Ergonomics, where should I start?

By Linda Miller | Last updated: August 23, 2017
Presented by EWI Works

Calvin: In the big picture of things, say I’m an organization who is looking into implements ergonomics initiative. Where do I start? What sort of tips do you have?

Linda: Well, I always tell people that you’re never going to get away from a good chair. So if you’re going to actually start looking at design of the workplace, just some very basic tools that you’re going to need to actually set it up effectively. Because for most of us, we spend at least 8 hours a day at our workstation. So even if I was to go sit-stand – which is a great option – we still have to make sure that person has an effective chair as well, and we have to make sure we have good input devices, and that people are actually educated on how to use them effectively. So I can give people great equipment, but if they don’t adjust it for their size and stature, they really get very little value.

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Calvin: Yeah, you have to make sure the equipment really fits the worker, right? And not the worker fits the equipment.

Linda: Even the rotation cycle, for instance. If I have a sit-stand workstation, I’m just as worried as somebody who sits for a full hour, or stands for a full hour. We’re actually recommending that you actually rotate from sitting every 20 minutes, to standing for about 8 minutes, then take a short walk in that 30-minute cycle, and really look at variation, not the fact that I’m going to sit for an hour, stand for an hour because that’s not really going to truly give you the benefit.

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Written by Linda Miller | President

Linda Miller
Linda established EWI Works in 1991 & has extensive experience in large-scale ergonomic projects involving design reviews & training. Industries include healthcare, utilities, forestry, mining and manufacturing. For two decades, she has presented at health & safety conferences & teaches at the University of Alberta.

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