We fit the workplace to the worker.
Our purpose is to show people how to get the workstation to fit the worker exactly for the work they do and so eliminate workstation injury. Many people don’t have a problem with either their job or the workstation, and we can presume either the workstation happens to fit their body, or that they don’t do enough work to have a problem. Many people wear the same size shoe and pants, but can we presume that average size will work for everyone? Pain symptoms are common when work place dimensions are off by more than an inch or two. The average workstation is designed for the average man, so larger or more petite people are those prone to trouble, particularly when those people have disproportionate length in either the arm or leg.
How easily the spine moves in the chair for both work and rest is the key to seated health. Cumulative trauma happens when the workstation does not allow the body to function well, and good sitting postures become nearly impossible to maintain. The problem is not obvious, until seemingly slight stresses are repeated to the point of discomfort, and then pain.
The compelling problem for ergonomics today is not sitting, but sitting badly. The ActivSeating® method does not encourage standing to address the problems from poor sitting—there are too many added health risks and higher costs to make people stand at work.
Ergonomic recommendations for seated work typically use a reclined chair to sit easily—when the legs are further unloaded onto a footrest the postural muscles completely relax.
This “reclined-leisure seating” approach has two fundamental problems: first, it is sustained, relaxed sitting posture that has been linked to the long-term health risks for diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Second, when reclined postures are used for work that requires increased interest in the screen, or close attention to the work surface, the spine bends forward with a greater risk of musculoskeletal trouble. Aside from the long-term health risks, slumped postures are uncomfortable for the neck and low back, and those postures are commonly seen in people with cumulative trauma problems in the arm and hand.
Competent installation may be necessary at the work location, and a follow-up visit and report is usually advised to document that everything is working properly. Further delays are likely if the products do not work as imagined, and either a new problem needs resolution, or a different product and solution are needed, losing even more time and productivity.
Experience from thousands of claims tells us that the beginning of the injury is the most critical stage! The cause and effect of cumulative trauma on the body is dependent on the stage of injury. The spectrum can range from the early stage with intermittent symptoms, to the end-stage, and total disability. It is much easier to solve the problem early, rather than choose to neglect proper care. We know what to do when people have work restrictions and claims, and we can accommodate them. We also know how to prevent the problem in the first place.