Saturday, August 13, 2016

Ergonomics - watch "Healthy work postures" on YouTube

Ergonomics (or human factors) is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.
At the beginning of the Industrial revolution, we find work areas used to be fixed and humans had to adapt themselves to the work environment. Much studies were not done on the work environment and thus humans developed many problems trying to adjust to the new work environment. 

Craft production saw to it that workers moved from place to place to get the work done, though the work poiece remained fixed. Because of frequent movement of the workers between stores to get tools, raw materials etc and to bring them to the fixed work area, the productivity of the workers were very low.

 In mass production assembly line work we find, the workers are stationary at a place and the work moves from station to station. Definitely this resulted in i mprovement of productivity and more output, but the worker life became sedentary. The workers had to adjust his life style to suit the work. Also the work was not designed to match with the worker's ability and capacity for physical work.

Modern days we find instead of the worker having to adapt to the work environment, it is the work which is being redesigned so that the repetitive envonment of the work does not adversely affect the worker health. Proper sitting postures (as most of the work is creative, involving the mind, brain and the intellect) slanting postures, hand resting heights and elevation, eye fixating angles etc are very important to ensure that the repetitive stress injury (RSI) resulting from repetitive performance of hand and body movements are not harmful to the human body in the long run.

Here is a link to a very good and well explained Ergonomic pdf doc from Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the US Dept of Labour, published in 2000.

Watch this video for a great understanding on why work place design to suit human body capabilities is very important these days. 


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