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Swedish Study Shows Benefits of Ergonomics to Caregivers

Caregiver

In today’s age, most businesses have developed some sense of ergonomic awareness among their employees. The presence of proper ergonomics in the workplace has a profound effect on those performing duties and tasks, and has been proven to financially benefit both the employee and the company.

But what can be done to integrate ergonomics into an environment that is not a business?

With the American culture comes the tradition of caring for elder friends and relatives. Some might spend a Sunday afternoon giving their father a bath, while others might be full-time informal caregivers. Whatever the situation may be, it is always necessary to value the environmental health of the person performing the tasks.

The Open Occupational Health and Safety Journal published a study detailing the benefits and practices of participatory ergonomics in informal caregivers. The point of the study was to illustrate the results that were produced by a participative approach derived from action research.

Participatory ergonomics refers to workers using strategic techniques in the work environment to improve the conditions for the employee and reduce the risk of injury and discomfort.

“It is essential to consider the possibilities for active participation for all involved in the actual, daily life situation,” the study pleaded. “A foundation for a qualitative, meaningful and secure daily life is built on active collaboration between care receiver, and assistive person, with support by ergonomics and rehabilitative facilitator.”

This study gives heed to the idea that ergonomics should be integrated into the routines and daily lives of each individual person in order to provide practical bodily function as it relates to the environment. Since most people associate ergonomics with workplace practice, this could be a trend that takes some time to catch on.

“Participation is essential regardless if the assistant is employed personnel or an informal carer, and regardless if the matter concerns movement and transfers or personal care.” the study’s author added.

If you know of an informal caregiver who knows the value of ergonomics, even though they are not in a traditional workplace setting, give us some insight in the comment box below.

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2 Comments

  1. You never think about ergonomics affecting your daily activities, but it makes sense. You can easily hurt yourself with careless motions. And when someone is counting on you to help them move, you can’t risk getting hurt!

  2. Ian Waldron says:

    Very good point. Those who are considered “informal caregivers” are also typically volunteers, etc. and are not covered by benefits or workers’ comp if they do get hurt. The bottom line is that whether you are on the job or simply engaging in everyday activities, proper training and technique can go a long way. However, the person does have to be physically fit to perform the tasks in the first place…

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