About Medical Ergonomics

MHealthy Medical Ergonomics provides guidance and assistance at the worksite to facilitate a successful match between the faculty or staff member's abilities and the work tasks being performed. An occupational therapist will identify employee strategies and accommodations to optimize work capacities, and can implement a trial of those solutions at the worksite in collaboration with the department. Issues addressed include musculoskeletal discomfort and limitations in mobility, coordination, strength, vision, hearing, memory and organizational skills. These individual services for faculty and staff are available at no charge, through a physician's referral.

Once a physician’s referral is received, an occupational therapist will review the pertinent medical history, complete a worksite consultation and determine what is medically necessary and reasonable as guided by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  We consult with content experts including the ADA coordinator for guidance when needed and work collaboratively with departments and employees. Our recommendation include equipment or modifications for the department to provide as well as strategies the employee can use to optimize their performance in the workplace.

Request an Ergonomic Consult

Employees should complete the Ergonomic Evaluation Request Form.


What is Ergonomics?
Ergonomics is the science of designing work environments and processes for the people who use them.
What Risk Factors can be Reduced by Ergonomics Awareness
Ergonomics focuses on identifying and reducing six important risk factors:
  1. Awkward postures
  2. Repetitive motion or sustained postures
  3. Excessive force
  4. Contact stress
  5. Vibration
  6. Temperature extremes
Why Do We Have an Ergonomics Awareness Program?
We recognize that minimizing pain and injuries helps improve health and productivity. U-M is dedicated to enhancing the health and safety of the faculty and staff community.
MHealthy is helping to efficiently mobilize our ergonomics expertise, develop new awareness programs, coordinate efforts among management and staff, and offer subsidized consultations for employees under a physician’s care for issues that may have workplace ergonomic implications.
What Does the Ergonomics Awareness Program Do?
The program helps increase faculty and staff awareness of, access to, and the effectiveness of ergonomic resources within the U-M community. The program helps departments and employees apply ergonomic principles to everyday work practices.
Ergonomic principles focus on three strategies:
  • Education/training in how to work safely, comfortably and efficiently
  • Design of the work environment
  • Design of work processes   
The Ergonomics Awareness Program includes all three strategies to maximize the health and productivity of our workforce, decrease rates of injury and minimize workplace discomfort.     
What Programs and Services Does the Ergonomics Awareness Program Offer?
The Ergonomics Team provides a combination of education and ergonomic consultations to minimize the effects of ergonomic risk factors on our health and productivity and to help us emphasize personal responsibility for safe behavior and environmental factors within our control.
Is There a Cost to the Departments?
There is no cost to departments or individuals for the self-help tools on the websites, the awareness materials, or the consultation time of our ergonomic experts. If equipment changes are needed as part of an intervention, we will work to identify solutions with the department’s leadership.
Where Can I Find More Information?
Explore this website to learn how to identify risk factors that are within your control, and improve your work habits, techniques, processes and equipment set up. By understanding more about risk factors and minimizing them through self-management techniques and effective safety behavior, you can reduce the risk of injuries and enhance comfort, productivity and job satisfaction.
Who Are the Providers of Ergonomics Services, and Who Do We Call with Questions?

The Ergonomics Awareness team combines the efforts of ergonomic consultants from the following programs:

Campus Programs for Injury Prevention and Departmental Interventions

UMHHC Injury Prevention and Departmental Interventions (available to U-M hospitals and health centers only)

For faculty and staff who are under a physician’s care for musculoskeletal discomfort