Ergonomics is the applied science of equipment and process design intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort. Simply put, ergonomics is the science of designing the job to fit the worker, rather than physically forcing the worker to fit the job.

Our Ergonomics program will assist you in the following areas of ergonomics: Computer Workstation Ergonomics, Laboratory Ergonomics, Back Safety/Material Handling, and Telework Ergonomics.

For ergonomic related assistance or questions, please contact your school/unit Designated Safety Officer (DSO) by filling out the ergonomics online request form.

Computer Workstations Laboratory Back Safety/Material HandlingTelework Ergonomics

Computer Workstation

Ergonomic Sitting

Ensuring your computer workstation is properly set-up and aligned can prevent repetitive stress injury or discomfort.

As a start, all users should complete the EH&S Computer Workstation Self Evaluation Assessment online training program. This program is intended to educate users on the basics of ergonomics and apply this knowledge to a self-evaluation and correction of their workstation.



Apart from the potential risk of working daily with hazardous substances, laboratory personnel also have the potential to be exposed to many ergonomic risk factors due to the nature of their work such as the height of their work benches and the research they conduct is often prolonged for many hours.

Back Safety/Material Handling

Back Pain

Harvard University employees engaged in facilities operations including, but not limited to, landscape services, solid waste/recycling, custodial services, mail room, warehouse, dining services, and animal handling work have been recognized risks for ergonomic injury.

Their often-repetitive tasks require lifting and transporting awkward and heavy loads of various sizes. Please review the online resources for back safety/materials handling for information on proper body mechanics and safety. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

Telework Ergonomics

Telework Ergonomics

Prolonged use of laptops and mobile devices can present a number of ergonomic challenges resulting in an increase of ergonomic-related pain or discomfort. It is critical to allow for neutral postures when setting up all remote workstations.

Department Contact

Maura Craig
Safety Officer

Did You Know?

Return On Investment (ROI): The estimated annual cost savings associated with averting a single musculoskeletal disorder-related workers’ compensation claim is $22,546. This total includes the value of lost production, medical and insurance administrative costs, and indirect costs to employers.

If you are uncomfortable at your workstation, the below 4 minute video demonstrates how to properly adjust your workstation equipment to greatly improve ergonomics.

Workstation Ergo Tips