Ergonomics consultation and training

Work-related activities often lead to musculoskeletal injuries due to muscle overuse, poor posture, and—in some cases—poor workplace design. Simply, ergonomics is the study of people at work. The goal of this type of scientific study is to reduce employee stress and decrease the incidence of work-related injuries and disorders, many of which lead to long-term disability. Employers and ergonomics specialists can accomplish this through careful design and proper oversight of job tasks, work environments, equipment, furniture, tools, and lighting. Research suggests that ergonomics programs are effective in reducing workers’ compensation costs as well as increasing employee productivity and retention. Considered a multi-disciplinary field, ergonomics combines the core philosophies of several different domains, including psychology, biomechanics, engineering, physiology, anthropometry, and industrial design. There are three main areas of ergonomics: physical, cognitive, and organizational. Physical ergonomics involves human anatomy and how various anthropometric, physiological, and biomechanical factors affect the performance of physical activities. Such factors—which happen to be areas of expertise for physical therapists—influence the way products and procedures are designed. This is especially important when it comes to mitigating and preventing work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Cognitive ergonomics involves things like memory, reasoning, and motor response. Finally, organizational ergonomics involves workplace structure as well as employee policies and procedures.