Ergonomics is the study of the interaction between people and machines and the factors that affect the interaction. The purposes of ergonomic is to improve the performance of systems by improving human machine interaction.

Office ergonomics, then, is simply about making sure that office employees have the correct furniture, equipment and working conditions to be able to do their jobs effectively and comfortably.

Occupational hazards of office workers

  • Prolonged sitting in the awkward and same position such as flexion of head and trunk, excessive ulnar deviation and shoulder elevation.
  • Causing musculoskeletal disorders when maintaining awkward positions at a desk, straining the eyes, and excessive mouse and keyboard use.
  • Improper way of lifting, handling and moving office equipment and supplies
  • Ripping on objects on the floor or power cords which can cause falls injuries.

Work or ergonomic modification:

  • Working ergonomic in sitting:
    • The person must sit erect and look straight ahead. Using height-adjustable chair to sit in a proper chair height. Provide chair with armrest can reduce the loading on the spine and facilitate the rising from the chair.
    • Adjust the seat height so the person’s thighs are parallel to the floor and the knees are bent to a 90-degree angle with the feet flat on the floor.
    • Proper backrest or with lumbar support is important to reduce the pressure under the ischial tuberosity.
    • Computer desk must provide sufficient space for the leg.
    • Centre the screen directly in front of you, above your keyboard. Position the top of the screen approximately 2-3” above seated eye level.
    • Sit at least an arm’s length away from the screen and then adjust the distance for your vision.
    • Adjust the keyboard height so that your shoulders are relaxed, your elbows are in a slightly open position (100° to 110°), and your wrists and hands are straight.
  • Mouse close to the keyboard and at the same level.
  • Placing wrist rest (pillow or gel pad) under the wrist can help to maintain neutral postures and pad hard surfaces.
  • Giving job rotation or scheduling of work- rests to decrease the risk of repetitive work (typing).
  • Avoid eye fatigue by resting and refocusing your eyes periodically. Look away from the monitor and focus on something in the distance.


  • Lifting objects in a proper lifting technique. Lifting heavy object with work buddy or using trolley.
  • Keeping walking areas clear from clutter or obstructions to reduce the risk of tripping.

Article by:

Weng Yee


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