It happens to me all the time. You know—you’re on the plane or at a cocktail party and somebody asks what you do. “I’m an ergonomist.” The next question is usually, “Huh?”
Well, being an ergonomist means a lot of things. Technically, I help people work more productively while decreasing their risk of suffering an injury or illness. But some days, it’s as simple as helping people understand all the levers on their chairs, or how to use a mouse properly. It’s how to improve your posture and how to encourage good work habits. Sometimes, it’s training the trainer about how to recognize and mitigate risk factors.
Other times, my job is giving presentations about sleeping or driving or hobbies—things that seemingly aren’t work. Nevertheless, our bodies think it’s work and ergonomics is the study of that: work. Not just what we do for a job or a living, but work—activity that our bodies undertake. There are always improvements that can be made: changing a habit, changing a mouse, learning a new method, sleeping a little differently, exercising a little bit more. There are always things that can increase productivity and decrease injury risk—in all parts of our lives!
Post by Martha Parker, CEO