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Ergonomics

Man sitting at workstation, stretching with fingers interlaced

A heathier working space makes for a healthier working day.

Office ergonomics is about creating a work environment that minimizes your pain, discomfort, and risk of injury on the job. Proper ergonomics will help you increase productivity and job satisfaction, as well as make your body feel great!

An understanding of ergonomics can be broken down into four key areas, explained below. The university offers a number of resources to help make working healthier easier for you.


Ergonomic workspace

Having an ergonomic workspace means you have evaluated the components of your work area (furniture, surroundings, lighting, work habits, etc.) to reduce fatigue, discomfort or any potential injury.

Equipment

You have equipment relating to ergonomics.  Examples include your desk, chair, keyboard, mouse, and monitors. You may not need to purchase equipment in order to improve your workspace. Sometimes all it takes is learning how to adjust the equipment you already have.

Safety

Making your workspace ergonomically friendly means you are working healthier and safer. Proper ergonomics will reduce your risk of pain and injury.

Wellness breaks

Even if you have an ergonomic workspace, working for long periods of time can lead to health problems. Knowing when to take a break from your work is a very important component of ergonomics.


Watch this myLearn training module to get started on creating a healthy work environment. The course covers the four ergonomic areas in more detail; you will learn:

  • How to evaluate and adjust your workstation.
  • How to evaluate different ergonomic equipment.
  • How to avoid safety hazards, behavioral factors, and environmental factors that can cause discomfort, illness, and injury.
  • How to incorporate breaks, exercises, and stretches into your work day.
  • Ergonomic related resources are available to all UM System employees. Go to the discounts and resources page and select the “Work Healthy” button next to your campus.
  • Apps for reminding you to take a breaks at work.
  • Trying to decide which sit-to-stand desk is best for you? The MU ACT Center has sit-to-stand information (and guide) available to help.

Reviewed May 13, 2016.