Ergonomic Misconceptions Widespread, Even Among Professionals

Grand Haven, MI, November 07, 2008 --( Most office furniture is designed to be comfortable for people of average height. Does that put very tall and very short people at equally high risk of discomfort? Most people in charge of office ergonomics thought so. But actually, short people (under 5’6”) are far more likely to be hurt or injured by average-size office furnishings. A wealth of information that can guide ergonomics efforts is available when the right questions are asked.

Traditionally, Atlas experts ask employees to fill out online surveys on their work stations, their understanding of appropriate furniture set-up, and their own discomfort. This information provides valuable insight into on-the-job risk factors and how to lessen their impact.

Recently, Atlas compared results of 2441 randomly-drawn employee surveys to data from questioning 80 health, safety and ergonomics professionals at the 2007 National Ergonomics Conference and Exposition (NECE). In addition to the question about risks relative to height, the professionals were also asked their opinions on risks faced in different jobs; by people of different ages, weights and genders; and by those using different types of furniture.

Comparing the employee experiences with the professionals’ opinions data pointed to some unexpected misconceptions, enlightening data, and useful recommendations on corrective, risk-reducing measures. The fact is, understanding the real risks faced by different workers can dramatically reduce on-the-job injuries, which can drastically reduce treatment, rehabilitation and insurance costs, along with productivity losses.

Atlas now offers the first of three separate white papers based on this multi-faceted research. The first paper highlights the relationship between employee demographics and work-related discomfort. Recommendations and conclusions provided in the report are designed to help anyone addressing ergonomics concerns in the office environment. In certain cases, opinions and approaches may be validated and justified; in many cases, it is clear that the current opinions held by many professionals need to be modified to achieve maximal success in reducing injuries.

A copy of the white paper is available for free from Atlas Ergonomics by requesting a copy of the document at

About Atlas Ergonomics, LLC
Atlas Ergonomics, LLC is a leading ergonomic service and technology provider, helping customers reduce the spiraling costs of work related injuries within industrial, office, commercial transportation, public transit, and healthcare environments. Atlas guides clients to financially evaluate and define the appropriate strategy, and offers services that are uniquely simple, measurable, and cost effective. Atlas Ergonomics provides turnkey support through a nationwide network of providers or can assist corporate resources with the necessary training and technology. Atlas Ergonomics is located in Grand Haven, Michigan, and additional information can be found at

Atlas Ergonomics, LLC
James Landsman