Ergonomics, Health & Wellness

March 13, 2013

We Told Them to Lift with Their Legs, But They Just Won’t Listen!

Common wisdom says we should lift with our legs, not our backs. Some companies mistakenly base much of their ergonomics strategy on training employees to "lift with your legs." This research study sheds light on why many people typically don't lift with their knees, and instead use a back-lift strategy. In this article, reprinted from The Ergonomics Report, study reviewer Peter Budnick offers his thoughts on how companies can apply this new knowledge.
December 20, 2012

Ergonomics Inspired Reference and Training Manual Aims to Cut Gun Fatalities

In this reprint from The Ergonomics Report, the late Hal Hendrick is interviewed by journalist Jennifer Anderson regarding a forthcoming book he had co-authored, "Human Factors Issues in Handgun Safety and Forensics." As the gun violence debate erupts in the USA following the senseless and tragic deaths of 20 innocent children and 6 adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary school, we reflect on the role that Ergonomics and Human Factors can -- and should -- play in the prevention of unnecessary gun related deaths, injuries, as well as any regulations that may follow.
November 30, 2012

Body Mass Index Related to Musculoskeletal Discomfort and Job Stress (Reprint)

In this reprint from The Ergonomics Report, Gene Kay and Peter Budnick review a research article summarizing the findings of a team of researchers from India that performed a study looking at various associations between body mass index BMI, musculoskeletal discomfort, and occupational stress among computer workers. Their results add to the growing understanding that being overweight can have a significant effect on musculoskeletal discomfort and occupational stress measures.
August 22, 2012

Wellness: Why Ergonomists Need to Get Involved (Reprint)

In this article, reprinted from The Ergonomics Report, guest contributor Jill Kelby makes a case for ergonomists need to at least educate themselves, if not become actively involved, in emerging government initiatives wrapped around the concept of "wellness." As she explains, initiatives by the USA based NIOSH and NPC (National Prevention Council) appear to be co-opting ergonomics terminology and methods under the banner of "wellness," yet her research suggests that ergonomists have not been included or consulted in the development of these initiatives. She makes a case for why it should concern you, as well, and calls ergonomists to action.
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.
January 25, 2012

The Trouble with RULA (Rapid Upper Limb Assessment)

RULA (Rapid Upper Limb Assessment) is an assessment method often discussed and applied by occupational ergonomists. In this article, reprinted from The Ergonomics Report Archives, Ergoweb's Peter Budnick reviews the popular method, recognizing its strengths, but also noting that it has limitations and can be -- and perhaps often is -- horribly misapplied, misrepresented, and misinterpreted without adequate training, experience, and professional perspective.
June 4, 2002

Commentary: Ergonomics Is Not About Stretching Programs–Reprint

I hear about stretching exercise programs being used as an ergonomics intervention, and it causes me to pause. Is a program based on stretching exercises really an effective and valid ergonomics approach? My answer is "no," for two reasons.
December 26, 2001

Control Strategies: Engineering, Administrative and PPE

The creation of control options depends on the experience and imagination of the analyst. Although specific solutions vary, there is a standard thought process that can be applied.