Ergonomic Frequently Asked Questions

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What's the best way to set up my office for proper ergonomics?

The Ergonomic Fact Sheets below can help you get started on setting up your chair and sit-stand desk. Also see the Office Ergonomics and Laptop Ergonomics for more tips. If you'd like further assistance, you can schedule an ergonomic evaluation on the Twin Cities campus by calling (612) 626-6002.

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What happens at an ergonomic evaluation?

One of our trained ergonomic staff members will come out to your work space to talk about any concerns with you. They will help you make any possible adjustments to your chair, desk, monitors, or other equipment to make it as ergonomically friendly as possible, recommend purchasing new equipment if needed, and discuss any ergonomic concerns you may have. They will also explain the reimbursement process and if needed, discuss our equipment showroom with you.

How do I schedule an evaluation?

To schedule an evaluation on the Twin Cities campus, call our front desk at (612) 626-6002. More information, and contact information for other campuses is available on the ergonomic evaluations and reimbursements page. 

Who can benefit from an evaluation?

Everybody! Even if you are not experiencing pain or soreness, an evaluation can be helpful in preventing problems in the future. People working in office areas can find evaluations especially helpful, but they are also useful for people who do more manual work, laboratory work, or other unusual tasks.

Who pays for the new chair, desk, or other equipment?

The department is responsible for the purchase of any new equipment - HSRM does not purchase anything themselves. Employees are not responsible for purchasing their own office equipment.

Who owns the equipment?

The department will own the equipment, as they are responsible for ordering and paying for it.

Where can I try out chairs, mice, keyboards, or other equipment?

We have an ergonomic showroom where we have all sorts of equipment for you to try out. Our ergonomists are there every week to help you find the right chair, mouse or other equipment for your needs. No appointment needed - we are open every Thursday from 10-noon. If that time doesn’t work for you, an appointment can be scheduled by calling (612) 626-6002.

Where is the ergonomics showroom?

We are located in Boynton Health, room W-37, on the basement level. To find us:

  • From the main entrance, follow the hallway to the right of the cashier’s desk to the end and take a left to find the west elevator
  • Take the elevator to Level B
  • Turn right out of the elevator and follow signage for the showroom

If you’d prefer to take the stairs, you can also use the Central Staircase down the hallway to the right of the cashier’s desk to go down to Level B.

It can be hard to find us - please ask Boynton staff if you need help, and they can guide you in the right direction.

What do I need to bring to the showroom?

Just yourself - equipment ordering will take place back at your department. The showroom is a tool to help you decide what to purchase, so you won’t need a chart string or a budget set in mind already.

How do I get my equipment?

Our ergonomics team provides suggestions on equipment, and referrals to distributors who you can purchase the equipment from. We will provide you information on how to contact those distributors based on what you select, and you will place your order through them, including price quotes, payment, delivery, installation, and invoicing.

Where do I find ordering information for the equipment I want?

Ordering information for equipment can be found at the following websites, depending on the type of equipment:

The ordering information is found in the product information link next to each item.

How long will it take to get my chair/desk?

On average, 6-8 weeks. Some chairs and desks are available on a shorter time frame, while some may take a bit longer due to higher customization.

What happens once I get my equipment?

The distributor will often help you install or set-up your equipment. For chairs, we have videos on adjustment available. If you need assistance with adjustments, or feel that your equipment isn’t working quite right for you, please call our front desk at (612) 626-6002 to schedule an evaluation - we can come out to your work area and help you get everything set up correctly.

How does the reimbursement process work?

The reimbursement process has 4 basic steps:

  1. You complete an evaluation with one of our ergonomists, or visit the showroom to select new equipment.
  2. Your department orders the equipment from the distributor.
  3. Your equipment is paid for, delivered, and installed.
  4. Your department files online for reimbursement.

To complete the reimbursement, the person completing the form will need:

  • E-mail address of the person who the equipment was purchased for
  • PDF copies of paid invoices for ALL the products you are seeking reimbursement for
  • Department accountant name and e-mail
  • Chart string to be reimbursed

How long does it take to get my reimbursement?

Approximately 4-6 weeks, once it is submitted through our online form. The reimbursement should be returned to the chart string within that time - if you don’t see it after 6 weeks, please contact us at [email protected].

How do I get my cubicle/desk hardware adjusted?

Facilities Maintenance can assist you in adjusting your office space, if possible. Common requests include adjusting/installing clamp-on sit-stand desks, and raising/lowering cubicle desk height.

My chair/desk is broken - what should I do?

If your chair or desk was recently purchased (within the last 2 years or within the distributor’s warranty period), contact the distributor you purchased it from directly for assistance. If your equipment is older than this, Facilities Maintenance may be able to help. Otherwise, replacement may be necessary.

What is the average cost of a new chair? My department has a very small budget

Ergonomic chairs average between $600-$800, and are designed to last 10+ years. While the chair may seem expensive, they are generally far more durable than cheaper options, and preventing ergonomic injuries is far more cost-effective than purchasing cheaper chairs without the necessary adjustments.

Are there low-cost sit-stand desk options?

Sit-stand costs start at approximately $500 now, putting them within reach of a lot more departments. Occasionally, used sit-stand desks will appear at the University ReUse Store. Some low-cost options are also available on our ergonomics blog, though these are not as highly recommended. We recommend scheduling an evaluation to discuss your concerns with one of our ergonomists.

My doctor/chiropractor wrote me a note recommending a sit-stand desk - what should I do with it?

All doctor’s notes must be brought to the Disability Resource Center. They can assist you in gathering documentation, and maintain a higher level of privacy than the ergonomics program. Often, if a doctor has recommended equipment to reduce pain, it can be reimbursed at a 40% rate (versus the standard 20%).

I’m already in a lot of pain - is there anything I can do?

If you believe your pain is directly work-related, work with your supervisor to file a First Report of Injury. Also call (612) 612-6002 to schedule an evaluation. If you have any documentation of an injury or past medical issues (i.e., surgery, car accident, etc.), the Disability Resource Center will process it and assist you as needed.

I’ve been told I should stretch and move more during work. Any ideas?

We have many videos online on stretching, exercise, and stress reduction. You can find them on our ergonomics blog, or on our stretching blog.

Some good places to start include: