Ryerson University’s comprehensive ergonomics program offers students, faculty and staff a number of resources in order to best set up your workspace so as to prevent injury. These resources are designed to ensure that your workstation enables the most efficient, safe and productive environment.
Why ergonomics matter
While our bodies are designed for movement, in today’s society, people are leading more and more sedentary lifestyles. This has a serious negative impact on our health. Numerous studies on the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle have even led physicians to refer to sitting as the new smoking. Prolonged sitting can lead to serious injuries, called musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
MSDs are injuries or disorders of the nerves, muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints and cartilage in the neck, back, lower and upper limbs. When these injuries result from work, they are referred to as “work-related” MSDs. Currently, they represent the number one type of lost-time work injury reported to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) in Ontario.
Signs and symptoms of an MSD
The signs and symptoms associated with MSDs may come on gradually, seemingly without a cause, or can appear to occur with a simple daily activity. Symptoms include:
- neck pain
- back pain
- tension in your wrists, arms, shoulders, neck and head
- numbness/tingling in your hands or feet
If you are currently experiencing any of the signs and symptoms of an MSD, seek the advice of a qualified healthcare practitioner such as a chiropractor or physiotherapist.
The Office Ergonomics course: Aches, Pains and Office Strains, is about 60 minutes long and teaches how to recognize MSDs, how to adjust your workstation ergonomically and stretches you can do at your workstation.
Step 1: Sign up for a Learner Profile
To sign up for the Office Ergonomics training, follow these enrollment instructions.
Step 2: Complete the training in D2L
There are a total of four modules which take approximately 45 minutes to complete in full. Upon completion of the modules, you will be asked to complete a form.
Ergonomic task chairs
For most people, a review and readjustment of your current chair settings will address any discomfort caused by sitting. In circumstances when a chair is no longer functioning correctly and cannot be repaired, speak to your manager.
In the event that you require a new chair, employees and their manager are invited to choose from a catalogue of 11 different types of office chairs. Each of these chairs comes in various colours and sizes, and includes a video that shows how to adjust your chair. Additional customized support is also available from the vendor if required.
To test the chairs, please contact Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) at 416-979-5000, ext. 553770 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information
For more information or to provide feedback on the Office Ergonomics Program, please contact EHS at 416-979-5000, ext. 553770 or email@example.com.
If an employee is under the care of a medical practitioner and workplace accommodations are required, please contact Workplace Wellbeing Services.