Evaluation of Computer Workstation Standards

Vasan, Midhun
Major Professor
Richard T. Stone
Committee Member
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Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

This thesis aims at studying and evaluating the relevancy of the latest existing standards that have been established for setting up a computer workstation. The standards referred to in this study is the ANSI/HFES 100 (2007). Over the past two decades, standards have been updated to get along with new technology. However, by human nature, we does not always use these standards in the best way. Also, even if someone does set up their workstation in a way that are in accordance with standards, chances are that the user did not even know they were setting it in those ‘standard recognized’ way. It is more through their natural instinct and comfort that they do end up setting the workstation in that way. During computer tasks, people tend to shift their posture well outside of ‘standard advised’ posture ranges. If that is the case, then why enforce standards at all? That is exactly the intention of this thesis. By having two groups (one workstation set up according to standards and the other is set up by the user according to their comfort) the experimenter is able to compare and show that the postural behavior between the two groups are not significantly different and hence, the data gathered fails to show that standards could make any difference in the way a user sets up his/her workstation and also it does not affect the postural behavior or shifts in posture during the two-hour task. The study also tries to find out the effect of a two-hour computer task on stereoacuity and pupil diameter changes in participants . From the results and conclusion arrived in this study, companies can decide whether or not to spend valuable money and time in hiring an ergonomic expert in setting up workstations. Maybe the best thing they could do is provide the ergonomic office furniture and trust the judgement of the users to put it to best use.