Something to Celebrate
October is National Ergonomics Month. The importance of ergonomics in our daily lives is invaluable. Remember, October is National Ergonomics Month. So take a few minutes each day to correct your posture, take frequent rest breaks, stretch, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Think of a typical day. Your alarm clock buzzes and you roll out of your posturepedic bed. You sit on the edge of the bed to stretch- to get the blood flowing after lying for 8-10 hours. You step into your shower to lift and twist the one knob with no need to use a forceful grip or repetitive twisting to get the warm water pulsating on your body. After showering you grab the angled tooth brush that allows you to reach further into the back of your mouth without twisting and turning your wrist into awkward postures. You grab your light weight blow dryer with the curved handle rubber grip and your wide handle brush to style your hair. You’re dressed and ready for the day.
It’s off to work. You grab your laptop bag, with the wheels—it reduces the lifting and carrying that would otherwise be part of your morning routine. The alarm to your car opens the doors. You fire up your engine- you adjust your seat with the lumbar support to fit the curve in your lower back, you adjust your chair because you are wearing longer heels today. You adjust the steering wheel because your chair has just been adjusted; you also adjust your driver and rearview mirrors. One last tweak—press the defog button on your control panel—the button that is within arm’s reach— and your ready to go!
At the office, you settle into your ergonomically correct chair, the one with those adjustable features. You’ve adjusted your chair because the heels on your shoes are longer today and you feel uncomfortable in your chair. You turn on the computer. It’s equipped with an anti glare monitor reducing glare from the overhead lighting, adjustable keyboard tray and a thin keyboard.
Does this sound familiar? Truth is, we use so many products without realizing how much brainpower went into their design, all so that we could enjoy, be safer and more comfortable in our daily life. If it does that means that you are aware of the importance of ergonomics and you have incorporated it in your home and office. That’s why an organization called Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) has named October National Ergonomics Month. According to Jeanie Croasmun, writing in Ergonomics Today, “HFES hopes you’ll recognize what ergonomics has added to your work and personal life and take a minute, or the whole month of October, to celebrate it.” While Ms. Croasmun admits it’s not really a “Champaign-popping event” it’s a means of building awareness for ergonomics and what the study of ergonomics means to our society.
What is ergonomics? The term “ergonomics” is derived from two Greek words: “ergon,” meaning work and “nomoi,” meaning natural laws. Ergonomics studies: Posture, for example most workers spend a full day sitting as part of the job. Poor posture adds to the pressure placed on the lower back thus leading to back pain. Workers are too busy doing their job and don’t realize they are slouching or slumping. A new office chair design reduces musculoskeletal disorders by seating workers positions that will facilitate good posture.
The warehouse floor is also a hot spot for work place injuries. Manufacturers spend untold millions on worker’s compensation claims, defending lawsuits, and temporarily replacing an injured worker. Some firms hire consulting companies who specialize in improving the quality of life in the workplace through ergonomics. One such company, Work Smart with Ergonomics, Inc. of Miami Gardens, Florida, has creates company specific workplace injury and ergonomic training programs for local companies and government agencies. Employees who type repeatedly or sit all day or employees that must lift and bend are especially prone to injury. Smart firms provide proper training to their employees and not just “generic videos” to drive home training. For example if the employees are required to lift, photos are taken in the work area; a training program is design around the employee’s specific risk or problems areas. This type of precise training gives the employer more value and return in revenue, productivity, fewer worker’s compensation claims because the employees are able to relate to their own daily task and are to see the way they are really working improperly.
The importance of ergonomics in our daily lives is invaluable. Remember, October is National Ergonomics Month. So take a few minutes each day to correct your posture, take frequent rest breaks, stretch, and maintain a healthy life style.
Work Smart with Ergonomics Inc., Miami Gardens, Fla., provides training, seminars and workplace injury prevention and wellness products (posters, tip sheets and booklets) related to office and industrial ergonomics. Created in 2002 by Kay Richardson, an occupational therapist assistant and certified ergonomic assessment specialist, the company consults with corporations, government agencies and entrepreneurs to create a safer workplace and reduce insurance claims and medical costs. Work Smart with Ergonomics Inc., is a Certified Minority/Woman Business Enterprise.
To learn more, contact Kay Richardson at 786-306-5005 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the company’s new Website (www.worksmarterergo.com).