the monitor slightly.
  • To reduce window glare, position the monitor at a 90⁰ angle from any windows.
  • Position your keyboard and mouse at the same level.
  • Keep your shoulders, arms, wrists, hands and fingers relaxed and in a neutral position.
  • Lean back into your chair so it supports your upper body.

Contact Brooke Thomsen, Loss Control Specialist, to request an ergonomic assessment of your work station

North Central ESD Workers' Compensation Trust

Providing Risk Management Services to Reduce On-The-Job Injuries