Workday Ergonomics (revision)

Revised posted
Workday Ergonomics, Floating and Flighting
was originally posted on 3-23-2009


A  kayaker    is paddling on a fast current river.   If he paddles up stream he requires much more energy to over come the resistance.  He is fighting river current.  If kayaker paddles turns his boat to move with the current.   He requires little resistance and can move easily with the current. He is floating with the river current.
Fighting and floating.

In industrial jobs,   a worker is often required to heavy repetitive work.
I have often explain to the younger workers around me how to “float” in their job and not “fight”. It good to challenge ones self at a job, but over long periods of time,  one is better  off working with bodily efficiency , moving smoothly with as little resistance as possible.

Some of the young guys will pick up huge loads of material to load  machine. and ram it into the machine.they have to load them all day. They are fatigued and sweaty at the end of the work day. Sometimes displeased even though they put in a good workday.

I have encourage  them to:

  • think of their body as a smooth gliding machine
  • experiment and  be conscious of the feeling in their joints when lifting did size loads
  • see what lifting load size creates the least  fatigue on their joints per lift.
  • Be conscious of their breathing, hip back and arm posture
  • Take advantage of gravity and the physics around them
  • ultimately think of themselves as part of the whole machine process.
  • Float more than fight.

Of course, most young guys are like I was, at there age, they tend not listen to the advice of older guys. (I wish I would have listen to the advice of older guys, when I was younger… my body creaks with arthritis today)

Unnecessary resistance, stress… “Fighting” can have an accumulating effect over along period of and can affect overall health and happiness…
In any career  office job, Farming job, or industrial job.

One major Field of study  in industry and engineering is  “Ergonomics“.

Ergonomics is the science of fitting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of the working population. Effective and successful “fits” assure high productivity, avoidance of illness and injury risks, and increased satisfaction among the workforce.
In industry, Ergonomics is the discipline  of  engineering  the work place and work  equipment to suit the needs of the worker.

cite – OSHA

Some examples of Ergonomics:

  • computer keyboards that are easier on the users wrists
  • Desk chairs design for posture
  • jack lifts that make unloading loads from skids easier on the back.
  • Brighter lights in a work area which help with both vision and moral.
  • Teaching workers to move safely and efficiently (eg. lift loads  with with legs while your back straight)



The idea is to make the worker/work place more efficient and healthy and therefor more productive. In Ergonomics, the worker is always in mind in designing.
Personally I think you can  include mental activity in applying ergonomics.  limiting unimportant distractions and focusing on the task at hand, avoiding multitasking  to limit fatigue,  keeping a work area well-lit and esthetically pleasing to encourage a happier energetic mood.

In my work day, I make the “Work Station”, “work process” and me fit together as one…as much as I possibly can.

What I’ve learned over the years, when I leave my work day: less fatigued and more confident… I enjoy my life outside of work more, as well.
The next day I wake up and enjoy going to work. over the long all  I happier and healthier.

Learn to Float  more than fight!
If you enjoyed this article, please check out  Wu Wei and moving with the flow.


About chris
I write because I'm not good at it. I share because, writing without sharing seems empty. Thus, I write and share what I think is meaningful.

2 Responses to Workday Ergonomics (revision)

  1. Pingback: Policies of Work | Pennsylvania Echoes

  2. chris says:

    Reblogged this on Pennsylvania Echoes and commented:

    Ergonomics –– Float Don’t Fight –

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