National Ergonomics Month – October 2021

National Ergonomics Month is devoted to cool info on why ergonomics are important in the workplace. If you’ve ever wondered why your computer keyboard has a crazy wavy design or why sitting in a room with a skylight boosts your mood — this is your month. It’s a fact that most of us spend between 40 and 60 hours per week at work. Whether you’re typing on a keyboard, using a headset or standing at a counter — your job shouldn’t cause you pain.

In 2003, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), decided to promote the benefits of ergonomics to professionals, students, and the general public. Check out the positive ways that ergonomics play out in the workplace and why ergonomic furniture can lower your risk for injuries.

National Ergonomics Month timeline

​The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society created National Ergonomics Month

​The goal is to promote wellness and productivity in the workplace.

​ 1961
​First meeting of the International Ergonomics Association

​The International Ergonomics Association met for the first time in Sweden.

​"Ergonomics" became an official term

British psychologist ​Hywell Murrell officially used the term "ergonomics" at one of the first meetings of the Ergonomics Society.

​A U.S. Army officer suggested better cockpit design

​Alphonse Chapanis, a U.S.Army lieutenant, believed that crashes resulting from pilot error could be reduced with better, more logical airplane cockpit controls.

First use of "ergonomics" as a word

​Professor Wojciech Jastrzebowski in Poland used "ergonomics" as a specific word for the first time.

How to Observe National Ergonomics Month

  1. Like the song says,"Jump Around!"

    It's a sad truth that a more sedentary lifestyle adds up to higher risks for cardiovascular and other kinds of illness. Integrate movement into your workday. At lunchtime, take a power walk after munching that salad. If you sit at a computer, then, every ten minutes or so — stand up or walk down the hall to relieve eye strain. In other words, get off that rusty dusty and move.

  2. Go to the light

    Working in low-light environments is not only bad for the eyes but it also adds to depression. If your office only uses artificial light, go outside on breaks. The natural light will boost not only your spirits, but also your creativity. Find areas within your building that have skylights or expansive windows to look out and take in the wonders of nature or a beautiful skyline.

  3. Overhaul the office with better ergonomic technology

    It can be as simple as adding a keyboard tray to bring the employee's elbow level with the keyboard's height. Ergonomic seats are worth the added cost if it means people can work comfortably and safely for longer periods of time. To alleviate eye strain, invest in a high quality computer monitor.

Ergo, Here Are 5 Important Facts About Ergonomics

  1. Yet another idea born in ancient Greece

    ​The physician Hippocrates wrote about how surgeons should arrange their workspaces and lay out their tools.

  2. ​Don't hammer a nail with your Jimmy Choo shoe!

    ​Always use the right tool for the job.

  3. Give it a rest

    ​Take a break from your computer screen every ten minutes because extended screen time can cause blurred vision, headaches, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

  4. If it don't fit, don't force it

    ​According to OSHA, ergonomics is "the science of designing the job to fit the worker, rather than physically forcing the worker's body to fit the job."

  5. What do truckers, janitors, and nurses have in common?

    They're among the top 10 occupations with musculoskeletal disorders (MSD).

Why National Ergonomics Month is Important

  1. Ergonomic furniture is a thing

    If you have to work at least 40 hours per week, why not be comfortable? High back chairs, adjustable work tables and natural lighting enable greater efficiency and ease. Plus, ergonomic furniture design can be sleek and colorful without sacrificing functionality. This special design principle follows a holistic approach by marrying technology with traditional elements that work in a variety of settings.

  2. It reduces workplace injuries

    National Ergonomics Month provides an important public service by uncovering different injury risk factors that might be lurking in your workplace. While you're patting yourself on the back for spending extra time on your computer finishing that project, beware! You may be a candidate for a musculoskeletal disorder or MSD. Work that involves repetitious activity, awkward positions, or even cold temperatures can put you at risk for injury.

  3. Injuries waste time and money

    On-the-job injuries are a lose-lose proposition for both workers and employers. After all, work-related injuries prevent employees from reporting for work. In fact, it takes almost a month for an employee to recover from carpal tunnel syndrome. OSHA reports that one out of every three dollars spent for workers' compensation results from an MSD.

National Ergonomics Month dates

2021October 1Friday
2022October 1Saturday
2023October 1Sunday
2024October 1Tuesday
2025October 1Wednesday
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