Workers' Comp

Empowering Workspaces: Harnessing the Power of Ergonomics for Enhanced Productivity and Safety

October 2, 2023

Mike Milidonis

National Manager, Ergonomics & Employer Services

Ergonomics is the scientific study of designing workspaces in a way that enhances the health, safety, and productivity of workers. Its goal is preventive, focusing on reducing the risk of injuries before they occur by analyzing job tasks and workstation design. This is especially crucial in today's digital age where many of us spend hours hunched over desks, which without proper ergonomics can lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

Enhancing Productivity and Safety Through Ergonomics

Ergonomics goes beyond injury prevention. It also improves overall safety and productivity by identifying risk and identifying necessary changes during the ergonomics process. By mitigating risk, improving safety, and reducing claims, ergonomics can increase overall productivity. It's a tool used not only in the workplace but also in engineering, product design, and daily activities.

Ergonomics can be used at different stages to prevent injuries from progressing into serious issues. It's important to apply ergonomics when an employee expresses discomfort, reports an MSD, or is returning to work after an injury. Ergonomics can also be used to analyze injury trends to prevent future issues.

Common ergonomic-related injuries include tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and low back pain, often related to overuse. These can be prevented through good posture and healthy personal habits.

Applying Ergonomics to Improve Workspace Efficiency and Safety

The first step to applying ergonomics is identifying risk factors such as static or awkward postures, repetitive motion, forceful exertion, vibration, and contact stress. Then, a risk factor assessment can analyze the job task and determine the risk of injury.

Ergonomic professionals can provide solutions to reduce these risks. For instance, movement and better postures can be incorporated through height-adjustable workstations or sit-stand desks to reduce static or awkward postures. Job rotation and flexibility can mitigate repetitive motion, and mechanical lift assist devices can reduce forceful exertion.

Embracing Ergonomics in Your Workspace

In office ergonomics, it's important to position yourself in a good posture. Your chair should be adjusted so your feet are flat on the floor, your legs are parallel to the floor, and your back is against the backrest. Your desk should be slightly below or at your elbow height with your shoulders relaxed. Your keyboard and mouse should be located directly in front of you and next to each other.

Monitor placement is also crucial. It should be at the same height as your eyes when sitting or standing, and approximately an arm's length away. Along with proper equipment placement, regular breaks are necessary to reduce eye strain and maintain good posture.

Maintaining healthy habits is key to good ergonomics. Stand up and walk around during breaks, stay hydrated, and socialize with colleagues. Remember, not all "ergonomic" marketed equipment necessarily reduces the risk of injury. It should only be used if it improves posture or reduces risk associated with specific movements.


Ergonomics is an essential tool in creating a healthy and productive workforce. It's not only beneficial in the workplace but also impacts our overall well-being. By understanding ergonomics, employers can prevent injuries and enhance productivity.

Successful implementation of ergonomics requires the active participation of both employers and employees. By identifying risk factors and taking necessary steps to reduce or eliminate them, a safer and more comfortable work environment can be achieved.

In conclusion, embracing ergonomics as part of our lifestyle can lead to improved health and productivity. It's important to take a proactive approach and make necessary adjustments to your workspace today, for a healthier tomorrow.