About

Ergonomic information is all over the internet, yet rarely can we step outside of ourselves and identify or correct our work place challenges. You’ve seen it, your friend or co-worker has terrible posture. What did you do about it?

aboutWhat approach is most effective? If you chose “c” The human interaction. You are correct.

As an Occupational Therapist for 20 years, my passion is working with people and problem solving practical solutions to make daily life easier.  I love “root- cause analysis”- WHY something hurts and HOW to fix it or prevent it.  This naturally attracted me to ergonomics. I started “doing ergonomics” in San Francisco in the late 90’s during the dot com boom when awareness of-and our time using-computers- was growing.

Susan Hardesty, MS. OTR

Susan Hardesty, MS. OTR

I am convinced customized ergonomic interventions reduce risk of injury, increase productivity and improve employee (company) morale.

Always learning, in 2011, I received a Master of Science in Kinesiology Degree (MSK), Ergonomics.

I am passionate about the ART and SCIENCE of humans working safely, efficiently and comfortably in the workplace. Working with individuals to improve their ability to work productively and comfortably in whatever work environment they find themselves is the foundation of Balanced Ergonomics.

Services

A “personal trainer” for an ergonomic workplace.

ERGONOMIC EVALUATIONS

TIER ONE

15 – 30 min. + Follow Up Email

Prevention evaluations are designed for the symptom free worker to reduce risk of work related musculoskeletal disorders and optimize comfort and efficiency within their workplace. This includes immediate changes to the workspace and a report summarizing changes made/trialed and further recommendations. A follow up email is also standard.

TIER TWO

30-60 min. + Follow Up Email

Responsive evaluations are designed for the worker who has pain, or poor productivity, who is being treated for an injury or those in high risk jobs where musculoskeletal disorders are common. Included in a Tier 2 evaluation: immediate changes to the workspace and work habits, a report summarizing changes made/trialed, further recommendations, and a follow up email.

TIER THREE

15 min. + Follow Up Email

These in person “follow up” visits are to ensure the customized recommendations of the Tier 1 and 2 evaluations are properly executed. Change is not easy and old habits often re-emerge. This is a time to answer questions and clarify recommendations.

EDUCATION

One hour “lunch” seminars are available for groups up to 10 people. This interactive session can be customized for specific work groups, and for specific work topics. Topics can include Posture 101, Chair 101, or Desk ergonomics 101 to name a few.

PRODUCT SELECTION

The “right” product or piece of equipment may not work for all workers. Proper consideration of WHAT you buy is key in reducing and preventing work related musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). Understanding the qualities office equipment should possess helps when deciding what equipment to purchase. I offer equipment recommendations based on attributes the equipment needs to have for the work setting and the people using them.

CHAIR PRESCRIPTION

Selection and education of how a chair adjusts. What body type works with what chair attributes. How to make sure your chair is fitting you.

Training & Seminars

Productivity is #1.  But how do you get optimal productivity? Pain limits productivity. Distractions limit productivity. Low morale limits productivity.

Balanced ergonomic work interventions increase productivity by reducing risk factors for pain AND creating solutions for an efficient, focused work environment. Additionally, possibly most importantly, employees feel valued when the organization shows it cares about health and well being. Morale increases!

The right training for the right people will ensure that your organization has the skills and methods to complete work in a healthy sustainable way.

training

the BALANCED ERGO difference

Practical approach to training

Designed for real learning, the approach emphasizes collaboration and discussion.  Change is difficult. Habits are hard to break.  New ways of doing things will feel odd and slow initially.  Overtime- working with improved posture, work habits, proper equipment and set up will result in a happier more productive worker.   The follow up emails and summary report help foster lasting healthy change.  The customized nature of the Balanced Ergonomics approach is key.

Training programs to fit your specific needs

Balanced Ergonomics customizes every training program to teach your staff to solve actual ergonomic challenges in your company. Balanced Ergo will deliver the right program to meet the objectives you define.

Balanced Ergo is committed to outstanding ergonomics education.  Pain free, productive work is the driving goal. Training, both individual and small group, programs emphasize a hands-on approach and can be custom-matched to your work environment. Easy-to-apply problem-solving methods and cost justification data ensure that your staff develops the practical knowledge to identify ergonomics challenges, discover solutions, and utilize the support needed to implement them.

Evaluations

When it comes to ergonomics, there’s no solution that’s “one-size-fits-all.” Everybody is unique, each workstation is different, and each job comes with its own set of risks. By creating the best possible fit between the worker and the tasks they perform, organizations can be sure that employees stay healthy, comfortable and productive. Whether you choose on-site ergonomic evaluations or a web evaluation option, this is a vital first step in helping employees feel better and work optimally.

Preventative: Tier 1

Prevention. In just 20-30 minutes, modifications are suggested and trialled “on the spot” to promote a better fit between the worker and their workstation. Designed for the low-risk and symptom free employee, this is a proactive way to insure good work habits.  In addition, Balanced Ergo is useful when upgrading office equipment, renovating or relocating. Balanced Ergo evaluations will qualify as a good faith-effort under OSHA.

Responsive: Tier 2

Responsive evaluations are comprehensive 45-60 minute custom evaluations appropriate for employees with complaints of work-related discomfort, for employees returning from surgery or injury and for those participating in ongoing medical care such as OT, PT or chiropractic care.  Responsive evaluations are excellent for groups of individuals in ergonomic “red flag” areas (data entry, call centers, full day computer work, materials handling, etc.). The goal being to reduce and/or eliminate current complaints and prevent future incidents.  Immediate interventions and recommendations are made and a summary report follows. For remote employees these may be done through photo uploads and conference calling.

Restorative: Tier 3

These visits are designed to ensure workstation recommendations and equipment modifications have been implemented properly.  Restorative check-in evaluations are appropriate for individuals who received a Balanced Ergo evaluation in the past yet need a brief (10-15 min) visit to further modify and/or clarify workspace set up and work habits.  A short report summary is generated for reference. 

 

Quick Tips

tip1

Ideal heights for a standing workstation depending on the task

  • Workplace design should fit the variety of workers’ shapes and sizes and provide support for the completion of different tasks.                (think adjustable)
  • Different tasks require different work surface heights- the result is optimal strength and control for the job. (Pictured right)

tip1b

tip2

What is an ideal seated workspace set up?

  • Adjustable chair: including adjustable arms, seat pan, seat height, rolling
  • Adjustable computer components: cordless keyboard and mouse allow for variety and are lightweight, no drag from cord. Adjustable monitor height and angle.

Img4_Seated

tip3

What can workers do to reduce the discomfort of working in a standing position?

  • Adjust the height of the work according to body dimensions, using elbow height as a guide.
  • Organize your work so that the usual operations are done within easy reach.
  • Always face the object of work. Avoid twisting!
  • Keep body close to the work. Frequent reaching or bending can strain your back and arms.
  • Adjust the workplace to get enough space to change working position. Take time to create a safe comfortable area. You are worth it.
  • Use a foot rail or portable footrest to shift body weight from one leg to the other.  This neutralizes the back strain.
  • Use a seat when the work process allows for rest. A tall stool can be helpful for reducing leg and back strain.
  • Variety (movement) is the key to comfort. Too much of anything- even the most perfect posture- can cause pain.

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