Worksite International Blog

Ergonomic

When an Office Chair is On Its Last Legs

Posted by Alison Heller-Ono on May 21, 2019

Industry organizations have developed widely accepted ergonomic guidelines for the set up of office workstations and the design of ergonomic chairs. What’s missing — and very much needed, I argue — is an objective methodology for making the decision to keep, repair or replace task chairs once they’re in the workplace.

Despite recent trends toward promoting more standing in the workplace, average sitting times now exceed 7.7-10 hours per day or longer in the workplace, not including commute time. Most employers do not yet have widespread capacity for sit-to-stand workstations. As a result, far more emphasis needs to be placed on selecting chairs and the ongoing use of an ergonomic chair.

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How the Quality of Internal Ergonomic Practices Impact Organizations

Posted by Alison Heller-Ono on March 25, 2019

According to Dr. W. Edwards Deming, the father of quality, as quality improves, costs go down and productivity increases. Quality and productivity can be continually improved for better profitability. These are the same drivers that steer a company towards improving their workers’ compensation management and ergonomics process.

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10 Benefits of an Online Ergonomics Training Program

Posted by Alison Heller-Ono on January 15, 2019

In my work as an ergonomist, I conduct routine preventive and post-injury ergonomic evaluations. For years, I’ve asked each employee, “Do you know what ergonomics is?” and “When was the last time you attended ergonomics training?” The answers are almost always “not sure” and “never”!

Yet, it’s been over 22 years since California put into place its ergonomics regulation (Cal-OSHA 5110). It requires employers who have had more than one repetitive motion injury in the last 12 months to train employees in ergonomics. Even if the employer hasn’t had any repetitive motion injuries, training gives employees the skills to self-correct their work area for common ergonomics concerns when provided with adjustable equipment. Employees become empowered to be proactive about their health and wellness, making them more comfortable, happy, and productive at work.

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Sit-Stand Workstation Recommendations From the Experts

Posted by Alison Heller-Ono on October 4, 2018

This past August, I presented my Chair Assessment Model at the International Ergonomics Association (IEA) Florence, Italy. Over 1700 ergonomists, most of whom were professors and academic researchers from more than 35 countries, were in attendance. This year’s theme was “Creativity in Practice”, the challenge of transforming the experimental, field research, and evaluation processes into the daily practices of the ever-changing working and living organizations. There was an over-abundance of lectures highlighting the latest research in ergonomics and human factors.

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Employer’s Guide to Developing a Sit-Stand Workstation Policy

Posted by Alison Heller-Ono on June 20, 2018

Many employers ask whether they must provide sit to stand workstations when employees request them. Employers are confused about how to be fair across the board concerning the implementation of these adjustable solutions. We have all seen it… provide for one employee and suddenly, it’s contagious and they all want it… whether it will benefit them or not. What is often lacking is a clearly defined policy and procedure for providing sit to stand workstations. Having a policy and procedure gives employers and employees structure, control and a fair-minded approach to this popular workplace solution.

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7 Common Ergonomics Certifications and What They Really Mean

Posted by Alison Heller-Ono on May 31, 2018

“Caveat Emptor” or buyer beware fits well when employers are selecting ergonomics service providers. The phrase arises from the fact buyers often have less information about the services they are purchasing than the seller is indicating to them.

Buyers of ergonomics services don’t necessarily understand the science of ergonomics and what makes a good ergonomics consultant, the differences in their education, training, and experiences which impacts the quality of service provided, the fees charged and ultimately the results the buyer or employer will achieve. These days, ergonomic credentials and certifications are like a bowl of alphabet soup!

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The Future of Productivity: New Ways of Working for a New Year

Posted by Alison Heller-Ono on January 17, 2017

We made it to 2017… of course! But what’s in store for us in the business world in the coming months? Just a few developments, predictions and trends come to mind:

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If you can’t measure it, you can’t quantify it, therefore you are guessing!

Posted by Alison Heller-Ono on September 9, 2016

The purchase and implementation of your ergonomic chairs shouldn’t be a guess! Yet, I’ve seen over and over how many employers seem to do just that… guess. Random selection based on pictures in a catalog or based on an arbitrary budget and no objective criteria seem to be the drivers behind choosing standard chairs at most workplaces.

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How “NEAT” are you at work?

Posted by Alison Heller-Ono on April 12, 2016

And, I don't mean tidy, orderly and clean at your desk. If you are not NEAT, you should be! NEAT is an acronym for "Nonexercise Activity Thermogenesis".

NEAT is the basic daily activity we should be doing, but we aren't because we are sitting too much. We have become chained to our computers, phones and iPads. We commute long hours to work in our cars then camp out on the couch at night watching the hi-def 54" TV! NEAT is the energy expenditure of all physical activities other than volitional sporting-like exercise. It ranges from the energy we expend walking in the grocery store, walking the hallways at work, typing, performing physical tasks and even fidgeting.

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Reflections in Ergonomics

Posted by Alison Heller-Ono on January 7, 2016

Recently, a good friend and colleague of mine posted a picture on Facebook of an old cassette from a conference we spoke at in 2001 (Figure 2). Our topic was ”Ergonomic Questions and Answers”. Seeing the cassette made me reflect on how far we have come with ergonomics since then.

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