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Open Access Articles

May 13, 2020

Preparing Employees for a Return-to-Work

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many employees to stay home, and others to work reduced schedules. This extended time away from work may result in some […]
February 6, 2020

How to Design Ergonomics into the Workplace

“Designing in” workplace ergonomics is viewed as an integral part of an effective ergonomics process.  Non-office workplace environments are constantly changing – and new ergonomics challenges […]
December 16, 2019

Ergonomics Standards and Guidelines

Here’s a list of ergonomics standards, guidelines, regulations and compliance resources. It was last updated on January 29, 2020. The list is comprehensive, but we’ve surely […]
November 18, 2019

Managing an Ergonomics Improvement Process

Managing ergonomics at a site requires a lot of planning, coordination, and communication.  An effective ergonomics improvement initiative relies on contributions of people throughout the organization […]
November 4, 2019

How to Develop a Site Ergonomics Plan

A well constructed site ergonomics plan is critical for ensuring that everyone involved in the ergonomics process understands what needs to occur, and who is responsible […]
December 11, 2013

Reliability of Postural Observations in Ergonomic Assessments

This is important research for anyone who performs observational postural assessments. Researchers Bao, Howard, Spielholz, Silverstein, and Polissar conducted a study designed to investigate interrater reliability -- the ability of different observers/assessors to reach the same conclusions when visually estimating posture. Their results indicate that the nature of the assessment tool, large angle categories vs. small angle categories in particular, and the experience and training of the assessor can have significant impacts on reliability.
November 5, 2013

The Effect of Key Spacing on Typing Speed, Error, Usability and Biomechanics

A team of researchers studied various center-to-center key spacing on computer keyboards to investigate whether current keyboard design standards are conducive to typing performance (speed, error rates), usability, and forearm biomechanics. Current keyboard design standards, oddly, are not based on human performance data, and this study is one of the few that takes a human-centered ergonomics approach to the ubiquitous computer keyboard. Their findings will impact future keyboard design standards, and bring credibility to the phrase "I fat-fingered it," a common explanation for keyboard related errors. Could this study also begin to lay a foundation for different sized keyboards for different sized people?
June 18, 2013

Study Links Mobile Hand-Held Devices with Musculoskeletal Symptoms

Canadian researchers Berolo, Wells and Amick performed an epidemiological study to investigate the prevalence of upper body musculoskeletal pain in mobile device users. According to the researchers, "this is the first study to provide empirical evidence of relationships between mobile device use and musculoskeletal symptoms of the upper extremity and neck." Further, "our results show a consistent relationship between mobile device use and pain in the ..."
June 5, 2013

Experts Speak Out for Erring as a Strategy

In this reprint from The Ergonomics Report, journalist Jennifer Anderson interviews experts who make a case for error making as a strategy for learning, innovation and progress. Few people are willing to risk a trial-and-error approach to problem solving and decision making, yet some experts insist it is the soundest strategy.
May 16, 2013

Preferred Setups for Large Computer Displays and Side-by-Side Dual Display Arrangements

In this reprint from The Ergonomics Report Archives, Peter Budnick reviews a study that investigated workstation settings, including display distance, height, tilt and keyboard height for larger displays (up to 27 in.) and dual display setups. This is an important contribution to our understanding of these increasingly common display sizes and arrangements.
May 2, 2013

What a Little Ergonomic Light Can Do

In this reprint from The Ergonomics Report Archives, Jeanie Croasmun suggests improved productivity, better moods and reduced error rates are just a few of the benefits of adding more ergonomic lighting to the workplace. Experts discuss how and why lighting can affect almost every aspect of the workplace, and especially the bottom line.
April 9, 2013

Multi-Tasking and Performance – Most People are NOT Supertaskers

This reprint from The Ergonomics Report reviews studies investigating multi-tasking that found that people are generally limited to performing two mental tasks at any given time; that most people exhibit performance decrements under multi-task conditions; a small percentage of people, labeled "supertaskers," are able to perform two tasks at a time without any performance degradation (sorry, but chances are, you're not one of them).