Showing posts from September, 2018

Can Ergonomic Interventions Impact Employee Retention?

For HR professionals, employee retention and employee satisfaction are crucial metrics to monitor because employees are asset to the company.  Ergonomic interventions and consultation can absolutely help HR professionals to achieve their metrics in both employee retention and employee satisfaction.  

Do Companies Need To Focus On Equipment Invention To Prevent Injuries?

Many companies believe that ergonomic intervention represents obtaining ergonomic equipment alone. However, this is not true at all! Ergonomic intervention can simply use behavior modification strategies, which mean work posture correction, taking frequent micro-breaks and stretch during break time, and performing self-massage. During the ergonomic evaluation, if workers are willing to follow the instructions to change their work behaviors, companies can save money from deploying equipment that are not necessary for injury prevention

Is Keyboard Tray Designed For Everyone?

For those who are not a proficient typist, keyboard trays will do more harms than goods.  This is because the users would look up and down constantly at their keyboards.  Therefore, it is not a good idea to deploy keyboard trays to those who are not proficient in typing.

Is Using Multiple Monitors Ergonomically Sound?

Nowadays, using two monitors by placing them side-by-side is commonly deployed in organizations.  However, multiple monitors can easily lead to neck rotation, which means neck turning to the side.  This awkward posture can lead to neck injuries, such as neck strain.  One of the best interventions is to maneuver the monitor that is used more frequently to the center and let the one that is not used as frequently to the side. When you need to switch viewing the one that is less frequently used, swivel the one that is not needed at the moment to the other side.  The key principle is to maintain your neck align with your body in order to prevent neck injuries.

Does Working On A Treadmill Makes Sense?

Some workers believe that working while walking on a treadmill can enhance their circulation so that injuries can be prevented. However, this approach might hinder performance.  Since the ultimate goal of ergonomics is optimize performance, walking and working at the same time do not justify the principle of ergonomics.  Therefore, treadmill intervention should not be implemented to prevent injuries.  On the other hand, it might cause injuries because workers might have shifted their focuses on the treadmill instead.
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Does My Chair Fits Me??

Many workers are not aware that their seat pans can be adjusted both forward and backward.  The purpose of the adjustment is to allow their chairs to better fit their body size so that the back of their knees are not touching the seat pan.  When you feel that your chair does not fit your size, first check if you can adjust the seat pan or not.  The mechanism or the flap to adjust the seat pan is usually located on your right-hand side beneath your chair. It can be an easy-fix.  

Ergonomics for Workers with Knee Replacement

For those who have undergone knee replacement, sitting in front of a workstation might not be an option.  Yet, standing for a prolonged period of time could also be an issue.  The optimal solution might be a sit/stand stool with desk height elevated. This intervention can help workers to find a balance between sit and stand while working.

How Do Home Exercises Help Prevent Injuries At Work

Ergonomic interventions should not be confined in office settings.  Homeopathy, such as muscle training, is crucial for injury prevention.  For instance, those who sit for a prolonged period of time at work can do plank exercise at home in order to strengthen their core muscles.  Plank exercise can help strengthen the entire spine so that lower back injuries can be prevented.  If you want to learn more about how to integrate the theories of sports science into ergonomics, check this out:

How Should I Stand While Working

Although sit/stand workstation is commonly deployed nowadays in an office environment, workers are not cognizant about the essence of leveraging a footrest while they are standing.  By placing one foot on a footrest while standing can help reduce the amount of exertion on the lumbar spine.  Thus, back injuries can be prevented. 

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How Should I Sit To Prevent Injuries?

When people talk about proper sitting postures, many of them believe that sitting "up straight", which means 90 degrees is the proper way.  However, sitting "up straight" at 90 degrees might not be ergonomically justified if you must sit for a long period of time due to the sustained exertion on the muscle activities.  Instead, sitting at a recline position at 100 to 110 degrees would be more ergonomically sounded in regards to injury prevention.  Also, I have noticed that majority of people do not sit all the way to the back of the chair.  This behavior could injure the lumbar spine easily because the lumbar spine must sustain the entire upper body weight.  For those, who must sit in an office for most of the 8-work hour day, it is critical to leverage the back support of the chair to prevent lower back injuries.

The Process In Ergonomic Assessment

What Would You Expect During An Ergonomic Assessment

During an ergonomic assessment, here is what you would expect to happen:
1. Employee survey about his or her work/task allocation, perceived discomfort scale, duration of discomfort, workload, work processes for tasks.
2. Photos taken for workstation setup.
3. Measurement of worker's sitting height, keyboard/desk height, monitor height/distance, worker's anthropometric data, etc.
4. Observation of ergonomic risk factors/documentation of the risk factors and their sources.
5. Initial adjustment to reduce the risk factors that the worker is being exposed. s://
6. Detailed report of the assessment with recommended ergonomic intervention.
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The Essence of Taking Micro-Break During Your Work Sessions

Throughout my ergonomic consulting career, I have noticed that many workers have injured themselves due to awkward work postures, failure in leveraging the back support of their chairs, and improper equipment usage.  Yet, the most common issue that majority of the workers have practiced is related to their failure in taking sufficient micro-break time.  For instance, majority of workers do not take breaks until they need to use the rest room or grab a cup of water.  These behaviors have exposed them to the risk of sustained exertion from sitting or standing.  Based on the general principle, workers should take a micro two-minute break every 40 to 45 minutes of their work sessions.  Further, they should perform stretching exercises during break time in order to enhance circulation.  Stretching promote healing and micro-circulation that can prevent injuries.  Therefore, taking frequent micro-breaks and stretch during break time…