Guest Author - Marji Hajic
The word “ergonomics” has many definitions. The origin of the word is Greek - ergon, meaning work and nomos meaning natural laws. So the literal translation of the word is the science of work. Ergonomics looks at how a person works, the environment they work in, the tasks they do and the equipment they use with the goals of improving work comfort, reducing injuries and increasing productivity.
ErgonomicsSimplified.com is a new interactive website that offers free on-line ergonomic assessments individualized for your computer workspace. The evaluation walks you through checklists that briefly assess pain areas and working conditions. It asks you to evaluate your positioning and working methods – from seating position to wrist position, from monitor placement to typing style. At every level, the assessment provides information on the ideal positioning and then, based upon your answers, provides tips to help you correct for potential problems. A summary at the end of the assessment provides both ideal and no cost solutions for each problem that was discovered during your personal evaluation. Additional checklists will help you choose the right chair and keyboard based on your individual needs. ErgonomicsSimplified.com also offers ergonomic tips for particular high-risk occupations: attorneys, hair-dressers, administrative assistants and lab workers.
Although equipment recommendations are provided, this website is not a hard-sales site. ErgonomicsSimplified is friendly and low-key with an emphasis on education. It was founded by Chris Sorrells, an Occupational Therapist, Certified Hand Therapist, and a Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist, who faced similar frustrations that I had when I began writing about ergonomics: 1) injured clients lack of access to ergonomic information in the work place; 2) aggressive sales pitches of expensive, ergonomic equipment that did not necessarily meet individual needs; 3) lack of follow-through due to overwhelming recommendations and choices. There comes a time, after treating many patients who return to work to face the same problems that initially brought them into the clinic, that a therapist knows that prevention, rather than treatment, is the answer. ErgonomicsSimplified is a “one-stop ergonomic resource that provides free ergonomic education, expert product advice, and proven ergonomic products.”
If you are experiencing pain while working on the computer, if you feel you are at risk and would like to prevent a problem, if you are in the market for ergonomic equipment and have questions about quality products that will meet your individual needs, or if you have had some ergonomic education and just need a refresher course on basic ergonomics, ErgonomicsSimplified.com is well worth a visit.
Marji Hajic is an Occupational Therapist and a Certified Hand Therapist practicing at the Hand Therapy & Occupational Fitness Center in Santa Barbara, California. For more information on hand and upper extremity injuries, prevention and recovery, visit Hand Health Resources.