General Ergonomic Lifting Rules

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You now know that maintaining the neutral (slightly arched) position in the lower back is one of the keys to having a healthy back. It is important to maintain this neutral position when sitting as well as when lifting objects or swinging a golf club. Athletes and coaches call it the Power position. To find the neutral position of the back, stand up and tuck your buttocks under. In this position you should feel the curve in your lower back disappear (flat back). Next, thrust your chest and stomach out to the front and stick your buttocks out to the rear. You will feel your lower back curve increase (sway back). It is undesirable to spend a lot of time in either the flat back or sway back postures. Now, return to the neutral (Power) position, which is actually somewhere between a stooped, flat back posture and the excessive sway back posture.

Find your neutral position, then press your finger tips against your stomach muscles. As you do this, tighten your stomach muscles and make the front of your abdomen firm. Get the idea? Find your neutral position, then tighten your abdominal muscles to stabilize your lower back in this position. You should maintain this protective position for your back when lifting or when swinging a golf club. With practice, it is possible to maintain stability without feeling stiff or awkward. It is important to maintain this neutral position when sitting or standing, too.

To bend fully backward and forward occasionally is fine; it helps you maintain good circulation and flexibility. Spending long periods of time in either position is stressful for your back, especially if you are twisting or lifting at the same time. For example, many golfers bend the back forward into the flat back posture when they swing. This is probably the number one reason so many golfers have back problems.

You may need a back support or cushion to help you maintain good posture if you already have a back problem or spend a lot of time doing stressful activities. Can you find your neutral posture sitting? Remember, flat back — sway back — neutral, then stabilize.

Body Mechanics

Lifting, carrying and reaching — it’s not how much you lift or carry, but how you do it. Here are some ways to use your body in the correct manner in work situations.

Lifting Rules:

  • Use proper lift technique to get weight in close and maintain a wide, balanced base of support.
  • Do as professional weight lifters do — keep back arched when lifting.
  • Keep weight close to body and stand up straight.
  • Keep head high, chin tucked in and back in the power position.

At Ergonomics Canada we have the medical professionals and ergonomic trainers that will customize the right training plan for your company! we will assess the work environment weather its a office setting or a manufacturing plant. we have the know how and over 50 years of combined experience to train you and your employees on how to reduce the risks or work related injuries and other hazards. Remember – Feel Better – Work Better – Live Better

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Benefits of Ergonomics: Saving Time! Part 1

Ergonomics can help you in many ways. Among other things, it can benefit your life, health, productivity and accuracy. One of the best benefits of ergonomics is saving time. We never seem to have enough of it as it is, so why not try to get a little more out of your day?

Ergonomics is about making things more efficient. By increasing the efficiency of a tool or a task, you tend to shorten the length of time it takes to accomplish your goal.

how can we capture the time saving benefits of ergonomics? We can conserve our valuable time with the application of good ergonomic practices in three main areas:

Slim Down the Task

Have you ever wondered why some things are so convoluted, cumbersome and chaotic? They take forever to complete. And most of what you do does not aid the outcome.

For example, think back to the last time you got hired for a job, bought a house or car, or did something else that required a ton of paperwork. How many different forms did you write the same information on? That was not very ergonomic.

You can almost always make a task a little leaner. But first you have to understand the task. For that we use a task analysis.

Pick any mundane task you typically do at least once a week. Write out a task analysis for it. Don’t worry about wasting your time doing this. You will make it up with the time savings you create.

Once you have all the steps written out, you need to take a good look at them and identify areas that you can “ergonomize”:

  • Order – See if you can re-order the steps to optimize your effort.
  • Value Added – Look at every step and make sure it adds value to the outcome. If it doesn’t, cut it.
  • Synergy – Can you combine things or somehow get more bang for your buck?
  • Repetition – Look for steps that are repeated and see if they are all necessary.
  • Necessity – Make sure the quantity of the step is needed. Do you really need to brush your teeth with 57 strokes, or will 32 do?

Ergonomics Canada services include:

ERGONOMIC EVALUATION / ASSESSMENTS of hazards that exist within the workplace and developing a program for dealing with the risks of repetitive-motion injuries. Developing a method for controlling injury exposures is essential for complying with applicable health and safety regulations and reducing work-related injury risks.

TRAINING of employees on the health and safety issues, prevention of injuries in the work place and home office environments. Instruction is provided to aid workers in identifying factors that put them at risk of injury and provide suggestions for preventative measures, including exercise, proper sitting, standing, lifting etc…to reduce the chance of injuries and discomfort level. Training also includes workstation setup and assessment

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What is Efficiency?

Efficiency is quite simply making something easier to do. Efficiency comes in many forms however.

Reducing the strength required makes a process more physically efficient.

Reducing the number of steps in a task makes it quicker (i.e. efficient) to complete.

Reducing the number of parts makes repairs more efficient.

Efficiency can be found almost everywhere. If something is easier to do you are more likely to do it. If you do it more, then it is more useful. Again, utility is the only true measure of the quality of a design.

Reducing the amount of training needed, i.e. making it more intuitive, gives you a larger number of people who are qualified to perform the task.

If you willingly do something more often you have a greater chance of liking it. If you like doing it you will be more comfortable doing it.

So the next time you hear the term ergonomics you will know what it means to you. And I hope that is a comforting thought.

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Repetitive Stress Injuries

Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) are conditions caused by placing too much stress on a joint, and they vary in type and severity. Most RSIs are linked to the stress of repetitive motions at the computer or overuse injuries in sports. RSI in kids may occur from heavy computer or video game use, playing musical instruments, or the repetitive motion of sports like tennis.

An RSI occurs when stress is placed on a joint, pulling on the tendons and muscles around the joint. When the stress occurs repeatedly, the body does not have time to recover and becomes irritated. The body reacts to the irritation by increasing the amount of fluid in that area to reduce the stress placed on the tendon or muscle.

Conditions that are the result of RSIs include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome: swelling inside a narrow “tunnel” formed by bone and ligament in the wrist; the tunnel surrounds nerves that conduct sensory and motor impulses to and from the hand, leading to pain, tingling, and numbness
  • Epicondylitis: elbow soreness often known as “tennis elbow”
  • Ganglion cyst: swelling or lump in the wrist resulting from jelly-like substance that has leaked from a joint or tendon sheath
  • Cervical radiculopathy: disk compression in the neck, often caused by repetitive cradling of a phone on the shoulder
  • Tendonitis: tearing and inflammation of tendons connecting bones to muscles
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy: a condition characterized by dry, swollen hands and loss of muscle control; consistently painful

These are just a few of the most common injuries associated with ergonomics. Some are more common in a production facility more then an office setting and vv. At Ergonomics Canada we focus on the human body as the ultimate operating machine. our medical team and ergonomic trainers review your tasks and daily routines and advise of ergonomic friendly changes and good practices. we may also proscribe certain body braces or other devices that will assist you in your work day to day and even at home. note that most of these devices may be provided to you at no direct cost as they are probably covered by your current health insurance provider.

Contact Us Today! for a free evaluation of your Office and place of business.
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Posture – Driving To and From Work

Driving Posture To and From Work

Regardless of travel time to and from work, one’s seated posture while driving can either contribute to or alleviate back discomfort. Similar to those that sit in an office chair for hours, those with extensive commutes (an hour or more each way) can have an adverse impact on their back.

First and foremost, it is important to sit with the knees level with the hips. Either a rolled up towel or a commercial back support placed between the lower back and the back of the seat for more comfort and support of the natural inward curve of the low back.

Drivers are advised to sit at a comfortable distance from the steering wheel. Reaching increases the pressure on the lumbar spine and can stress the neck, shoulder and wrist, so sitting too far away can aggravate back pain. However, sitting too close can increase risk of injury from the car’s airbag. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers (and front-seat passengers) should buckle their seat belts and keep about 10 inches between the center of the air bag cover and their breastbone to reduce the risk of air bag injury yet still be protected by the air bag in the event of a collision.

Good posture combined with body mechanics (the way activities are performed throughout the day can substantially improve the way one’s back and neck feels at the end of the workday.

Ergonomics Canada assesses all aspects of your day both at home and at work. Our staff provides REAL and easy to imlement advise on how to make your work enviroment safer and more ergonomic friendly. you done have to spend 10,000 of $$$ on unneeded office furniture. Give us a call and we’ll tell you why!

Before making any office furniture purchase Call Us – its FREE! 905-660-5737 ext 2

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Office Ergonomics – Office Chair & Posture Part 2

A consistent, comfortable workstation depends on where the computer screen is situated, where the hands and feet are placed, and the kind of office chair.

To make it work, begin by selecting or adjusting the position or the work surface, then adjust the office chair.

  • Choose the surface height for the desk (standing, sitting or semi-seated) best for the task to be performed. Architects and draftsman may want a higher surface for drawing while computer entry work could be seated or standing, depending on the need to use other tools or references. The specific height of the work surface will also need to vary based on the height of the individual worker.
  • Fit the height of the computer screen. Sit comfortably in the newly adjusted office chair. Close both eyes and relax. Then, slowly reopen them. Where the gaze initially focuses should be when the eyes open is the place to put the center of the computer screen. The screen can be raised using books or a stand if needed.
  • Adjust the seat of the office chair so that the work surface is “elbow high.” A fist should be able to pass easily behind the calf and in front of the seat edge to keep the back of the legs from being pressed too hard and the feet from swelling. Two fingers should slip easily under each thigh. If not, use a couple of telephone books or a footrest to raise the knees level with the hips. The backrest of the office chair should push the low back forward slightly. If these adjustments cannot be adequately made with the existing office chair, a different make or type of chair may be considered.

This is just a snap shot of the advise and daily adjustments that our staff members may recommend. At Ergonomics Canada we evaluate each workstation based on the individual using it. All our services are custom tailored to YOU and YOUR work environment. Get over 50 years of experience working for you TODAY! by Contacting the ergonomic specialists at Ergonomics Canada NOW!


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What is Ergonomics?

At its simplest definition ergonomics literally means the science of work. So ergonomists, i.e. the practitioners of Ergonomics, study work, how work is done and how to work better.

Ergonomics is a science concerned with the ‘fit’ between people and their work.It takes account of the worker’s capabilities and limitations in seeking to ensure that tasks, equipment, information and the environment suit each worker.

It is the attempt to make work better that ergonomics becomes so useful. And that is also where making things comfortable and efficient comes into play.

Ergonomics is commonly thought of in terms of products. But it can be equally useful in the design of services or processes.

It is used in design in many complex ways. However, what you, or the user, is most concerned with is, “How can I use the product or service, will it meet my needs, and will I like using it?” Ergonomics helps define how it is used, how it meets you needs, and most importantly if you like it. It makes things comfy and efficient.

As Ergonomists we have to make sure that our advise is practical for the everyday individual and can be easily and inexpensively implemented in virtually any workplace. We Educate, Evaluate and Train workers and office staff on how to improve and feel more comfortable while performing the same daily routines. Its simple and affordable. most of our services may even be covered by your companies existing health insurance policy. Contact Us Today to find out.

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Ergonomics is the study of designing equipment and devices that fit the human body, its movements, and its cognitive abilities. At Ergonomics Canada we focus on he human body. furniture is important but our body comes first. This is why we are are medical professionals and not furniture sales people. we assess the human element FIRST. for example, the solution to a discomfort issue may be a pair of orthopedic shoes and not a new desk. more about what we do at

The International Ergonomics Association defines ergonomics as follows:

Ergonomics (or human factors) is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.

Ergonomics is employed to fulfill the two goals of health and productivity. It is relevant in the design of such things as safe furniture and easy-to-use interfaces to machines. Proper ergonomic design is necessary to prevent repetitive strain injuries, which can develop over time and can lead to long-term disability.

An Ergonomic assessment provided by our specialists, will train your staff on proper posture and workstation setup. This will lower your WSIB and other workers compensation claims and provide you with a more comfortable workspace.

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Benefits of Ergonomics – Improving Communication

Ergonomics – Among other things, it can benefit your life, health, productivity and accuracy. One of the great benefits of ergonomics is an improvement in communication. Understanding how to use something without training lets you get up to speed faster and work more intuitively.

Ergonomics and ergonomic training is about making things more efficient. To increase the efficiency of a tool or a task you have to make it intuitive to understand and therefore easier to use.

When we say communication it is important to understand I’m talking about knowing how to use a product by understanding its form factor. When you go to pick up a hammer which end is the handle? The tool has good ergonomic communication if you know without having to see a picture, read instructions or have any other indications telling you what you should do.

The more complicated the product the more work needs to be put into the design to ensure it communicates well. If you have ever had trouble programming your VCR then you have experienced poor ergonomic communication. And if you do not know what a VCR is be thankful that Tivo has a wonderfully ergonomic interface.

You can learn good ergonomics through bad design. In a lot of cases a design is bad because the intuitive, expected use of an item is different than how it has been designed to operate. It just doesn’t work the right way.

So how can we turn great ergonomic communication to our advantage?

  • Try out a Demo Unit – Especially if it is a high priced item. Take it for a test drive and run it through its paces, without looking at the instructions or being guided buy a salesman. If there isn’t a demo unit out ask to see one. I hardly ever buy anything without opening it in the store first. Even if it just to see how the buttons click.
  • Know What to Look For – Look for icons, color coding, layout, or sizes and shapes that just make since to you.
  • Remember that Ergonomics is Personal – Just because someone told you it works great or the packaging says it has an ergonomic handle does not mean it will work well for you. Know your own body, your own work practices and your own habits and see if things fit into what is “you”.
  • Expect Ease of Use – You should expect good ergonomics, especially if it costs more than 20 bucks. Don’t settle for something difficult to use. There is probably a competitor that has better usability.

Sometimes things do require some training to become proficient with them. That doesn’t necessarily mean it has bad ergonomics. Some things just have to be complicated. The questions you need to ask yourself in these situations are:

  • How much do I have to use it to maintain my proficiency with it?
  • Is the benefit worth all of that?
  • If I let it drop how hard will it be for me to pick it up again?
  • How much training do I need to know what I need to know?

Make ergonomics a priority when you are evaluating a product, service or a system. Make sure those ergonomics communicate to you clearly and efficiently.

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Office Ergonomics

For many years the practice of proper office ergonomics has been on the decline. Despite the fact that forming good office ergonomics habits have proven to be medically beneficial, a lot of people still downplay its importance. Changing office habits for the better have been experimentally proven to reduce eye strain, and pains around the waist and neck. Below are some tips to improve your office ergonomics.

–  Re-organize your office

Set your working chair as adjacent to the nearest window as possible. Position your computer monitor to be between 45 and 60 centimeters from your face. Studies have shown that maintaining a considerable distance from the screen is beneficial to one’s health. It is also a good idea to keep the monitor at eye level, it should be positioned at the height that feels most comfortable for your eyes and neck, with the top of your screen being no higher than eye level.

When typing, your wrists should remain straight, and your forearms should be roughly parallel with the ground. You should also keep the neck as stable as possible, or use a neck rest with the office chair if possible.

–  Always move around

Lets face it. Office work gets boring sometimes. The average office worker in America sits for upwards of fifteen hours a day, so it is very essential that we change positions as much as possible. Not only does this lessen the amount of strain placed on certain muscles and reduce the risk of overuse, but it also reinvigorates the body and mind. Something as easy as walking down the street for lunch, or a simple toe-touching routine between taking calls could do wonders for our stress levels. Exercising after work or only on weekends is not enough to offset the damage done by long periods of inactivity, so it is important to always change positions.

–  Switch your posture

Posture is simply the position of the body or of body parts. Posture is important in Office Ergonomics because the majority of office workers are seated for most of their shifts. Having an upright posture with your hips at a high-acute or low-obtuse angle is the most recommended seating posture by experts. Although, as noted above, moving around is very important, but the recommended seating posture is very ergonomic because it alleviates stress on the lower inter vertebral disks and has proven to be effective especially for the working class and senior citizen population.


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