November 2022: DIY Continuous Improvement and Case Study 24 – 595,260,706 Observations

The Flexible Location Work Model, commonly called ‘Hybrid’, has now become ubiquitous, yielding significant benefits for employers and employees using computers for their work.  After collecting data over recent years, employers of all sizes have formalized their Hybrid Work Models including Apple, Google, 3M, SAP, Twitter, government agencies and thousands more.  


Successful forward-looking employers such as these embrace Continuous Improvement as a Health and Safety Best Practice, enabling them to adapt to the continuously evolving Riskscape which prominently includes challenges due to relentlessly increasing healthcare costs.  It’s not surprising that with musculoskeletal disorders entrenched as the highest injury and healthcare spend for the office, employers continue working to mitigate well-understood ergonomic risks facing computer-users working on-site, remotely and in hybrid-mode.  

How many risk exposures can you find in the open-floorplan shared-workstation picture above?  Despite the modern furniture and equipment, they are risks exposures which underpin the importance of “employee behavior” as a dominant variable in the risk model.  

You’ve hired terrific intelligent people as your computer-using employees.  Even outfitted with the best furniture and equipment available today, however, it’s well-understood that “how an employee uses their workstation” (their behavior) will largely dictate their comfort, injury risk and productivity.

It would be ideal to hire legions of ergonomists on staff who would live with every employee at their on-site office and home-based office today.  They would teach employees key actionable Best Practices of computer ergonomics and help them assess and tune-up their hybrid and at-home work area.  Thereafter, they would personally coach employees to learn to automatically move about and stretch periodically while they work in neutral postures, without having to think about it.

It’s obviously cost-prohibitive to hire professionals to personally coach every employee.  Instead, the most successful model, a “Do It YourselfModel (DIY), is called for which invites employees to “share in the responsibility” of having a comfortable, safe and productive work environment through habituating well-established Best Practices.

That sharing of responsibility is a naturally symbiotic partnership required for employee ownership of their time working on the computer.  Further, leveraging a DIY Model identifies complex risks early-on which can be resolved by ergonomics professionals.

In the case of people working on computers in on-site offices, shared-workstation offices and home-based offices, these Best Practice behaviors are (1) working in neutral postures and (2) providing brief recovery time during work coupled with movement designed to break up extended static postures.

Case Study 24 – 595,260,706 Observations – Consistent Results

This study’s data (below), reminds us of an earlier study by a university research team at an Insurance Brokerage Risk Management firm where they measured the impact of an earlier version of ErgoSuite on their employees using computers at least one hour each day.

Below, we’re looking at an actual ErgoSuite Enterprise chart where we’ve chosen to utilize Least Squares Linear Regression Lines (trend lines) to reliably model extensive underlying data’s movement over time.

This chart summarizes a comprehensive twelve-month research project, analyzing 595,260,706 keystrokes and mousing seconds belonging to a large population of knowledge workers including a diverse spectrum of job functions.

The live chart illustrates the achievable efficacy of DIY Behavioral Office Ergonomics for reducing fatigue, increasing comfort, effecting actual behavior change.

When we properly empower employees, who can then meaningfully share in the responsibility of their comfort and safety and learn to automatically pace themselves while working in more neutral postures, then they will fatigue at a slower rate, be more comfortable, work at a lower risk profile, have fewer injuries and consume less healthcare services.

In respect of the data and outstanding results, we’ll keep the commentary brief and simply report on the details here:

The only way these new behaviors become sustainable is when the employee learns to change their behavior where they can automatically pace themselves, stretch and increase daily movement without having to focus on it. This is no different from how a musician benefits from the coaching of a metronome while developing their rhythm. This is the ideal time to positively reinforce neutral postures and awareness training.


When employees automate good ergonomic behaviors including working in neutral postures, providing brief recovery time during work with movement and gentle stretching, they’re more comfortable and work at a lower risk profile. 


Other hazards such as optics, contact stress and environment issues need to periodically be addressed as identified, however, when you read every country’s regulations and laws regarding office ergonomics, you clearly see the huge prominence of the two key employee behaviors – posture and pacing.

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