Wellness programs: Companies expand wellness programs to rein in health care costs – chicagotribune.com

By gildalit

Wellness programs: Companies expand wellness programs to rein in health care costs – chicagotribune.com.

categoriaergonomics commentoNo Comments dataNovember 14th, 2010
Read All

Ergonomic Tips You won’t Find in Any Ergonomics Book

By gildalit

"ergonomic tips"

The ergocloud

Brief introduction:

The following ergonomic tips list is the result of extensive fieldwork conducted with thousands of computer users. Following these tips carefully can help prevent severe orthopedic problems and provide an immediate relief from existing pains.

1. When sitting in front of a computer screen, the most important thing (and one unknown by most) is providing support for the forearms while typing and using a mouse. Sadly, most computer users tend to type with their arms hanging in the air without support. This creates a massive load on the shoulder belt and lower back.

2. The solution? Supporting your forearms by resting them on the armrests or on the desk, or using a padded forearms support device attached to the table.

3. How to position the forearms should be decided in accordance with existing equipment. If the chair arms are uncomfortable to use, not adjustable and padded, do not use them. If your desk is narrow and doesn’t allow you to place your entire forearms comfortably, do not place them on the desk. In such cases, the best solution is putting the forearms on a wide padded surface that connects to the desk.

4. Correct sitting height is critical. Make sure your shoulder belt is relaxed when resting your forearms. Sitting at the wrong height causes you to lift or bend your shoulders and puts a significant burden on the shoulder belt.

5. Be sure to work with the screen directly in front of you, a screen located sideways might quickly cause a cervical disc herniation.

6. A computer screen positioned too high might cause severe neck problems. Make sure the upper frame of the screen is at eye level.

7. Free leg space to allow for comfortable sitting – relocate any accessories (such as computer box, wastebasket, bags) located where your legs are supposed to be.

8. Using a keyboard drawer is not recommended. Keyboard drawers get in the way of your legs and afford no support for your forearms.

9. Be sure not to place any accessory where it can interfere with the mouse movement. Moving the mouse should be a large scope movement, performed from the shoulder joint, and not a small wrist movement.

10. Check your vision often. Impaired vision causes neck distortions and might build enormous pressures on the neck as a compensation for the inability to see well.

11. It’s recommended to place the phone on the opposite side of the typing and mouse moving hand.

12. It is recommended to maintain a sitting posture that is as dynamic and symmetrical as possible, i.e. without a back rest, crossing legs once on the left and once on the right, sitting on a fitness ball or a knees stool.

13. Make sure the computer screen, keyboard and mouse’s cables are long enough and as loose as possible, so you can position them according to your need. Many computer users arrange their work station in accordance with existing constraints, without even trying to correct the problem.

14. Choose a desk with a lot of leg space, and as little leg interference or lower storage as possible. Your desk should allow for a comfortable sitting posture and the possibility of performing stretching exercises while working.

categoriaergonomics commento4 Comments dataJanuary 20th, 2010
Read All

Can an investment in ergonomics save money for the organization/ prove to be cost effective?

By gildalit

ergonomic accessories

Gil Ben Tovim ergonomic consultant

Many organizations hesitate to embark into what they see as the stormy waters of ergonomics, fearing that they will face purchasing costly ergonomic accessories, or that employees will start demanding special chairs, keyboards, mice, desks and so on.

Is their fear justified? By all means no!

As an ergonomic consultant to numerous organizations, I am often called to examine and give advice for existing workstations, only to find faulty ergonomic planning. Surprisingly, it is the actually at work stations boasting special design and laden with expensive accessories where we find problems.

For example: an expensive executive chair that does not fit its user, or is badly proportioned to the desk, or a desk that doesn’t allow for resting your legs comfortably, or a desk that is too large for the room’s dimensions or a large size ergonomic keyboard that does no fit the user.

My job as an ergonomic consultant is to provide the functional solution, meaning that as far as I’m concerned, a wide desk with appropriate leg room will provide a better solution than an expensive, designer table that does not allow for a comfortable sitting posture. Likewise, a chair that fits both the desk and the user’s body proportions will be a much better solution than a fancy, expensive executive chair that is out of proportion with the user’s body or the desk.

Equipment that is suitable and adjusted to the employee will certainly prevent discomfort or bodily injuries in the future.

In many companies that use my ergonomic consulting services we actually witnessed a decrease in demands for a chair replacement, because when you provide the employee with the proper guidance on how to adjust his or her chair and organize the workstation in a proper ergonomic way, work comfort and usage experience are enhanced.

True, sometimes there’s a need to replace some of the equipment, but at least the new equipment is directed to where it’s really needed, the acquisition is budgeted and prioritized and is nor a half baked random purchase that  eventually might be discovered to be unnecessary.

In many companies I have come across foot rests thrown in the room, unused keyboard gel pads, superfluous monitor stands, etc.

As you see, solid ergonomic advice not only saves you money and renders good ROI in the long term! It can reimburse the expense almost immediately.

categoriaergonomics commentoNo Comments dataDecember 21st, 2009
Read All

Are people around the world familiar with the term “ergonomics”

By gildalit

ergonomics pain

ergonomics pain

In Israel, most people are not really familiar with the term “ergonomics”. Many even tend to confuse “ergonomia” (that’s how we call ergonomics in Hebrew) with “agronomia” (agronomy – i.e. the science of agriculture).

As an ergonomic advisor, I am frequently at a loss when I have to present ergonomics during face to face meetings or when planning for an advertisement. What would be the best way? Should I explain that ergonomics is “human engineering”, should I talk about the human-machine interface, or about the creation and maintenance of a healthy work environment or should I perhaps explain that it is the study of how pain is caused by faulty work habits?

Almost anyone spending their working hours in front of a computer suffers at some point or another from discomfort and pain. Therefore, believing it would be a fantastic ad, an excellent marketing writing piece that will certainly send clients rushing straight to their phone to get in touch with me, I recently posted an email advertisement titled “Ergonomics – computer pains”.

Well, I did get a lot of calls…. but most of the callers contacted me because their computer was faulty, and not as a result of the pains they themselves were suffering…

This short episode is a very good example of the current state of affairs in Israel – the computer is more important than the human body. Computer users have yet to grasp the causal connection existing between a non-ergonomic working environment and physical pain or incapacitation.

As an ergonomics advisor living and working in Israel, I hear about colleagues abroad and understand their situation seems to be much better. In other countries, I’m told, people know what the term ergonomics means and large companies and organizations show more awareness to ergonomics in general.

I do not know whether those stories are true or exaggerated, but I would welcome inputs from others around the world.

So do tell me, how are things at your end of the pond?

categoriaergonomics commentoNo Comments dataDecember 1st, 2009
Read All