12 May 2015
In nearly all occupations computer time makes up a significant portion of the work day. This is especially true for knowledge workers, who generally complete their work in an office environment. With the large proportion of work time dedicated to computer use, much of this relates to interaction with the mouse to perform various actions.
28 October 2014
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.
10 October 2014
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.
25 September 2014
The new mother sits in her rocking chair cradling her infant in her arms, gazing lovingly down at her sleeping babe: The picture perfect scenario of the joy of motherhood.
However, I would fathom a guess that this mother is also likely in pain.
18 September 2014
Last week, Alberta was treated to an unexpected early snowfall. While we are fortunate that winter conditions have reverted back to a typical, warm, Western Canadian September we were reminded of the coming winter conditions and the impact they have on our work operations. In outdoor construction work and trades-person work in cold winter conditions, there are a number of discomforts and issues that can be aggravated by the cold.
05 August 2014
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?
13 June 2014
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.
04 June 2014
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.
24 April 2014
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.
17 April 2014
In recent weeks, we have outlined why hiring and involving a certified, properly trained and qualified ergonomist is beneficial to your company. However, this isn’t to say that training staff at your company in ergonomics will not provide a benefit.
Ergonomics has evolved over time. No longer is it an “expert-based” approach, where the ergonomist controls all aspects of the ergonomics program. While such an approach is effective at recognizing risk factors and providing some guidelines for operations, making meaningful changes to improve the work condition and reduce injuries requires a deeper level of understanding. Workplace issues and injuries are multifactored, involving physical, psychosocial and organizational components. An external expert, no matter how qualified, cannot truly understand all of these aspects on their own. Instead, they need to rely on the knowledge and expertise of employees, supervisors and managers at the workplace to provide insights to add to their own technical and scientific expertise. Generally, this type of ergonomics program is titled “Participatory Ergonomics”.