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A New Approach To Office Ergonomics: Knoll’s Report On Holistic Ergonomics™ For The Evolving Nature Of Work

Ergonomics is everywhere around us from products to physical settings and playgrounds to space shuttles. Ergonomics also applies to many different groups of people from visually impaired and elderly to those with different intellectual abilities who need a tailored workspace. The traditional form of ergonomics has been practiced for years but is now evolving into what we know as “Holistic Ergonomics”, which expands the branches from the original practice!

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AA Contract Sofa and Antenna® Workspaces Image Via: Knoll


What is Holistic Ergonomics?
Holistic Ergonomics is the idea that fuses physical, cognitive and social aspects of today’s workplace together. Unlike traditional ergonomics that mix engineer of ergonomics with cognitive ergonomics, Holistic ergonomics address new ways of working. It integrates engineering and cognitive perspectives as well as expands the range of issues and workspaces addressed by ergonomics. Below is an infographic created by KNOLL that breaks down how Holistic ergonomics integrates the old and the new! The workspace is always evolving, and with that ergonomics is expanding and evolving with it. We have seen everything from open office spaces to home to the ever expanding office spaces in the past decade! The “holistic” approach of ergonomics moves with these changes integrating cognitive perspectives as well as engineering to address the issues found in workspaces. Holistic ergonomics concentrates on the social aspect of work, learning, mentoring and productivity within the workplace, looking at the wider range or workspace not just the individual workstation.

 

Why Holistic Ergonomics?
Holistic ergonomics recognizes that ergonomics solutions need to be made as an office in its entirety not just one individual. Concentrating on the design and layout in the overall workspace, as well as a larger amount of workspace for employee collaboration. The idea is that the workspace should support collaborations to its fullest potential whether it is learning, mentoring or the exchange of information.

 

The Application of Holistic Ergonomic
Basic ergonomics concentrates on the principles of engineering and cognitive perspectives focusing on the individual workstation. The holistic approach takes one more step on expanding this through the entirety of the workspace making sure that the workspace is adaptable and making sure that all of the needs are met within the workspace in a safe and comfortable environment. Holistic ergonomics has combinations of individual as well as collaborative workspaces, huddle rooms, project rooms etc. These spaces support interaction as well as optimize workflow and communication between individuals. Implementing things such as an adjustable monitor arm allows several people to view a screen allowing quick and informal meetings.

 

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