From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

More Readers Respond To ‘Ergonomics Is Not About Stretching’ Commentary

A commentary by Peter Budnick concluding that stretching exercise programs are not ergonomics continues to generate controversy (Commentary: Ergonomics Is Not About Stretching Programs — Reprint). Below are two more comments we’ve received from readers.

I hope Peter Budnick pursues this issue – it’s one that is very difficult for many to accept. There are two important but quite separate issues here.

Firstly, even if it were effective, is it ergonomics? It is important to reassert ‘ergonomics’ as expressed in the title of Kroemer & Grandjean’s book — ‘Fitting the task to the person’. Not every workplace intervention is ‘ergonomics’, and it is clear that some of your correspondents have presumed that they are.

Secondly, is it effective? There are lots of assertions, but each time I or one of my graduate students have reviewed the literature, we have not found evidence to support the efficacy of either stretching or exercises.

The application of intervention strategies that are neither ergonomic, nor effective, and labelling them ‘ergonomics’, debases the discipline and the profession, and provides fuel for those who criticise ergonomics as ‘junk science’.

Associate Professor
Centre for Ergonomics and Human Factors
School of Human Biosciences
La Trobe University
Melbourne, Australia

While reading the associated articles and comments about discussion which is the importance of the program of exercises in a total process in ergonomics for the companies, I can only reject reverse of the hand the remarks of Peter Budnick. As a professional, I consider that the programs of exercises are one of the most effective tools. Is not the ultimate solution, but a complement with our interventions. They allow the employees, to better manage their discomforts all while maintaining their tasks of work (management tools). Over one year period a reduction marked in the incidents and accidents were observed. It is true that we cannot directly associate this reduction in incidents/accidents with the programs of exercises, but I can you suggest that without this program, this reduction would not have been marked. It is appropriate of it that all good program of ergonomics for a company, must as much lay the accent on our interventions, our formations, our programs of sensitization and responsabilisation and also all the programs centered on health at the work, from where the program of exercise if finds.

Danny B