New office ergonomics e-learning program launched to mark RSI Awareness Day

A new online office ergonomics training program has been jointly launched by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) in Toronto and Ontario's Public Services Health & Safety Association (PSHSA). Evidence-based and standard-compliant, eOfficeErgo: Ergonomics e-Learning for Office Workers is being made available as organizations across the country prepare to mark International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day, which takes place annually on the last day of February.

“With the growth in office environments and the large number of people working mainly at their desks with computers, helping workplaces prevent musculoskeletal injuries among office workers is of increasing importance,” said Monica Szabo, PSHA’s executive director, government and public safety. “This program can help managers and workers understand the issues around these injuries and how to minimize risk.”

In any given year, anywhere from 24 per cent to 44 per cent of office workers report the presence of pain and discomfort in their neck, shoulder, arms or hands, according to large-scale surveys.

“A less-than-optimal set-up of a computer work station can increase the risk for musculoskeletal disorders and poorer workplace performance,” said IWH senior scientist Ben Amick, who led the research team that developed the e-learning program. “Our research shows that this online office ergonomics program improves worker practices and postures.”

eOfficeErgo is made up of nine modules that cover everything from working postures to work station adjustments, with instructional information presented through text, photos, video and interactive components designed to engage users. Review questions and exercises to reinforce key concepts are included throughout. The training is self-paced, with each module taking about 10 minutes to complete.