Work Station Evaluation: Risk Management - Northwestern University

With increased work demands, a more pressing need for good ergonomic practice in our offices is necessary. Northwestern University recognizes that ergonomics – fitting the job to the person – can help reduce work injuries, improve employee morale, and improve office productivity.

People do not perform their best in poorly designed work environments. A deficient work environment may lead to aches and pains for employees. In the most severe situations, performance is drastically compromised and long-term disability injuries may develop.

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Ergonomic Evaluations & Services

To schedule a service below, or for help minimizing risk factors, please call Risk Management at 1-4106 and ask for Jim Grosh.

Posture Guidelines

Improper posture is often caused by:

Neck: Eye level should be horizontally aligned with the top of the monitor. The distance from the eyes to the screen should be 18” to 24”.

Arms: Position the armrests 0.5’” below the working elbow height. Keep frequently used items within 16” of the body.

Wrists/Hands: Elbow and wrist should be the same height. The keyboard should be flat or tilted slightly away from the employee. Hands should float over the keyboard when typing, not rest on the palm rest.

Back: Both upper and lower back should make contact with backrest, with the backrest height adjusted to fit the curvature of the spine.

Feet: Feet should be flat on the floor or in full contact with a footrest.

Test Your Workstation

Add up the points. The lowest possible score is 28 points and the highest possible score is 128 points. The goal is to get to the lowest practical score.

  1. When seated, the top of my computer screen is:
  2. When typing at my computer, to see the monitor I look:
  3. When facing the monitor or screen I am:
  4. The primary screen used has:
  5. The images/characters on my screen appear to be:
  6. The monitor screen is provided with an anti-glare filter.
  7. When using input documents, they are located:
  8. When using a mouse, it is normally located:
  9. When seated, the relative position of my keyboard is:
  10. The keyboard holding area is provided with a palm rest.
  11. When using the telephone, I normally:
  12. The height of my chair can be adjusted by:
  13. When seated at the computer, my feet normally:
  14. When seated at the computer, my back:
  15. The edges of my workstation, keyboard, or keyboard tray against which I may lean are:
  16. When seated at the computer, I feel that my chair:

Anywhere you scored higher than 2 points, if feasible, make appropriate adjustments to minimize your risk factors.