A Look at Ergonomics: Resource of the Week, The Resourceshelf

Posted by Celia Walter | 25 Mar, 2009

A Look at Ergonomics: Resource of the Week
by Shirl Kennedy

As someone who drags around an iBook and computes from a number of awkward places, I am all too aware that bad ergonomics get dicier as you get older. Most of us spend w-a-y too much time in front of the computer screen. Sometimes it can’t be helped. Sometimes…well, maybe we should try a little harder to Have A Life. Our eyes are overworked, our shoulders are hunched, our tunnels are carpaled… Maybe we need to pay more attention to ergonomics, which leads me to this week’s resource.

Source: Cornell Human Factors and Ergonomics Research Group (CHFERG)
CUErgo: Cornell University Ergonomics Web
“CUErgo presents information from research studies and class work by students and faculty in the Cornell Human Factors and Ergonomics Research Group (CHFERG), directed by Professor Alan Hedge, in the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell University. CHFERG focuses on ways to enhance usability by improving the ergonomic design of hardware, software, and workplaces, to enhance people’s comfort, performance, and health in an approach we call Ergotecture.” Most of the practical information available here, which you’ll find in the center column of the page, focuses on computer use — for adults, for kids, and for seniors.

Do check out the Library ergonomics link, which takes you to some interesting student projects involving signage and the ergonomic issues associated with library automation. You’ll also find information about ergonomics in hotels, nursing homes, and hospitals.

Don’t neglect the “news” section in the lefthand column.
+ Read about the problems caused by hot laptops (not for the faint of heart).
+ Read a report by Professor Hedge on the Ergonomics Considerations of LCD versus CRT Displays (PDF; 54 KB).
+ Is there really a link between computer use and carpal tunnel syndrome?
+ Have some ErgoFun by solving several entertaining puzzles.

Students, researchers, and professionals in the field of ergonomics will find plenty of resources, including job and internship postings, a collection of research studies, and various tools, checklists, survey forms, and software. And there’s a categorized list of links to other ergonomics-related sites, including Ergoblog and Living in the Mirror, an eclectic site for lefthanded people.

Bonus resources:
+ Usernomics (an ergonomics consulting firm) has a nicely annotated list of links.
+ The Naval Safety Center offers DoD and government-oriented ergonomics information.
+ The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Lighting Research Center has an excellent set of manuals on Lighting for Older Adults. There are downloadable PDF versions for older adults; home designers, architects, and builders; and health care professionals