Ergonomics done right.®
April 11th, 2012

New Video: Ergonomics and the Aging Workforce

Recently, Humantech vice president, Josh Kerst, sat down with host, Lark McCarthy, of Inside E  Street, a news program produced by AARP, to discuss what the show labels as the “Graying Workplace.”  Kerst explained that, with the growing numbers of older workers in the workforce, it’s essential to consider that, “one size does not fit all,” in terms of job design.

Here are some of the key points discussed in the interview:

  1. Work Reach – Older workers often have a reduced range of motion. You should always be able to “shake hands with work” and bring it into the comfort zone.
  2. Lighting – Older workers need two to three times more light than their younger counterparts, so natural, low-glare, high quality lighting is essential.
  3. Sound– As we age, certain sounds can become more distracting. Remember the ABCs of sound – absorb, block, control.
  4. Sitting versus Standing –  Sitting puts 50% more pressure on our backs than standing.  Sit/stand workstations give employees the option to do both and help them become less static throughout the day.

Kerst also debunks the myth that older employees don’t want to learn new things. When employers engage them and consider their needs in job design, they have a wealth of experience to share and will be more healthy and able to do so.  View the full video.