Here at m-erg, we know a thing or two about workplace injuries experienced behind a desk. Poorly designed software is one factor that can cause serious hand and wrist problems, disabling workers from doing their job. Over at the Texas A&M School of Public Health, researchers are creating a tool that could help develop safer software for the workplace.

Published in Applied Ergonomics, the “Self-Report Ergonomic Assessment Tool,” or SEAT, was designed as a simple method of determining the amount of stress a computer program puts on its user. The SEAT doesn’t require special training and instead relies on people self-reporting discomfort, which could make it very easy-to-use and inexpensive for software developers. It was created to help identify stress related software before it hits the market and will hopefully play a hand in creating more user-friendly software. The tool isn’t 100% complete, though. Next, it will enter a stage of refinement processes, where it will be refined to give software developers more direction in removing stressors to prevent strain from ever occurring.

We learned that people are really good at telling about discomfort and being able to link that with muscular workload.  What people aren’t great at is rating their postures or positions.  So, we at m-erg are taking this information and changing the fundamental way we go about our ergonomic evaluations.  We’re asking people about their discomfort of course, but we’re not so interested in how they think they look when they work.  That’s where we the experts come in and can do a better job of evaluating postures and positions from our perspective.

For more information on how m-erg handles identifying stressors, read our blog post “40 Lbs. Ago!”

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