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ergonomics

Product Review – MotionHeat Rechargeable Heated Glove Liners by Power in Motion

The key to effective intervention for cold-related finger/hand pain may be maintenance of hand and finger temperature during work operations. However, hand actions and the use of specialized safety gloves, which have limited insulation, are likely to result in constant heat loss from the hands. A method to provide heat energy for the hands and fingers might be a more effective intervention.

Heated gloves have been commercially available for a long time, but in most instances these gloves are inappropriate for industrial work. They are often too bulky, or they have wiring that restricts movement and can create performance/safety issues. Furthermore, commercial models have the heating units in the palms of the gloves, and have limited mechanisms to heat or warm the fingers – which is of primary importance to prevention/abatement of symptoms.

Fortunately, there is a locally-available product that has overcome these issues. Power In Motion’s MotionHeat Rechargable Heated Glove Liners.

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Stability Balls, Exercise Balls and ‘Fitness Orbs’ in the Office

Using stability balls in place of an office chair is common in many offices. As Ergonomists, we are often approached by employers to provide advice and policies regarding whether stability balls should be used for seating in the office. This week on the blog, we have decided to outline our view on this topic. We review the importance of certain office chair features, and the corresponding concerns we have over prolonged use of stability balls.

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Using object sizing rather than weighing the object to determine safe lift limits

As discussed in a previous blog post, many provinces across Canada are aiming legislation at the reduction of musculoskeletal disorders (http://ewiworks.com/news/post.php?s=2014-03-28-occupational-musculoskeletal-injuries-and-ergonomists).  Many of the regulations that are in place take aim at manual handling, including Part 14 of the Alberta OHS Code.

One of the most common questions Ergonomists receive around manual materials handling is, “How much can someone safely lift?”  The answer to that question is dependent on a number of variables, including: how often is the lift occurring, what are the start and finish height of the lift, how far the object is from the person, and how easy it is for the person to grasp the object.  A professional Ergonomist can assist in determining the safe lift limit based on this criteria.

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Parenting Ergonomics: "Burping Wrist"

So what does an ergonomist think about in the wee hours of the morning while nursing her newborn?  Ergonomics, of course. As a diehard “ergo nerd” I find it hard to turn off my inclination to analyze everything around me, attempting to optimize performance and reduce injury risk. So why not parenting? I think that there can be a lot of lessons learned: from MMH (manual mini-me handling), to applying ergonomic design principles on the nursery layout, to using my personal anthropometrics in design of the nursery and selecting furniture.  These were things I thought about before our first child was born.  What I didn’t anticipate, however, was developing musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs). Over a series of blog posts (keep an eye for updates under “Parenting Ergonomics” in the coming weeks and months), I would like to review some of my experiences and specific MSI issues related to parenting.

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Stretching for Neck Discomfort

Neck discomfort is a common ailment of computer users. It is not uncommon for me to hear reports of neck pain, and/or pain across the shoulders when working with clients employed in an office-based job.
Well, what can be done about this?

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Product Review: Lifefrom 6780 Eclipse High Back Chair with Core-Flex technology

Product Review: Lifefrom 6780 Eclipse High Back Chair with Core-Flex technology

I have been using the Lifeform 6780 Eclipse High back chair for approximately three months and I’d like to share my user experience. The key feature I’d like to emphasize is the Core-Flex technology seat pan that I had retrofitted to the chair. This feature entails a split in Lifefrom’s traditional contoured seat pan that, “adds a small range of natural motion to stimulate core muscles, improves comfort and increases circulation.” Lifeform’s motive behind the design is to promote movement while sitting. Core-Flex technology claims certain benefits such as: preventing cramping in legs, promotion of circulation, increases in metabolic rate, and increased pelvic tilting and core muscular engagement. However, these claims require stringent testing with biometric equipment to verify the benefits.

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Ergonomics for the changing demands on health care workers

Ergonomics for the changing demands on health care workers

Recent statistics show that health care demands are set to increase with a substantial proportion of the ‘baby boomer’ population moving into retirement age. This will lead to two outcomes: 1) increased demand on health care providers in hospitals and clinics, and 2) to deal with the increasing demands, more sharing information through Healthcare Information Technology (HIT), 3) more care tasks will be sent to homecare workers to offset demands on clinical professionals. In this post I will outline how ergonomists and human factors experts can help to deal with these items.

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Compressed Work Weeks - Considering Health and Wellness

Compressed Work Weeks - Considering Health and Wellness

Balancing work and life outside of the job can present challenges. Outside of the job, employees may need to respond to family needs and commitments, continuing education, personal interests and goals, and many other items. Providing an employee with strategies to maintain their workplace commitments and productivity while also giving increased latitude to manage outside commitments and interests can be an important non-financial benefit for employers.

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Are green buildings delivering on the promise of improved occupant satisfaction?

Are green buildings delivering on the promise of improved occupant satisfaction?

Over the past decade there has been a significant increase in the number of buildings that integrate green building, maintenance and operational practices.  Many of the drivers to support such initiatives have included:  reduced energy consumption, lower emissions, reduced impact on the natural environment and improved occupant satisfaction.  With many buildings now fully occupied and operational, are green buildings resulting in improved occupant satisfaction?

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Returning to work after a concussion

Concussion awareness is much higher in light of better knowledge, recognition of the symptoms and prevalence, and coverage in news and sports. A concussion is predominately associated with a blunt force to the head; however, it may also be caused as a result of trauma to any part of the body which can transmit linear and angular reaction forces to the head.

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