n Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa - An ergonomic evaluation of workstations in small-scale cybercafes in Nigeria

Volume 22, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1010-2728



This paper presents a survey of cybercafes in a developing country to reveal their design pitfalls and propose appropriate solutions to the observed problems based on ergonomic principles. These cybercafes provide Internet services to communities but the concern is to make the work convenient at the computer workplace and comfortable at work thus reducing the risk of musculoskeletal injury and minimising energy expended at work. A survey was conducted in fourteen cybercafes using questionnaires, personal interviews and actual field measurements. Ergonomic analysis revealed that cybercafe chairs are the major pitfalls of the café design : they are often too short with no arm rests and with insufficient backrests. Chairs are also stationary as opposed to being mobile with rollers. Customers' leg positioning under the table is restricted and the workspace is too small. Also, the top of computer monitors often is above eye level for an average height customer. Since very little documentation exists on the subject in developing countries, the work opens a gate of opportunities for those in the cybercafé business with financial constraints to implement standard designs. The work also complements the dearth of expertise in the area since many towns in Nigeria do not have the required expertise for cybercafé design and construction.

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