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Standing tall at the office

November 2nd, 2010 5:41pm - Posted By: Heather McWilliams, BCBR

October 29, 2010 --

ERIE — For workers tethered to a desk by a phone, keyboard, computer and other modern office equipment, sitting down on the job can be a real pain. A pain in the neck, in the back or in any other joint caused by improper position or equipment use. For many the solution can be simple: stand up.

“Our bodies are not made to be static, especially in a seated position,” said Nick McElhiney, owner of Erie-based Ergonomic Evolution LLC. As a certified ergonomic assessment specialist, McElhiney evaluates how humans interact with their work station and suggests changes to prevent or reverse injuries caused by everyday tasks such as talking on the phone or typing on a keyboard.

“In a nut shell, I teach people how to sit at a desk,” McElhiney said, and more and more frequently he teaches people not to just sit but to stand.

“Old school ergonomics was about getting people in this perfect posit ...

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Why your desk job is slowly killing you

October 26th, 2010 5:46pm

Even if you exercise, the more hours a day you sit, the greater your risk of early death

By Maria Masters, Men’s Health

Mens Health

Do you lead an active lifestyle or a sedentary one? The question is simple, but the answer may not be as obvious as you think. Let’s say, for example, you’re a busy guy who works 60 hours a week at a desk job but who still manages to find time for five 45-minute bouts of exercise. Most experts would label you as active. (Put your body to the test: 10 standards to assess your fitness level.) But Marc Hamilton, Ph.D., has another name for you: couch potato. Perhaps “exercising couch potato” would be more accurate, but Hamilton, a physiologist and professor at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, in Bat ...

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Sitting down on the job can be bad for your health

September 21st, 2010 11:46am - Posted By: Denver Business Journal – by Paula Moore

One of the newest strategies for helping office employees stay healthy at work is one of the oldest urges felt by human beings — movement.

Office-space experts now encourage people to get up out of their chairs frequently and move, including stretching in the work space and taking a short walk outside.

Some experts even suggest workers use a sit-stand approach in their offices and cubicles — splitting their time there between sitting and standing.

To accommodate that way of working, more employees now use work surfaces that can be raised and lowered depending on a person’s position, as well as adjustable stands and arms for moving computer monitors.

“Your body is not designed to be static,” said Nick McElhiney, mechanical engineer, ergonomics consultant and owner of Ergonomic Evolution LLC in Erie. “The old way of thinking was if a worker didn’t move, he couldn’t hurt himself. But [the truth is tha ...

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Sit to Stand Workstations, Everything you need to know

September 10th, 2010 12:28pm

Ergonomists have recognized the benefits of postural changes for many years, and have been recommending flexible workstation designs that support easy transition from sitting to standing as one solution to the sedentary office environment. Furniture that adequately accommodates sit-to-stand working postures for a wide range of body sizes and tasks has historically been somewhat scarce and expensive, but that is now changing. As more people recognize the benefits of standing, the demand is increasing, and so is the supply and market innovation -- and prices are coming down.

I've come across many home-made standing workstations, and even helped build a few, but they tend to suffer from stability issues and invariably lack the flexibility and adjustment range needed to accommodate both sitting and standing postures. For some people standing all the time, or sitting all the time, may be appropriate. But, for most, being able to easily change from sitting to standing is mo ...

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ROI‐BasedAnalysis of Employee Wellness Programs

August 18th, 2010 3:35pm - Posted By: US Corporate Wellness

ROI‐Based Analysis of Employee Wellness Programs  The Problems…The Cost…The Solution

Organizations of all sizes and from all industries are investigating ways to save money in the form of health care, disability, sick time, recruitment and retention costs. This document looks at the problem facing employers, the cost attributed to that problem, and the critical components a wellness program must incorporate in order to provide a long‐term, high ROI solution to that problem.

Click on the link below to read the complete white paper.

US Corporate Wellness White Paper

Ergonomic Evolution is a supporter of any wellness program that is designed to improve employee well being and lower health care costs. This white paper only addresses ...

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Officials fight over workplace injury rule.

July 29th, 2010 4:39pm

By Joaquin Sapien, ProPublica

As the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the White House are trying to minimize their differences, a brewing battle at OSHA over a workplace injury reporting rule illustrates how tough that could become, given the administration’s pro-labor leanings.

While bureaucratic clashes over subtle rule changes like this one are usually waged outside the public’s view, they can have big ramifications for businesses and workers.

At issue is a regulation that would force employers to identify when a workplace-related injury or illness is considered a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD), a term broadly used to describe ailments caused by repetitive stress, like carpal tunnel syndrome or strains from frequent heavy lifting.

Figures gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that MSD-related problems accounted for nearly a third of the 1.1 million workplace injuries and illnesses in the private sector that led to days off w ...

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Can worker hope to be safe at last?

July 29th, 2010 4:37pm

Can Workers Hope to Be Safe at Last?

Tuesday 02 March 2010

by: Dick Meister, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

It’s called musculoskeletal disorder or MSD, the most common of the serious injuries suffered by US workers. But because corporate employers fear that greater public awareness would force them to spend more on job safety, MSD has remained one of the least understood of injuries.

The latest government figures show that more than 60 percent of the million or more on-the-job injuries reported annually are MSD-related. Some of the victims are permanently disabled, and many more have to take time off from work while their injuries heal.

The victims include computer operators, factory and construction workers, meat and poultry processors, hospital and restaurant employees, ...

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Five steps to risk assesment.

July 29th, 2010 4:35pm

A risk assessment is an important step in protecting your workers and your business, as well as complying with the law. It helps you focus on the risks that really matter in your workplace – the ones with the potential to cause real harm. In many instances, straightforward measures can readily control risks, for example ensuring spillages are cleaned up promptly so people do not slip, or cupboard drawers are kept closed to ensure people do not trip. For most, that means simple, cheap and effective measures to ensure your most valuable asset – your workforce – is protected.

The law does not expect you to eliminate all risk, but you are required to protect people as far as ‘reasonably practicable’. This guide tells you how to achieve that with a minimum of fuss. This is not the only way to do a risk assessment, there are other methods that work well, particularly for more complex risks and circumstances. However, we believe this method is the m ...

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Understanding ergonomics at work and the benefits that go along with it.

July 29th, 2010 4:34pm

Reduce accidents and ill health and increase productivity by fitting the task to the worker.

You may have heard of the term ‘ergonomics’. This is sometimes referred to as ‘human factors’. Not everyone really understands what ergonomics is, what it does, or how it affects people. This leaflet will help to answer these questions and to explain how understanding ergonomics can improve health and safety in your workplace.

It is aimed at anyone who has a duty to maintain and improve health and safety and who wants to gain insight into ergonomics. It gives some examples of ergonomics problems and simple, effective advice on what can be done to solve them.

What is ergonomics?

Ergonomics is a science concerned with the ‘fit’ between people and their work. It puts people first, taking account of their capabilities and limitations. Ergonomics aims to make sure that tasks, equipment, information ...

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Under Obama, Labor Agencies Building up Budgets and Enforcement

July 29th, 2010 4:29pm

Some in the manufacturing community worry that an attempt to issue an OSHA ergonomics standard is on the way. By Josh Cable @ Industry Week

Labor historians agree: Over the past few decades, a change in political party at the White House usually signals a dramatic change in the federal government’s approach to labor policy.

“Absolutely. This is not a close call,” explains Robert Trumble, professor of management and director of the Virginia Labor Studies Center at Virginia Commonwealth University. “And the [U.S.] Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO see it the same way also.”

Washington, D.C.-based journalist Phil Dine, author of “State of the Unions: How Labor Can Strengthen the Middle Class, Improve Our Economy, and Regain Political Influence,” puts it this way: When a Republican administration is in power, unions are “ ...

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Connecting Health and Wellness Boosts Bottom Line

July 29th, 2010 3:52pm

DES MOINES, Iowa, Apr 06, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — As American workers rebuild they are focused on spending less and saving more according to recent research from the Principal Financial Well-Being Index(SM). Now there is a way for employers to help by giving workers a chance to spend less on health care while encouraging them to lead a healthier lifestyle.

The Principal Value-Based Health Benefit(SM)is a new health program that integrates health and wellness benefits. The new approach gives financial incentives to employees who choose to engage in preventive medical care and healthy behaviors.

“Healthy employees have fewer absences, are more productive while at work and are less likely to get injured. It’s simple. A healthy work force saves money and contributes to a healthier bottom line,” said Jerry Ripperger, director of business development for the Principal Financial Group(R). “Our new program gives employees concrete, fin ...

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OSHA Outlines The Final Ruling for Recording Work-Related Injuries

July 29th, 2010 3:48pm

OSHA has finally suggested the Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements Rule thus ending the time for public comment.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration intends to change the per-existing principles to make sure employers that have 10 or more employees would need to keep a record of some work-related musculature disorders in their OSHA 300 Log.

The Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy was sought by the small business community to voice concern over the potential small business costs as well as the complexity of the proposed rule. The SBA Office of Advocacy filed comments that signify the opinions of small businesses along with OSHA.

The OSHA 300 Log is a record of work-related sicknesses and injuries that most employers are duty-bound to keep. Musculature Disorder is defined by OSHA as disarrays of muscles, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, joints and spinal discs. However it does not consist ...

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Businesses reward employees for healthy changes.

July 29th, 2010 3:37pm

By STEVE LOHR – New York Times Published: March 26, 2010

FOR all the debate lately, one basic fact about America’s health care crisis is rarely mentioned. Namely, the one thing that could really reform health care is you, collectively speaking: People living healthier lives.

The statistical evidence has been clear for years, but it bears repeating. Studies show that 50 percent to 70 percent of the nation’s health care costs are preventable. Much of that expense goes to treat a few chronic conditions that are closely linked to behavior, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Read More...

 

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