The word ergonomic is the study of the interaction between individuals, machines or appliances in their environment that can affect their performance and productivity.
The purpose of Ergonomic is to assess the interaction, or relationship between each component for determining optimum improvement in performance. Ergonomic therefore examines the relationship between three elements: the individual, the equipment, the environment and how they can be improved.
So what does this mean you may ask?
Ergonomic is usually the focus of work as in employment performance, largely in relation to the operation of machines /equipment in the employment environment. However, in view of the current economic climate, where there is a growing shift in the employment environment toward self-employment performance activities. These activities are largely situated within the home environment, where there is less regulation over manual handling and movement education.
This new area of home-office performance needs closer monitoring through ergonomic awareness and education, because many self-employed individuals do not see the dangers inherent in the repetitive operation of most home office equipment and systems.
The most significant equipment to consider is the office chair. A combination of poor postural balance through improper pelvic control usually caused by lack of physical exercise; creates a cyclical pattern of chronic musculoskeletal injuries.
The environmental can be improved through helping the individual operating equipment, such as in computer word processing:
1. Assessing the environmental safety of the individual for the tasks required to be completed. This will include evaluating the seating and posture of the individual, if prolonged sitting is going to be encountered during completion of the tasks.
2. Evaluating the overall user-interface of the environment for making the relationship between the individual and the task more compatible.
3. Modifying individual tasks for creating more efficient methods that suit the user’s characteristics.
4. Changing the way work is organized for accommodating individual’s physical, psychological and social needs in the environment.
Each individual can then be assisted to increase performance by evaluating comfort levels of the operating station for reducing fatigue, preventing repetitive injuries and creating a harmonious working environment.
The human part of any environmental system should be integrated into the design stage for effective operating of the whole system. If this is considered at a later stage, then the performance flow may be restrained through lack of ergonomic evaluation of the whole system in place.
What Can an Ergonomic Evaluation provide for your business?
1. Highlight areas of risk in the human environmental system, along with recommendations for improvement in productivity.
2. Assessment in comfort levels of key operators for developing a more energy efficient flow to the operating system.
3. An evaluation of the input and output information flow by the individual’s for more energy efficient strategies.
How can an Ergonomic Evaluation improve your business?
1. It can increase the comfort level of key operators by improving performance and reduce absenteeism from repetitive strain injuries that impair productivity.
2. Improvement in workstation layout can reduce job demands, risk factors, repetition and awkward static postures, as they relate to musculoskeletal injuries.
3. Changes in the geographical positions of individuals and equipment may lead to improved harmony, plus energy efficiency to the working environment.
Gail owns a company called Active Living Solutions Ltd. She is starting her business of selling ergonomic daily living products that she finds or designs for making everyone comfortable in daily life.
Gail is starting out by selling chairs for activity. She is including an Active Living Plan with the purchase of each chair, so that everyone can become ergonomic in the way they sit for performing activities.