Ergonomic principles

The principles of ergonomics are designed to promote work practices which prevent and control musculoskeletal injuries arising from repetitive movement or constrained postures during work. At a school like ours with so much time spent in front of a computer ergonomics and prevention of occupational overuse injury should be of prime concern.


There are two main reasons why people should adopt ergonomic principles and apply them to their work practices:

  1. The human cost of injury. The inconvenience and pain associated with occupational overuse injury could come as quite a shock to some people; an injury sustained at work may prevent you from doing certain extracurricular activities and effect your quality of life. Just think, most people come to work so they can do the things in life that they do out of hours.Imagine being deprived of those pleasures!
  2. The financial cost of injury. There is a financial cost of injury to both the employer and the employee. The phrase "loss time injury" is often used to describe the loss in productivity resultant from workplace injury. The costs in productivity are enormous and experience has shown that gains in productivity can often be seen when ergonomic principles are adopted. The financial cost to the employee is obvious; if an employee sustains a permanent injury it may impact on the earning potential of the employee.


  1. Do the occupational overuse injury prevention training offered here at UNSW.
  2. Read the information that is made available on this site and request more from your OHS representative if required.
  3. Use the injury prevention software "workrave" mentioned below.


Ergonomic information on the web

Below are a few sites that contain ergonomic information. There are many sites with ergonomic information on the web and the selection is intended to get you started.

Chemical Sensitivity

Some people are more sensitive to chemicals in the air than others. One area relevant to the office environment is that of perfume sensitivity. If you have ever sat next to someone and felt that their perfume is overpowering and you feel a headache coming on, then you may be a sensitive individual. This is a difficult problem to deal with and it is one that calls for sensitivity to the needs of the person wearing the fragrance. Most people are pretty understanding once you explain the difficulty you have when they wear strong or excessive perfume. Here are a few links on the area: