ECONOMICS OF ERGONOMICS: THE IMPORTANCE OF PROACTIVE ERGONOMIC PROGRAMS IN THE MODERN WORKPLACE | Architecture & Design

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ECONOMICS OF ERGONOMICS: THE IMPORTANCE OF PROACTIVE ERGONOMIC PROGRAMS IN THE MODERN WORKPLACE

Schiavello and Humanscale present Economics of Ergonomics with Professor Alan Hedge, one of the world’s foremost experts in ergonomics. Director of Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory at Cornell University, Hedge discusses the importance of proactive ergonomic programs in the modern workplace.



BY Lorenzo Logi

July 21st, 2014


Schiavello and Humanscale present Economics of Ergonomics with Professor Alan Hedge, one of the world’s foremost experts in ergonomics. Director of Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory at Cornell University, Hedge discusses the importance of proactive ergonomic programs in the modern workplace.

Representing the latest in a series of international events, Schiavello and Humanscale brought Professor Alan Hedge, PhD, CPE, back to Australia to present Economics of Ergonomics: Maximising Diverse and Agile Workplaces. As Director of Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory at Cornell University, Hedge is one of the world’s foremost experts in ergonomics.

Designers, architects, ergonomists, media, and corporate leaders congregated at Schiavello’s Melbourne and Sydney Showrooms to hear the latest insights from Alan Hedge on why ergonomic designs are essential to a productive office.

Of note, Hedge addressed five ergonomic design principles:

-Promoting ‘neutral posture’ working (where joints are not bent and the spine is aligned and not twisted)
-Fitting the tools to the body, NOT the body to the tools
-Dynamic work NOT static work
-Usability (easy to use tools)
-Less is more (too many choices increases decision time and the chance of errors)

Hedge’s research has seen him conduct studies with some of the leading companies around the world, where he’s been able to test ergonomic design principles and share his findings back with the industry.

With a key focus on the problem of prolonged sitting in the workplace (did you know every hour of TV watching reduces life expectancy by 22 minutes?), Hedge has run a number of studies around the height-adjustable, sit-stand workstation. Studies with US companies including Intel and UPS showed that an increase in average time spent standing during the workday led to a reduction in discomfort ratings, and decrease in musculoskeletal discomfort complaints.  His presentation asserts, “Ergonomic programs focused on evidence-based interventions can be very effective in increasing productivity and reducing the prevalence of MSDs.”

Hedge also talked about flexible workspace design, the ergonomic impacts of stretch breaks and movement, and the crucial role of ergonomics training. When it came to an economic breakdown of office ergonomic programs, Hedge was able to show why good ergonomics is highly cost-effective.

Hedge also recently spoke at Resilient X Workplace in Singapore, a discussion forum designed to address the many ways in which the modern workplace environment can be ergonomically designed to promote resilience and foster health.

Learn more about Professor Alan Hedge in his interview in DQ#54, on sale now.

Schiavello
schiavello.com

Human Scale
humanscale.com


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