Ergonomics Today

August 14, 2012

The Complex Spine: Understanding and Preventing Low Back Pain and Disorders

Peter Budnick reviews an important research article written by well-known ergonomics researcher William Marras. In this seminal paper, Marras summarizes the state of our understanding of the factors that contribute to low back pain and disorders, charts a course for future research, and recommends that ergonomics practitioners, among other things, take a broader systems approach that goes beyond traditional physical loading risk analysis to include mental and wellness components. According to Marras, "... one needs to consider the social, occupational, spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional, financial, mental, and medical aspects of the environment if one is to truly minimize the risk of low-back problems."
August 2, 2012

Research: A Circadian Rhythms Based Work Scheduling for High Voltage Live Line Electricians

Brazilian researchers Buarque de Macedo Guimar
August 2, 2012

Study: Night Shift Impacts on Productivity and Health

In this study, reviewed by contributor Tim Villnave and republished from The Ergonomics Report, researcher J Arendt suggests that while night work may have its advantages, his review of the literature indicates there is a price to pay relative to work productivity and personal health.
July 26, 2012

Force? Repetition? Posture? Duration? Which Risk Factors are Most Important in MSDs?

Risk factors that contribute to or cause MSDs have long been debated by ergonomics professionals and researchers. Peter Budnick reviews the findings of recent research that hones in on the cause-and-effect relationships between certain physical ergonomics risk factors and work-related MSDs, offering opinions on the importance of this science, as well as the need for the ergonomics marketplace to strengthen its MSD assessment tools, and perhaps more important, grow its value proposition beyond MSDs.
July 26, 2012

Examples: Rehabilitation Ergonomics in Action

In this article, which originally in The Ergonomics Report, Don Bloswick, a professor in in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Utah, shares a variety of creative rehabilitation ergonomics applications he and his students have developed, including a tricycle designed to provide leg exercises for children with Cerebral Palsy (CP); an off-road walker allowing children with CP greater outdoor mobility; a wheelchair track device that allows wheelchair users to navigate on sand, snow and other rough terrain; foot and arm-lever propelled wheelchairs; and a paragliding system for people with disabilities. If you think ergonomics is only about preventing musculoskeletal injuries, this will open your eyes to new horizons.
July 18, 2012

Researchers Identify Dose-Response Relationship Between ACGIH Hand Activity Level TLV and Risk of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

A new study by Italian and USA researchers claim to have found a dose-response relationship between the ACGIH TLV
July 18, 2012

Ergonomics – It’s Still the Right Thing to Do

In this article, reprinted from The Ergonomics Report, contributor Phil Jacobs makes the case that ergonomics is the right thing to do.
July 12, 2012

Sitting On Office Chairs – Are We Doing It All Wrong?

In this reprint from The Ergonomics Report, Tim Villnave reviews an article by Nigel Corlett that challenges the pervasive views about optimal sitting posture. Is sitting with a 90 degree hip angle really a good idea?
July 11, 2012

Research Review: Force and Repetition Combine to Affect MSD Risk

Force and repetition are two well-known risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Contributor Sean Gallagher shares the key points and findings resulting from a recent review of scientific articles he and study co-author John Heberger performed. They note that many current ergonomic tools and guidelines consider the factor of repetition to have the same impact on MSD risk no matter the level of force involved. However, their review, published in the journal Human Factors, indicates that it may be the way these two factors are combined that is most important in the development of MSDs.
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