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3. Task Design – Computer Ergonomics

  • Content last reviewed: November 2010

Extended periods of time spent working at computer workstations may contribute to muscular and visual fatigue and discomfort. Maintaining any posture over time is fatiguing, no matter how well the workstation is set up. Also, the work actions in tasks such as continual data entry or word processing are highly repetitive, further contributing to discomfort and, possibly, to risk of injury.

Breaks from computer work are most effective in reducing discomfort when short breaks are taken frequently. They are more effective than working for long periods of time and taking longer breaks. Scheduling five minutes of non-computer work per hour provides relief from many of the postural and visual demands. In addition, for computer intensive tasks, attempts should be made to design jobs to include other duties. There is a related Ontario Ministry of Labour Health and Safety Guideline on rest breaks.

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