Ergonomic News and Fun Stuff from Kare Products
There’s always something newsworthy going on in the world of ergonomics, and we’ve brought you a few noteworthy items circling the news recently. It’s encouraging to see ergonomic design challenging some of the status quo – especially when it’s obvious that ergonomic design makes certain activities easier on our bodies, and makes us more productive as well.
The Age-Old Shovel Design Gets an Ergonomic Facelift
Bosse Tools recently made headway on getting their ergonomic shovel project funded via Kickstarter. The company’s quest to improve on the age-old design of the shovel got them over $64,000 in funding from various supporters online. The company had started with just one shovel design in 2011, but realized their ergonomic handle technology could be applied to other shovel styles as well. The design is intended to improve posture and reduce back pain associated with shoveling while also relieving wrist pain by taking the wrist out of the supinated position. With this fundraising goal met, the company plans to begin full-scale production and sales in 2014.
The Family that Longboards together Has More Fun- With a Baby Seat and Ergonomic
Developed by the Quinny company, the four-wheeled longboard stroller will feature a full-sized stroller chair at the front of the board with ergonomic handles that provide comfort, greater stability and more control. Long boards are a popular way to get around – slower than biking and faster than walking – yet nobody has really found a way to make it a viable way to transport a young child – until now.
Treadmill Workstations-An Improvement to Health and Productivity?
In other ergonomic news, more studies are showing that “inactive physiology” (also known as
sitting) has negative health effects. In fact, some studies re suggesting that too much sitting should be considered an independent risk factor for chronic diseases including diabetes and heart disease. One solution to the problem that’s gaining popularity is converting workstations to a standing-based setup and adding a treadmill.
But what of productivity? Reports from ergonomists in the field tell a different story that presents pros and cons. Some will say that once people adjust to life with a treadmill desk, their productivity doesn’t suffer. Other ergonomists are loud and clear that there is a trade-off and other ergonomic issues can emerge. Stay tuned for a follow up article on the effects of treadmill workstations. Movement, breaks and even switching from a sitting desk to a standing desk without a treadmill have positive health benefits.
Going Green With Ergonomics in the Garden
Outside of the workplace, in the garden to be more specific, ergonomic design is becoming more common as baby boomers age and seek out tools that enable them to enjoy gardening without the aches and strains that come with poorly designed tools. Companies like Fiskars and Green Heron Tools are making gardening more pleasurable by introducing products like the HERshovel and the PowerGear lopper. Both companies are recognizing that their customers make up a broad spectrum of ages and are demanding tools that contribute to their enjoyment of gardening.
Another place where ergonomic design is slowly but surely making a presence is on the baseball diamond. Major League Baseball has recently approved an ergonomic bat deign that has the potential to prevent injuries to the hamate – a wrist bone known to pro baseball players for its inclination to break. Most breaks of this nature require surgery and upwards of eight weeks to heal.
To address this, Grady Phelan, a graphic designer, has invented and patented the ProXR baseball bat. The major difference between his bat and traditional bats is the ergonomically designed knob at the base that contours to the user’s hand in a way that avoids putting pressure on the hamate. The design has captured the attention of several players, and the biggest hurdle has been breaking through the tradition and superstition of major league players.
These are just a few of the stories as the world embraces ergonomics. Stay tuned for the latest news and fun stuff from the world of ergonomics as it makes the headlines.
Karen Burke is the President and Founder of Kare Products. Karen has over 30 years of expertise creating ergonomic furniture that helps avoid injury and promotes health for all types of discomfort and body sizes.