Posted by: ugleepen | October 13, 2016

How Did “Ergonomics” Come About?

nemOctober has been designated as National Ergonomics Month to help make workers and employers more aware of the importance of workplace ergonomics.

What is Ergonomics? Ergonomics is the study of the kind of work you do, the environment you work in, and the tools you use to do your job.

Why are ergonomics important? Ergonomics can help you be more comfortable at work. It can help lower stress and injury caused by awkward positions and repetitive tasks, whether you sit at a desk, stand at an assembly line, or use heavy equipment outdoors.

The association between occupations and musculoskeletal injuries was documented centuries ago. Bernardino Ramazinni wrote about work-related complaints that he saw in his medical practice in 1713.

Wojciech Jastrzebowski, a Polish scholar, created the word “ergonomics” in 1857, combing the Greek words ergon (work or labor) and nomos (natural laws).

Scientific Management, an ergonomic method that improved worker efficiency by improving the job process, became popular in the first decade of the twentieth century.

Frederick W. Taylor was a pioneer of this approach and evaluated jobs to determine the “One Best Way” they could be performed.

For example, at Bethlehem Steel Taylor dramatically increased worker production and wages in a shoveling task by matching the shovel with the type of material that was being moved (ashes, coal or ore).

World War II prompted greater interest in human-machine interaction as the efficiency of sophisticated military equipment (i.e., airplanes) could be compromised by bad or confusing design.

After World War II, the focus of concern expanded to include worker safety as well as productivity.

Areas of knowledge that involved human behavior and attributes (i.e., decision making process, organization design, human perception relative to design) became known as cognitive ergonomics or human factors.

Areas of knowledge that involved physical aspects of the workplace and human abilities such as force required to lift, vibration and reaches became known as industrial ergonomics or ergonomics.


Source: WebMD

Source: ErgoWeb

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Posted by: ugleepen | September 25, 2016

Is Texting and Gaming an Arthritis Timebomb?

mobile-phones-make-users-selfishFifty years or older is usually the average age bracket for developing arthritis, but now experts say that has been lowered.

Hand surgeon Dr. Mark Ciaglia says that he is seeing more patients 40 years old and younger dealing with painful inflammation and stiffness in their joints.

It is the hours spent each day texting and gaming  that are dooming our younger people to develop arthritis early, Ciaglia feels.

“With the advent of texting and video games and excessive use of computers and typing you’re wearing the joints out sooner so we’re actually seeing a shift in the demographics of patients that get  arthritis because they’re just wearing their joints out so much sooner,” Ciaglia, who works at Woodlands Center for Specialty Surgery in Texas, said.

Developing arthritis from texting, emailing and playing games has to do with the continuous motion of your fingers, and what is known as repetitive stress syndrome.

Those activities put a lot of strain on joints, tendons and muscles –creating a recipe for painful inflammation and stiff joints.

“At the end of the day it’s a wear and tear how many times are you moving a joint back and forth where the cartilage that covers the bone within the joint,” said Ciaglia.

‘The more often you do this and the more aggressive you are with it the sooner you will develop arthritis-like symptoms.”

Studies have shown that the average teenager now sends some 3,340 text message a month – that is about 50 a day.

A study from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that middle-school and high-school students spend, on average, 95 minutes of the day texting.

“One of the most common places where we see arthritis from repetitive hand use is at the base of the thumb,”said Dr. Nanavat,  Kaiser Family Foundations’s

“This type of injury may cause shooting pain that radiates up the forearm.”

Dr. Ciaglia understands that it is impossible for us to stop moving our fingers, but says “all good things in moderation.”


Source: Stacy Liberatore

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Posted by: ugleepen | September 15, 2016

The Ergonomic UGLee Pen – Explained!

about-the-ultimate-grip-pen-1Holding the pen too hard?!  That was me, 100%.  I used to have a callus on my middle finger the size of a pea.

And yes, all stemming from the pencils that they make us use in grade school.

Typically, the reason for holding the pen hard is to minimize slippage of the writing instrument. You subconsciously do this by compressing the soft tissues of your fingers against the hard pen/pencil, pushing against bone to get the best transfer of writing movements.

This is great for hand-eye correlation, but torture to the actual tissues being compressed, not to mention the muscles doing the work of compressing.

I’ve made the UGLee Pen so that the shape of the grip itself does the bone-to-pen transfer, and the material does the gripping onto the soft tissues.

Minimal grip needed.

The brain will always call for minimal effort.  Over the course of about a week, most will start to notice that they have been subconsciously gripping with a lot less force.

If you go back to a regular pen, you will just about drop it when you write, because of the changed perception of what grip tension is needed.

This is why the UGLee Pen is such a great ergonomic pen.

The stress and pain that many experience when writing with a “regular” pen, is gone when you use the UGLee Pen!


I came across a wonderful article by arthritis journalist Carol Eustice in which she wrote of arthritis sufferers finding words of inspiration to help them meet the challenge of living a “normal” life.

Eustice explains that people with arthritis are challenged to stay motivated while dealing with chronic pain, fatigue, physical limitations, functional limitation,  and all of the other consequences of chronic disease.

“Each of us must find our own personal motivation- something or someone that inspires us to fight for a better quality of life,” says Eustice.

“But, on those days when we feel the burden of pain intensely,” Eustice continues, “sometimes just a few words – the right words –  are enough to jump start our spirit, rekindle our positivity, or simply allow us to realize that we are not alone.”

Below are five quotes that Eustice compiled, in hopes that one or more will resonate with you

  1. Permanence, perseverance and persistence – in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities – It is these that distinguish the strong soul from the weak.  Thomas Carlyle
  2. Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.  Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.  Helen Keller
  3. Strength does not come from physical capacity.  It comes from  an indomitable will.  Mahatma Gandhi
  4. Kites rise highest against the wind – not with it.  Winston Churchill
  5. It does not matter how slow you go.  What matters is that you do not stop.  Confucius


Source: Carol Eustice – Very Well

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Posted by: ugleepen | August 9, 2016

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Ergonomics

smartfish_engage_ergonomic_keyboard_newsCarpal Tunnel Syndrome, or CTS, is a painful condition of the hand and fingers caused by compression of a major nerve where it passes over the carpal bones through a passage at the front of the wrist.

The  most common cause of CTS is repetitive use/overuse of the fingers, hands, wrists and upper extremities.

CTS can be prevented, especially by utilizing proper ergonomics in the workplace.

Most people who work at a desk utilize a computer with its associated monitor and keyboard. The proper placement, height, type and design of each these is very important.

There are specialized types of “split” keyboards that can help prevent poor mechanics, such as the wrists being too flexed. Typing in a “wrist-neutral position” means working with the wrist “straight” and not too “bent up or down.”

Similarly, there is such a thing as an “ergonomically correct” computer mouse, which is, again, designed to put your hand in a more neutral position.

Other things you can do to help lessen the risk of CTS include:

  • Frequent breaks.
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises for the hand, fingers, and arms.
  • Yoga and flexibility exercises.
  • Relaxing your grip on the mouse, and lightening your touch on the keyboard.

If you work for yourself, try to get ergonomically correct equipment, and utilize the suggestions above.

If you are employed, ask your employer if they could consider hiring an ergonomic specialist. Prevention of workplace injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome is less costly in the long run.


Source: Dr. Marc P. Pietropaoli 

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Posted by: ugleepen | July 22, 2016

Business Owners – Ergonomics Can Save You Money

BusinessOwner1_dt_18259345Are you a business owner concerned about the high cost to your company of lost work days, high employee turnover, and the ever increasing cost of health care benefits?

Fully one-third of all workplace injuries and illnesses are preventable with proper workplace ergonomics.

Ergonomics is defined as; “designing the job, equipment and tools to fit the worker, and fitting the worker to the job.”

Etgonomics expert Dr. Ken Kaufman states that the vast majority of ergonomic related injuries are completely preventable, saving your company significant money and lost work time

The most common work related ergonomic injuries such as, carpal tunnel syndrome, back injuries and tendinitis are injuries of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage and/or spinal discs.

“Fortunately, many of these cases can be prevented with the proper strategy and for a relatively small investment,” says Kaufman. Creating a prevention-conscious culture will go a long way in building strong participation in your injury prevention program.

The idea behind ergonomics is to simply reduce the stressors that contribute to the musculoskeletal and repetitive use injuries.

Most people recognize that setting up a workstation ergonomically is important in addition to proper lifting techniques.

However, its common to still see secretaries habitually holding the phone against their ear with their shoulder creating neck problems, or assembly workers performing the same movements over and over creating imbalanced muscle patterns that set the stage for injury.

In order to prevent this scenario, it is necessary to create a strategy that encourages and supports employees to look for ways to diminish the stressors in their home and work environment

For example: implementing a policy where individuals that perform phone work must utilize a headset, computer users have wrist supports, and cross-training assembly workers to rotate to different stations if possible to reduce the day-to-day repetitive motions they are exposed to.

For business leaders that are concerned about the high costs of health care and the recent health care reform legislation, the time is now to develop a comprehensive prevention strategy for the ergonomic injuries that are draining the profitability out of your business.

Source: Dr. Ken Kaufman

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Posted by: ugleepen | July 8, 2016

Fulbright Award for Studying Arthritis in Sweden

IversonNortheastern University in Boston has announced that Maura Iversen, pro­fessor and chair of the Depart­ment of Phys­ical Therapy, Move­ment and Reha­bil­i­ta­tion Sci­ences, has received a Ful­bright award to work in Sweden during the 2016–17 aca­d­emic year.

She will launch a study to assess the phys­ical activity levels of chil­dren with juve­nile idio­pathic arthritis—the most common form of arthritis in chil­dren under 17.

Her study will include a cohort of Swedish chil­dren, assessing the level of mod­erate phys­ical activity they engaged in over the course of a week.

Iverson has created four different ques­tion­naires, being translated from English to Swedish, to learn about the impact of arthritis on func­tion, including phys­ical activity pat­terns.

“Juve­nile idio­pathic arthritis is the most chronic ill­ness in chil­dren, more so than dia­betes, and we know that phys­ical activity is an impor­tant com­po­nent of reg­u­lating the immune response and man­aging the dis­ease,” Iversen said.

Iversen will spend three months in spring 2017 at the Karolinska Insti­tute in Stock­holm for her Ful­bright, and she’ll be sur­veying chil­dren at Astrid Lindgren’s Children’s Hos­pital, which is affil­i­ated with the institute.

Why Sweden?

Sweden has estab­lished a system of national reg­istries that col­lect health­care data, allowing Iversen to poten­tially survey thou­sands of chil­dren with juve­nile idio­pathic arthritis.

Her hope is to be able to merge the ques­tion­naires into this reg­istry, thereby helping doc­tors in Sweden better track and assess children’s phys­ical activity over the long term.

“The goal is to ascer­tain how much phys­ical activity chil­dren are engaging in and to deter­mine if they are meeting, or exceeding, their tar­gets, and finally to assess the impact that has on the pro­gres­sion of the dis­ease and children’s health outcomes,” Iverson explained.



Source: Northeastern University

Posted by: ugleepen | June 24, 2016

Ever Heard of Infectious Arthritis?

joint painInfectious arthritis, also known as septic arthritis, occurs when the fluid and tissues surrounding a joint become infected. It can cause pain, swelling, and fever.

Infectious arthritis can spread through the bloodstream or from an infected joint because of bacteria, viruses, or fungi.

Acute infectious arthritis can damage cartilage in the joint within hours or days.

Symptoms of acute infectious arthritis include swelling and stiffening when fluid collects in the infected joint.

The joint becomes painful, especially when moving or touching something. Reddening and a warm feeling may occur in the joint. Fever and chills are known to occur.

Chronic infectious arthritis occurs in the knee, hip, elbow, wrist, shoulder, and fingers from bacterial, fungal and mycobacterial infection. Usually only one joint is affected, but it can sometimes be several.

Gradual swelling, mild warmth, and an aching pain may accompany chronic infectious arthritis. Some redness may occur.


Infectious arthritis can develop from certain health conditions such as a weakened immune system, or engaging in risky behaviors like intravenous drug use.

If you have diabetes or HIV-related diseases you have a weakened immune system. Consult your doctor early to see if antibiotics are necessary, and examine your joints for signs of infection on a regular basis.

Rheumatoid arthritis increases the risk of developing infectious arthritis because of joint damage and steroid injections sometimes used for treatment.

People who have undergone joint replacement are advised to tell doctors and dentists about the replacement before medical procedures. Antibiotics may be prescribed before the procedures.

Sexually transmitted diseases can cause infectious arthritis, so practicing safe sex helps to prevent the disorder.

What to Do

A healthy diet boosts the immune system to lower the risks of infectious arthritis.

If you notice pain or swelling of joints or other arthritic symptoms you should contact your physician immediately to avoid the effects of possible infectious arthritis.




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Posted by: ugleepen | June 10, 2016

Ergonomic Solutions to Chronic Pain in the Workplace

deskHuffington Post journalist Larry Alton began an article about workplace ergonomics by saying:

“Among employees who spend hours each day in cubicles and offices, pecking away at keyboards, slouching in cheap desk chairs, and squinting at bright screens, chronic pain is incredibly prevalent. “

The good news is that once you have identified some of the ergonomic problems with your “cubicle” job, you can also identify some of the ergonomic solutions.

Did you know that chronic pain in the workplace costs businesses between $297.4 billion and $333.5 billion in lost productivity?  Not to mention the suffering of you, the employee.

Causes of Chronic Pain in the Workplace

The most commonly reported issues — headaches, back and neck pain, and arthritis — can be directly related to one or more of the following basic problems, says Alton.

Poor Posture

Likely the number one cause of chronic pain in the workplace, poor posture leads to back and neck issues, headaches, and other musculoskeletal problems. In fact, learning how to correct bad desk posture can alleviate existing pain almost immediately.

 Repetitive Motion

When looking at the common causes of wrist pain, muscle strains, or chronic joint issues, long-term, repetitive motion is almost always one of the culprits. According to The Hand and Wrist Institute, “Carpal tunnel syndrome is most often seen in people whose occupations require … the constant use of computer keyboards and the computer mouse. “

Visual Straining

For people with already-poor eyesight, straining to see a computer screen only exacerbates existing symptoms and can lead to chronic headaches and tension.

Tips for Eliminating and Reducing Pain

Alton offers the following tips on how to put ergonomics to good use in your workplace, to eliminate  pain and reclaim your productivity:

 Standing Desk

Standing desks have come a long way and are no longer considered taboo or strange. In fact, you’d be surprised to learn how many of your peers are already using them. Depending on the model you choose, most standing desks are actually devices you place on top of an existing desk. You can then raise or lower them to your desired height — allowing you to sit, stand, or alternate between the two.

Related to the dangers of sitting for long periods of time, a standing desk may help people fight cardiovascular disease, obesity, and pain related to poor posture.

Ergonomic Keyboard

An investment in an ergonomic keyboard may help by allowing you to keep your chest open, with shoulders drawn back, and the wrists in a more neutral position.

 Regular Exercise

Even if it means coming into work earlier or leaving a little later, it’s worth taking 30 minutes to break up your sedentary routine during the day. A little bit of cardio can increase circulation, loosen stiff joints, and release powerful pain-killing endorphins.

Be Proactive — Not Reactive

The idea is to be proactive when it comes to workplace pain, rather than reactive. By implementing these tips now — whether or not you’re already experiencing symptoms or issues — you can ensure you’ll be happier, healthier, and exponentially more productive for years to come.


Source: Larry Alton, Huffington Post

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Posted by: ugleepen | May 23, 2016

National AgrAbility Project and Arthritis

5682cc7f98e65.imageThe Arthritis Foundation’s National AgrAbility Project works to enable a lifestyle of high quality for farmers and ranchers with disabilities such as arthritis.

Arthritis is the most common disability in America, with one in five Americans having doctor-diagnosed arthritis.

It is even more prevalent in agriculture, with one-third of farmers and ranchers suffering the symptoms of arthritis.

AgrAbility is known for its efforts to enhance the quality of life for farmers with arthritis.

The AgrAbility program helps connect people with assistive devices so they can perform the tasks they need on the farm.

Farmers also come up with their own contraptions that sometimes work well. For example, adapted garden tools with PVC pipes to make longer handles or a wheelbarrow with a straight handle instead of one that requires you to turn your palms up.

Second and third generations of farmers with arthritis can prevent the disease from being as disruptive to them. There are resources available through the National Arthritis Foundation, and 4-H and FFA are bringing awareness of arthritis to a younger crowd.

Those with arthritis can improve and manage their symptoms by being active, eating well and getting enough sleep.

Reducing coffee intake, increasing stretching and exercise and learning simple habits such as leading with their good knee when going up the stairs, also help.

Maintaining a healthy weight is important. Being just 10 pounds over your ideal weight puts more pressure on your weight-bearing joints and is like carrying a 40 pound feed bag.

Stress also aggravates arthritis.

The Project encourages farmers, who often are reluctant to see a doctor, to make an appointment, and if they are diagnosed with arthritis to take the proper actions to maintain a good quality of life.

With the help of the Arthritis Foundation and the AbrAbility Project, farmers and ranchers can continue doing the work they love for years to come.

Source: Phyllis Coulter,  Iowa Farmer Today

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