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Microscope ergonomics

Microscope work involves sustained static postures of the head, neck and body. Adjust your workstation to minimize awkward postures and improve comfort.


MSI risks

Microscope bending
Poor Ergonomics: Bending & Leaning






  • Forward bending-strains back musculature
  • Leaning on arms-strains upper shoulders/neck
  • Forearm contact pressure on table top

Improved ergonomics

Microscope improved
Improved Ergonomics






  • Work in an area with proper leg clearance
  • Position microscope near the edge of the table
  • Use a height adjustable chair; preferred if table is also height adjustable
  • Eye piece should be at eye level
  • Backrest should support low back
  • Feet should be supported on ground, footring or footrest
  • Use a forearm pad to reduce contact pressure on the forearms (demo available through UBC’s Ergonomics Program)
  • If standing, raise microscope so that the eye piece is at eye level and use an anti-fatigue mat
  • Take frequent micro-breaks to adjust posture
  • Posture in photo could be futher improved with an extendable and adjustable eye piece

MSI risks

Microscope reaching
Poor Ergonomics. Reaching











Shoulder fatigue will develop if staff are required to point and reach to the tablet screen. Ideally, a separate trackpad should be provided or at minimum provide an armrest for support


Improved ergonomics

Microscope reaching improved
Improved Ergonomics. Neutral neck with arms by side











If purchasing a new microscope look for options that allow a tablet attachment with a separate track pad. A separate trackpad is recommended if staff will be pointing, selecting or highlighting items on the tablet.



Microscope and tablet provided courtesy of VWR International.

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