Office ergonomics

Office ergonomics looks at the optimal design of office systems to ensure the health, safety, comfort and productivity of their users, predominantly office employees. It includes the design of jobs, the organization of work, the layout of the office, and the design and set-up of office workstations—chairs, desks, computers, keyboards, lighting and more. IWH research in this area focuses on office ergonomics training and implementation.

NSC Safety + Health
IWH in the media

Online program emphasizes office ergonomics

As part of International Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day, office workers can use a new online training program to learn about the importance of ergonomics and how to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders.
Published: Safety + Health, February 2015
A group of customer service workers sit in front of their computers in an open office complex
Tools and guides

eOfficeErgo: Ergonomics e-learning for office workers

eOfficeErgo is an evidence-based and standard-compliant online training program designed for employees who regularly use computers on the job and would benefit from self-directed online training on the proper way to set up and work at office workstations in order to prevent musculoskeletal disorders and other injuries. 
Published: January 2015
IWH Speaker Series
IWH Speaker Series

How to make occupational health and safety training more effective: Findings from a field trial

In a recent quasi-experimental field trial, an Institute for Work & Health (IWH) research team compared the impact of in-person office ergonomics training with e-learning office ergonomics training. Both training programs took the same amount of time and delivered the same content. In this plenary, the IWH's Dr. Ben Amick, the lead researcher on this project, presents the findings of the 12-month trial, including which form of training had the greatest impact on worker knowledge, attitudes and behaviour with respect to office ergonomics.
Published: January 2014
Man stretches at computer work station
Impact case study

CAMH improves office ergonomics through IWH online training program

A piloted training program was so successful it's now offered to all staff at this hospital and research centre.
Published: November 2013
A view from the back of a woman holding her neck
Sharing Best Evidence

Do workplace programs protect upper extremity musculoskeletal health?

Injuries to the upper extremity are common among workers, accounting for about 30 per cent of lost-time claims in Ontario in 2006. The upper extremity includes the neck, shoulder, upper arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand. This systematic review looked at the effectiveness of interventions to prevent upper extremity disorders and traumatic injuries.
Published: February 2009
Systematic Review
Systematic Review

Systematic review of the role of occupational health and safety interventions in the prevention of upper extremity musculoskeletal symptoms, signs, disorders, injuries, claims and lost time

Injuries to the upper extremity are common among workers, accounting for about 30 per cent of lost-time claims in Ontario in 2006. The upper extremity includes the neck, shoulder, upper arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand. The systematic review described in this report looked at the effectiveness of interventions to prevent upper extremity disorders and traumatic injuries. Note that this systematic review was updated in 2016.
Published: December 2008
Journal article
Systematic Review
Systematic Review

Workplace interventions to prevent musculoskeletal and visual symptoms and disorders among computer users: a systematic review

The most common occupational health complaints among computer users are visual problems such as eye discomfort and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) such as pain in the neck and upper extremities. This report shares the findings of a systematic review to identify studies that evaluated the effects of workplace interventions on visual or upper extremity MSDs among computer users.
Published: January 2006