Skip Navigation and Go To Content

Safety, Health, Environment, and Risk Management

Workstation Ergonomics

Ergonomics is defined as the application of human biological sciences with the engineering sciences to achieve optimum mutual adjustment of people and their work, the benefits measured in terms of human efficiency and well-being.

The UTHSC-H Chemical Safety program can assist in correcting many of the ergonomic problems faced in your immediate job environment. Most of the problems that result in repetitive injuries can be solved with simple, yet effective solutions. If you are experiencing discomfort and feel that it is a result of current work station design, please feel free to contact us at (713) 500-5832. Prior to that however, you may choose to review the following information and apply some of the principles mentioned.

Here are a few links that explain ergonomics a little better and are also good self help primer:

Workstation Ergonomics

Ergonomics means fitting the workplace to the workers by modifying or redesigning the job, workstation, tool or environment. Workstation design can have a big impact on office workers health and well-being. There are a multitude of discomforts which can result from ergonomically incorrect computer workstation setups. The most common complaints relate to the neck, shoulders, and back. Others concern the arms and hands and occasionally the eyes. For example, poor chairs and/or bad postures can cause lower back strain; or a chair that is too high can cause circulation loss in legs and feet.

Certain common characteristics that have been possibly identified and associated with increased risk of musculoskeletal problems. These include,

The key to comfort is in maintaining the body in a relaxed, neutral position. The ideal work position is to have the arms hanging relaxed from the shoulders. If a keyboard is used, arms should be bent at right angles at the elbow, with the hands held in a straight line with forearms and elbows close to the body. The head should be in line with the body and slightly forward.

Arranging Your Workstation to Fit You

The way a task is performed and the workstation environment it is performed in can influence the risk of injury and general work productivity. Good technique can make a job easy and safe. This can be accomplished by simply:

Mini-Breaks and Stretches

For information on simple exercises and stretches that you can do in your workstation, access these links:

Workstation exercises 
Ergonomic Pipetting

Corey Jefferson, Wellness Coordinator for the UTHealth Rec Center, is available to provide advice on low intensity, low impact but active exercises that can be conducted at your workstation.  Corey can be reached at Corey.Jefferson@uth.tmc.edu or 713-500-8427.

Ergonomic Workstation Furniture and Supplies

Specially designed ergonomic workstation devices and furniture are not centrally funded at UTHealth. All such purchasing decisions are made at the individual department level.

UTHealth Procurement Services can provide assistance in identifying various vendors who sell ergonomic office furniture and equipment. Procurement Services can be reached at 713 500 4700 or procurementservcies@uth.tmc.edu.