Ergonomics in the Workplace

Ergonomics is the science of creating workplace conditions that create high productivity and helps avoid illness and injury risks.  The United States Department of Labor describes a 'good working position' as:

  • Hands, wrists, and forearms are straight, in-line and roughly parallel to the floor.​​ ​


  • Head is level or bent slightly forward, forward facing, and balanced. Generally it is in-line with the torso.


  • Shoulders are relaxed and upper arms hang normally at the side of the body.


  • Elbows stay in close to the body and are bent between 90 and 120 degrees.


  • Feet are fully supported by the floor or a footrest may be used if the desk height is not adjustable.


  • Back is fully supported with appropriate lumbar support when sitting vertical or leaning back slightly.


  • Thighs and hips are supported by a well-padded seat and generally parallel to the floor.

  • Knees are about the same height as the hips with the feet slightly forward.

Regardless of how good your working posture is, working in the same posture or sitting still for prolonged periods is not healthy. 


You should change your working position frequently throughout the day in the following ways:

  • Make small adjustments to your chair or backrest.


  • Stretch your fingers, hands, arms, and torso.


  • Stand up and walk around for a few minutes periodically.

For additional information and images, you can visit the

Occupational Safety & Health Administration.


Or visit: Selecting the Right Chair