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What Can Ergonomics Do for You?
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Insights Magazine
Business Insights for Women
PNC INSIGHTS Magazine Spring/Summer 2014 Issue
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Properly positioning all kinds of office furniture and electronics can increase energy and ease pain.

While most of us are cognizant of the role of proper posture, seating and equipment positioning in our overall health and well-being, our inner workaholics may carry neck and back pain or eye strain as a badge of honor.

Consider the numbers: Muscular-skeletal disorders account for 30 percent of all workplace injuries requiring time away from work - and they cost twice as much as the average workers' compensation claim, or $15 to $18 billion per year. Applying ergonomics, the design science of creating and arranging equipment to fit the human body's movements and cognitive abilities, reduces workers' risk of developing these injuries.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to furnish employees a workplace free from recognized hazards, including ergonomic injuries. Implementing a comprehensive ergonomics program in your workplace may also reduce your liability and costs in terms of insurance claims and lost productivity.

To get the most from an ergonomics program, make sure your workers have the proper furnishings and equipment for their tasks. Then train employees to use proper posture and techniques to reduce ergonomic injuries and eyestrain. Here are a few basics:

  • Adjust your computer monitor so that your eyes look 20 to 60 degrees downward at the screen (you should be able to see in this range without bending your neck). Sit 20 to 30 inches from your monitor.
  • Minimize wrist strain by keeping both elbows by the sides of the body. Adjust your work surface so it is at about elbow height to ensure that your lower arm is parallel to the floor when you're working with a keyboard and mouse. Use wrist rests to ease muscle strain.
  • Sit with good posture to keep your spine in its natural curves, with the head and neck upright, not slumped forward. Take care to keep your shoulders down and back.
  • Select work clothing and shoes that don't restrict movement or blood flow.
  • Use proper lighting, including diffuse general lighting combined with focused task lighting. Avoid glare on walls, desktops and monitors.
  • Take frequent breaks, and shift seating position often to reduce eye strain, increase circulation and stretch muscles and tendons. You'll also reduce fatigue and increase focus.

For a comprehensive overview of office ergonomics, along with a handy checklist, visit the OSHA website.


The article you read was prepared for general information purposes by McMurry. These articles are for general information purposes only and are not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting or financial advice. PNC urges its customers to do independent research and to consult with financial and legal professionals before making any financial decisions.These articles may provide reference to Internet sites as a convenience to our readers. While PNC endeavors to provide resources that are reputable and safe, we cannot be held responsible for the information, products, or services obtained on such sites and will not be liable for any damages arising from your access to such sites. The content, accuracy, opinions expressed, and links provided by these resources are not investigated, verified, monitored or endorsed by PNC.