A weblog dedicated to Ergonomics education, dicussion and debate. This emerging field has the power to transform industry, business and the lives of ordinary people for the better. The Industrial Athlete intends to encourage and document our profession's vision of an ergonomically-friendly future!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Exercise Programs: Do They Have A Place In Ergonomic Interventions?

In the previous post, I mentioned how the exercise ball had a role in the ergonomics profession (that is, as part of a well-designed exercise program). How does this relate to improved work performance?

Among other benefits, exercise has been shown to:

  • Reduce feelings of depression and anxiety
  • Promote psychological well-being and reduce feelings of stress
  • Help build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints
  • Helps older adults become stronger and better able to move about without falling or becoming excessively fatigued

(Source: Center for Disease Control)

By mitigating the effects of depression, and engendering a positive outlook on life, exercise programs can allow a worker to better focus on the task at hand, rather than allowing stress to damage their productivity levels. The occupational health journal Work published an article on occupational stress cessation techniques in 2001, stating that short periods of meditation, the practice of daily exercise programs can be helpful to workers experiencing occupational stress.

(Source: Work, Volume 17, Number 3 / 2001, pg 235-245)

Nevertheless, exercise should not be substituted for ergonomic engineering interventions in a workplace suffering from high levels of occupational injury and illness, just like a band-aid should not be substituted for a proper dressing on a gaping wound. Exercise programs have an optimizing effect on well-being in any work environment, but all the stretching and weightlifting in the world won't prevent a badly-designed assembly line from causing high incidences of back, shoulder and wrist injuries.

As with any post/topic on this blog, debate and discussion is encouraged.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home