Current Ergonomics News and Events

Current Ergonomics News and Events, Ergonomics News Articles.
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Notes of discomfort: Study keys in on trends in marching band members' pain
Marching band members in leadership roles are more likely to feel discomfort in the neck and upper back than their less experienced bandmates, who in turn are more susceptible to left-hand pain and cognitive strain, a new study suggests. (2021-02-09)

Exoskeletons can reduce strain also in health care
Wearable exoskeletons are increasingly being used in physically demanding jobs to support good ergonomics and augment muscular strength. In ground-breaking studies led by researchers at Tampere University and LUT University in Finland, exoskeleton vests were worn by nurses to discover how the new technology would suit the special requirements of patient care. (2020-11-10)

University of Cincinnati ergonomics expert says work smarter at home
Millions of office workers have been sent home to work remotely in the midst of COVID-19. But how many of them have gotten in guidance or equipment to support good ergonomics. Static posture or position could lead to back, neck and shoulder injury. (2020-07-28)

Virtual reality, real injuries: OSU study shows how to reduce physical risk in VR
Carpal tunnel, stiff shoulders, eye-strain headaches -- these are all well-known side effects of prolonged computer use. But what happens when you step away from the desktop and into virtual reality? A recent study assessed how some common virtual reality movements contribute to muscle strain and discomfort. It's an effort to ensure future user safety in this fast-growing technology that's used not only for gaming, but also increasingly for education and industrial training. (2020-01-07)

Research brief: Invention of shape-changing textiles powered only by body heat
A new study led by researchers at the University of Minnesota's Design of Active Materials and Structures Lab (DAMSL) and Wearable Technology Lab (WTL) details the development of a temperature-responsive textile that can be used to create self-fitting garments powered only by body heat. (2019-10-30)

Medical alarms may be inaudible to hospital staff
Thousands of alarms are generated each day in any given hospital. New research shows that masking of an alarm's primary harmonic is sufficient to make an alarm sound indistinguishable to health care providers. (2019-10-28)

How to keep cool in a blackout during a heatwave
If there is no power for air-conditioning, and tap water is the only resource available, spreading it across the skin is the best way to prevent the body overheating irrespective of the climate, according to a new study from the University of Sydney. (2019-10-08)

Seeing is believing: Eye-tracking technology could help make driving safer
'Keep your eyes on the road.' With the recent advances in vehicle-assisted safety technology and in-car displays, this old adage has a new meaning, thanks to two new applications of eye-tracking technology developed by researchers at the University of Missouri. (2019-09-24)

A little kindness goes a long way for worker performance and health
Small gestures of kindness by employers can have big impacts on employees' health and work performance, according to an international team of researchers. The team specifically examined the effects of employers enhancing the lunches of bus drivers in China with fresh fruit and found that it reduced depression among the drivers and increased their confidence in their own work performance. (2019-09-10)

New method could help assess a worker's situational awareness while multitasking
With the ever-increasing connectivity of today's society, the demand for a real-time way to evaluate how well an employee understands their current situation -- often called situational awareness -- has become a paramount safety issue for employers, especially those in industrial and manufacturing industries. Researchers at the University of Missouri believe studying a person's eyes could help with this. (2019-08-29)

How ergonomic is your warehouse job? Soon, an app might be able to tell you
Researchers at the UW have used machine learning to develop a new system that can monitor factory and warehouse workers and tell them how ergonomic their jobs are in real time. (2019-08-19)

Is it safe to use an electric fan for cooling?
The safety and effectiveness of electric fans in heatwaves depend on the climate and basing public health advice on common weather metrics could be misleading, according to a new study from the University of Sydney. (2019-08-05)

Researchers identify maximum weight children should carry in school backpacks
Scientists from the University of Granada and Liverpool John Moores University (UK) have established that school children who use backpacks should avoid loads of more than 10% of their body weight -- and those who use trolleys, 20% of their body weight. (2019-07-02)

A step closer to future 5G smartphones with the world's first Antenna-on-Display
A University-Industry research consortium lead by Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) and joined by industry partners such as Dong-Woo Fine Chem, SK Telecom, LG Electronics, Keysight Technologies, and Y.Tech announced the world's first 'Antenna-on-Display (AoD)' technology. (2019-05-06)

The ups and downs of sit-stand desks
With researchers suggesting that 'sitting is the new smoking,' sit-stand desks (SSD) have become a common tool to quell sedentary behavior in an office environment. As this furniture becomes ubiquitous, conflicting opinions have arisen on its effectiveness. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Tufts gathered data from 53 studies and published a scoping review article detailing current information on the benefits of SSDs. (2019-03-12)

Mechanized cane measures patients' rehabilitation process without noticing it
The Embedded Systems Engineering Group of the University of Malaga, specializing in the design of physical devices to aid users, such as a smart wheelchair, has developed a mechanized cane that can measure patients' rehabilitation process without any impact on them. (2019-03-11)

Why forgetting at work can be a good thing
Psychologists and information scientists at the University of M√ľnster have looked at how digital information systems support daily work and why it can be a good for us to forget certain things. The results of their study have been published in the Ergonomics journal. (2019-02-07)

Medical referrals: Closing the communication loop to improve care and avoid delays
A new study from Regenstrief Institute investigators addresses breakdowns in the referral from primary care to medical specialist process and presents a prototype template using evidence-based design to improve communication about referrals among clinicians. (2018-11-27)

Face the music: Explicit anti-piracy warnings are best deterrent
STOP! This is illegal. You may be monitored and fined. Did that get your attention? Good. Because according to a new UNLV study, this phrasing coupled with a graphic of a computer and download symbol with a prohibitive slash is the most effective way to stop music piracy. (2018-11-06)

Researchers discuss the role of evidence-based medicine in healthcare decision making
A special issue of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES)'s Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making explores the competing perspectives on evidence-based medicine, best practices, and the quality movement in healthcare. (2018-10-19)

Improved passphrases could make online experiences both user-friendly and secure
The human factors researchers' alternative passphrase systems showed significantly better user recall compared with existing systems. (2018-08-03)

Using driving simulation to understand driver complacency at passive rail level crossings
The study replicates and extends prior research on the effectiveness of using driving simulators to detect and mitigate risky behaviors. (2018-07-17)

Snooze mobiles: How vibrations in cars make drivers sleepy
About 20 percent of fatal road crashes involve driver fatigue. Now researchers have discovered the natural vibrations of cars make people sleepier, affecting concentration and alertness levels just 15 minutes after drivers get behind the wheel. (2018-07-04)

Warnings to texting pedestrians may not eliminate risks, but they can help
Improving pedestrian safety even in the presence of warnings remains a challenge. (2018-06-19)

Will automated vehicles take the stress out of driving? Research says 'don't count on it'
Automated system designers take note: Attention erodes the longer the driver is not actively engaged in manual driving. (2018-05-07)

Going beyond 'human error'
A human factors study using Bayes' theorem and content analysis reveals underlying teamwork, organizational, and technological influences on severe US Naval aviation mishaps. (2018-04-30)

Future wearable device could tell how we power human movement
For athletes and weekend warriors alike, returning from a tendon injury too soon often ensures a trip right back to physical therapy. However, a new technology developed by University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers could one day help tell whether your tendons are ready for action. (2018-04-24)

For heavy lifting, use exoskeletons with caution
You can wear an exoskeleton, but it won't turn you into a superhero. In the journal Applied Ergonomics, researchers report that that a commercially available exoskeleton relieved stress on the arms just as it was supposed to -- but it increased stress on the back by more than 50 percent. (2018-04-20)

British pilots score high on burnout scale -- but still perform well
A study among British airline pilots shows that 20 percent of them have scores on a burnout scale that are comparable to those of people that are under burnout treatment. Surprisingly, the same study shows that only one of the 1147 pilots that participated, did not meet the performance standards at the regular flight simulator training. The authors argue that airline companies need to offer better support and facilities to their pilots to help them cope with their stressful jobs. (2018-04-19)

Calling for better police body cam design
Better-designed body cameras could improve the quality of evidence in cases of police use of force and potentially reduce the frequency of such interactions. (2018-04-12)

Don't talk and drive
Analysis of research from 1991 to 2015 on talking on the phone while driving can inform lawmakers in crafting driver safety legislation. (2018-03-05)

Inattentional blindness
Drivers' limited capacity to process the myriad details they absorb could explain why they sometimes fail to avoid crashes with motorcycles. (2018-01-05)

The use of tablet computers during math lessons may help increase the quality of teaching
About 300 seven-year-old children from 12 Slovenian schools took part in the research which lasted for seven months. Accessibility of applications on the basis of cross-curricular modules was examined with regard to learning and ergonomics. (2017-11-09)

Changes in perspective may affect how useful drones really are
A recent study finds that users have trouble utilizing images from unmanned aerial systems (UASs), or drones, to find the position of objects on the ground. The finding highlights challenges facing the use of UAS technology for emergency operations and other applications, while offering guidance for future technology and training development. (2017-10-10)

Hoping to be seen as powerful, consumers prefer wider faces on watches, cars, study finds
People are typically averse to wider human faces because they elicit fears of being dominated. However, consumers might like wider faces on some products they buy, such as watches or cars, when they want to be seen in a position of power in certain situations, according to a new study led by a University of Kansas marketing researcher. (2017-08-22)

Feeling stressed during the workday? Research says playing video games may help
Human factors/ergonomics researchers found that engaging in casual video game play during rest breaks can help restore mood in response to workplace stress. (2017-07-25)

New technology aims to provide peace and positive stimulation to dementia patients
To alleviate boredom and increase engagement, elderly patients in long-term care facilities can engage with the Ambient Activity Technology device any time to view family photos, hear their favorite music, and play games. (2017-06-28)

Don't leave baby boomers behind when designing wearable technology
Accounting for age-related cognitive and physical challenges can increase adoption rates for older users who need help managing their health. (2017-06-23)

New findings aim to improve global medical device standard on auditory alarms
Participants recognized and remembered each of the four prototype alarm sets better than those designed under the current IEC standard, and could localize three of the four prototype alarms faster and more accurately. (2017-06-09)

Preventing software from causing injury
Workplace injuries don't just come from lifting heavy things or falling off a ladder. People with desk jobs can develop debilitating hand and wrist problems that make it difficult to work, and poorly designed software could be to blame. However, researchers at the Texas A&M School of Public Health are creating tools to that could help develop safer software. (2017-05-30)

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