Ergonomic Evaluation of Workstation; What to Look Out For

When we talk about Ergonomic Evaluation of Workstation, we are ticking boxes to determine if your workstation is ergonomically safe to prevent developing musculoskeletal injury.

Ergonomic Evaluation of Workstation

Some of the key points we consider are:

  1. Chair ergonomic
  2. Table ergonomic
  3. Positioning on the work station
  4. DSE (Display Screen Equipment) and other equipment on the workstation.
  5. Posture

Chair ergonomic

  • Seat height – Adjust height with both feet on the floor and thighs parallel to the floor (hips at the same level or slightly higher than knees). If the seat cannot be lowered (for example, it would make the keyboard or monitor too high), use a footrest to provide stable support and prevent feet from dangling.
  • Arm rests – If used, adjust arm rests so elbows are at 90 degrees, shoulders are relaxed, wrists held straight when typing and forearms parallel to the floor.
  • Backrest – Support your lower back. Use a rolled towel or cushion placed in the small of your back if your chair does not have adequate backrest support.
  • Footrest: A footrest under your desk will allow you to remain in a neutral position throughout the workday by promoting proper posture while sitting at your desk. Having a footrest positioned under your desk is great for improving your ergonomic setup.

Table ergonomic

Ensure your desk is set up at the right height. Your desk is at the right height if:

  • Your legs sit comfortably under the desk if you are sitting with your feet flat on the floor. You should have enough space to cross your legs. If needed, use a footrest for extra support.
  • The angle between your forearm and upper arm is between 90 degrees and 110 degrees.
  • Your upper arms are in line with your torso. Your hands should be rested comfortably on your desk if your desk is at the right height.

Positioning on the work station & DSE

  • Your elbows will be close to the recommended keyboard height while your arms are relaxed and resting on your lap. Adjust your keyboard tray height or desk height accordingly. If you have a fixed-height desk, raise the chair height to compensate and attach a footrest.
  • Adjust keyboard and mouse height and angle so upper arms are nearly vertical and forearms are parallel to the floor. The home row keys should be at the fingertips with your wrists straight in the natural position (allow arms to hang down in a relaxed manner and then raise forearms parallel to floor).
  • Adjust your keyboards slope slightly up or down to straighten your wrists, the keyboard should also angle up (positive tilt) if your forearms are angled up, or down (negative tilt), respectively.
  • Place your mouse as close to your keyboard as possible and as tall as possible. Use a keyboard tray that is wide enough to place your mouse next to your keyboard when possible. If your keyboard/mouse is on the desktop, you may need to raise or lower your desk to place your keyboard/mouse at the correct height. If your desktop is too tall, place your keyboard on your open desk drawer, and/or raise your seat height and use your footrest as support. Some desks come with an adjustable keyboard / mouse tray.
  • Place monitor directly in front of the body and an arm’s length away.
  • Monitor height – Adjust height so the top line of the screen is at or just below eye level. If needed, use a ream of paper, phone book or stand to raise your monitor height.
  • Reduce overhead lighting by turning off lights or switching to “computer compatible” lamps .
  • To minimize glare, turn the monitor perpendicular to light sources and draw window shades or curtains to reduce the level of outside lighting.
  • Position document holders close to the screen and at the same level and distance from the eye to avoid constant changes in focus.  Periodically move the document holder to the opposite side of the screen, reducing static positions.
  • Place frequently used items within easy reach to avoid repeated and prolonged bending and reaching.

Your posture

Sit up straight or recline slightly, but do not lean forward. Do not cross your legs and
avoid straining your neck forward.

Recap on Office Ergonomic

Ergonomics in office refers to the process of arranging the workstation in such a way that it is suitable for the worker, thereby avoiding the risk of musculo-skeletal disorders and increasing productivity.

Ergonomics is considered to be the science of adapting workplace conditions and job demands to the working population’s capabilities.

The main focus of office ergonomics is the design of the workstation. This will include the choice of the sit, the height of the sit fittings such as the hand rest, the lumbar support, the table height in comparison to the sit, the foot rest, and the placement of material on the table.

The workstation design is determined by the worker. For example, a tall person might not be able to fit into a short person’s workstation, or a fat person might not fit into a slim person’s workstation. The work station must be designed to fit the worker so that the incompatibilities are eliminated and maximum safe job performance is achieved.

In conclusion, ergonomic evaluation of workstation helps you perform a form of ergonomic assessment of your workstation to determine if your workstation is ergonomically safe before you proceed to us.