Ergonomic Workspace Analysis

Abstract Posture analysis Intervention Alternate layouts

Conclusions and Recommendations

The implementations were considered a success, yet some discussion is needed as to why the post-intervention RULA scores were not in the acceptable range. It is possible that subject has become accustomed to working in a certain way. Her back, wrists, neck, and knees may have become so accustomed to a certain posture that it might take much effort or prove uncomfortable to change it. It may also be that the equipment is contributing to the problem. For example, a standard computer keyboard is expected to accommodate different shapes and sizes of users. But shoulder span and chest size may influence hand position while typing. A narrow shouldered, small chested person may experience less ulnar deviation than a broad shouldered, large chested person. A redesign of the keyboard may be what is needed, perhaps a split keyboard would accommodate such a person.

With age, the thoracic area of the spine may become kyphotic , so that a person's resting posture seems "hunched over". The subject may be experiencing such a condition, which would explain her posture and the discomfort experienced in the neck and shoulder area while looking at the computer screen (see image).

Bifocal glasses are designed with the magnification part at the bottom of the lens. These glasses are intended to help presbyopic people see the printed page more clearly and correct for nearsightedness. With the widespread use of computers, the printed page has changed from horizontal to vertical, but bifocal design has not changed. A new bifocal design is needed which will allow a computer user to maintain a comfortable neck position without having to look through a specific portion of the lens (see image).

The discomfort felt in the right wrist was explained via the questionnaire. The subject may be aggravating the old injury by using the mouse. The correct way to move the mouse is to use the entire arm, not just the wrist. Many computer users believe the correct way to use the mouse is to rest the wrist on the desk and control the mouse from that position. Not only could the desk press against the carpal tunnel, the wrist is deviating side to side and flexing and extending. The subject was adopting these hand positions, which are hurtful and should be avoided. A way to remedy the situation is to provide a chair with armrests, so that the user can rest their arm muscles. Had the touchpad been an acceptable option to the subject, a replacement of the Macintosh mouse with a touchpad would have been recommended.


Abstract Posture analysis Intervention Alternate layouts

This page created by
Michele Segal ( and Richard Porter(
Last modified May 16, 1997