Cornell University Ergonomics Web

DEA 651 Graduate Project: Fall 1999

Purpose and Data Collection



DEA 651 graduate students under the supervision of Professor Alan Hedge conducted an ergonomic evaluation in order to improve the working conditions at the office of the Department of Planning and Development.


Data collection

Data on the workstations and employees was gathered using three workplace assessment techniques: musculoskeletal discomfort survey, postural observations, and physical measurements. These techniques were used to first understand the problems reported at individual workstations and to then make recommendations for decreasing discomfort and future injury risk.


Musculoskeletal discomfort survey:

Surveys were distributed to the employees containing questions about employee activities, the office environment, and symptoms of musculoskeletal discomfort. The results of these surveys were compiled using a multivariate statistical analysis technique. These results are summarized in Appendix A.


Postural observations:


All employees were observed at their workstation and elements of their posture were recorded using the Rapid Upper Limbs Assessment (RULA) worksheet.


Physical Measurements:


Dimensions of the workstation and of each employee in a seated position were measured and compared to recommended dimensions set by ergonomics experts.



Title Page Purpose/Data Collection General Recommendations

Individual Recommendations Summary of Recommendations Slideshow