The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Laboratory Ergonomics. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Body Position

Take frequent posture breaks; if standing, sit periodically. If sitting, stand about every 20 minutes and walk around.

Shoulders and Arms

  • Keep the shoulders relaxed, not shrugged-up or slumped-down.
  • Keep your elbows close to your body
  • Keep work at elbow height and directly in front of you as shown in the image below.

Head and Neck

  • Avoid situations that require prolonged or repetitive twisting, forward-bending, or backward-bending of the neck.

Hands and Wrists

  • Keep the hand in line with the forearm. Avoid repetitive twisting of the wrists.
  • Avoid working with wrists pressed against hard surfaces or edges as shown in the image below.

Feet and Legs

  • Place a foot on a footrest for comfort
  • Provide a toe space to allow work closer to counters and reduce reaching.
  • Use mats on hard floors to reduce fatigue as shown in the image below.

Back

  • Stand straight. Avoid situations that require bending forward, backward, leaning side-to-side, or twisting.
  • Use a stool to provide an occasional change in posture.
  • If working seated, use a back rest/support to maintain proper posture. The chair that is shown in the image below offers neck, back, and lumbar support.