The New Paradigm of Ergonomics (Finally!)

It’s okay to get mad, I was mad too. I was mad that traditional ergonomic education neglected 3 of the 4 key components of Postural Ergonomics. You see, traditional ergonomic education teaches you to focus on the development of environmental workspaces – not to focus on human correction within their workspace.

The United States Department of Labor states that Ergonomics is fitting a job to a person. At the American Posture Institute we are taking a unique stand in saying that Ergonomic Experts should be focused on fitting the person for any job that they do.

Postural Ergonomists are “People Focused First and Equipment Focused Second.”

This is a completely new paradigm of ergonomic education. When we focus on maximizing the human potential of the person, then how to set up their workspace to support this maximal function, that is how transformations occur. Transformations of the worker’s functional, postural, and neural capacity while at work.

Now that is a paradigm shift that was waiting to erupt, a paradigm that is worth investing time and energy into.

Think of Postural Ergonomics as a “Keystone Habit.” Keystone habits are habits, that once set in motion, promote other similar behaviors. Many people begin eating healthier when they start working out. Working out is the Keystone habit that then fueled the motivation of eating healthy.

Just as exercise is a Keystone Habit, so is Postural Ergonomics. Once the worker feels how great it is to have good posture at work, the ability to stand up more often and move freely within their environment, they start to do other healthy habits. Postural Ergonomics as a Keystone Habit often leads to heightened levels of physical activity outside of the office, a better mood at work with more positivity toward occupational tasks, and even complete body awareness or Posture Mindfulness.

Identifying Keystone Habits helps you help your clients at a whole new level. Once they experience results of good health and wellbeing from Postural Ergonomics, this motivation affects other aspects of their life, leading to better habits in and out of the workplace.

In fact, a key component in Postural Re-Education is ergonomics. All workers have the ability to design upright, resilient posture with mindful intentions and an ongoing commitment to proper postural habits. One of the best ways to support good postural habits at work is the utilization of ergonomic equipment and focused attention on the Four Key Components of Postural Ergonomics.

The Four Key Components of Postural Ergonomics are:

  • Functional: The functional component focuses on human functional movements within the worker’s workspace. Their ability to perform human functional movements with proper dynamic posture.
  • Postural: The Postural component is the worker’s postural design within their workspace and their ability to prevent postural collapse while performing occupational tasks.
  • Brain-Based: The Brain-Based component is to improve neurologic output and cognition within the workplace. The ability to increase neural capacity for better decision-making, and to prevent cognitive errors.
  • Environmental: The environmental component is the final component, which focuses on the worker’s actual workspace, what equipment they have, how beneficial that equipment is for their body, and how to make better recommendations to support good postural design.

If we are honest with ourselves as health care professionals, workers aren’t motivated by the idea of buying a new “desk” or a new “office chair.” Quite honestly they don’t want to invest more money into expensive ergonomic equipment without understanding the benefit.

Postural Ergonomics, focuses on the WHY, not just the HOW. You see, a desk is a desk. But a Postural Ergonomic Workspace that supports upright postural design to improve productivity, increases functional output to produce work without experiencing injuries, and improved neuro-cognitive function to prevent fatigue. Now that is worth investing into.

Traditional ergonomics fell short in motivation. Postural Ergonomics is a new approach that stimulates motivation to achieve High Performance. Imagine how much better the world could be with High Performing Occupational Athletes who utilized Postural Ergonomics as a Keystone Habit for better health and happiness in the workplace.

It’s not about the desk, it’s not about furniture, it’s about optimizing human performance. It’s what the desk allows you to do that helps you thrive within your environment and achieve High Performance.

Postural Ergonomics is the solution for tapping into your Functional, Postural, and Neurologic health in the workplace. Join us at the American Posture Institute in this new paradigm of ergonomics, Postural Ergonomics.  


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