A Radical Approach To Ergonomics
Our practice to fully understand and improve sitting is unique to the industry, and there is proven long-term value to eliminate the risk of disease and discomfort for the injured worker. The measurable outcomes also make a compelling case to improve productivity.
We use a novel approach to find the body’s strong posture (HipIndex), measure the optimal strength of the postural muscles (HipTorque), and then integrate the workstation using the ActivSeating™ method so work can be done efficiently.
The HipIndex method was developed specifically to demonstrate good seated spine position at any job (Fitzsimmons 2014). This observation of the spine does not require clinical experience to find the best position, and we can easily show how neutral spine posture is the best practice for seated work. Our consulting outcomes prove that supporting this spine posture is the fundamental solution for pain and cumulative trauma. That solution requires only that we sit better, and thus avoid standing work that requires more effort, and has greater health risks.
When there is movement at the waist in upright sitting, we know the low back is near the strongest, “neutral position,” and the postural muscles are engaged (Dunk 2009). When the torso posture is corrected into “tall sitting” there is a slight forward rotation movement of the pelvis. That slight movement at the base of the spine is the key indicator the spine has room to move and the postural muscles are working in their strongest position.
Leg strength is important to keep the torso upright and engage the postural muscles. Strong upright sitting with leg support allows easy torso movement, the best postures are more easily sustained, and the physiology of blood glucose and fatty acid metabolism are improved without standing. The patented method to measure leg strength is called HipTorque, which uses an accelerometer application on a smartphone to more precisely provide objective measures. The accelerometer can precisely show the chair height that allows the leg best strength. The purpose is not to position the body for a set of predetermined angles, but rather to find the strongest posture to do the work. The work surface is then positioned to help support that posture.