Instead of spending more and more money adjusting the workstation to the worker, businesses can now adjust the worker to his or her workstation. At least that's what a California company would like employers to do. They'd also like the "30-Second Microbreak" to become as common as the morning coffee break.
The firm, Private Practice, has developed a device that gives employees a way to share the responsibility of reducing their risks to repetitive motion injury. Using a small vibrating disk, employees can be prompted several times throughout the day to stop and take 30-second breaks, to perform conditioning exercises right at their workstation. "Readjusting the posture and performing these exercises can help prevent RMI, energize the body, relieve muscle tension, increase productivity, and reduce possible time away from work," Private Practice says.
How It Works
An employee wears a vibration disk in his or her pocket, clipped under clothes or inside a special skin Pouch-Patch. The employee can choose from five reminder intervals (every 60, 45, 30, 15 or 5 minutes) and can set the disk with a simple push of one button.
Each time the employee feels the gentle vibration throughout the day, he or she performs specific exercises that will help reduce risks to RMI for the particular job situation. Private Practice says field studies have shown that an effective ergonomic program must include frequent breaks (as many as four 30-second breaks per hour) with muscle conditioning exercises. "Most reminder techniques are usually ineffective, as they can't break through the clutter of the bombardment of visual and audible stimuli we are all exposed to every day," the firm points out. "But a physical reminder easily breaks through the clutter and is much more powerful."
With pending new ergonomic regulations and the average treatment and disability costs for an injured worker now higher than $30,000, Private Practice touts its invention as a cost-effective way to reduce risks to RMI.
For more information about the Private Practice Vibration Reminder Disk and Exercise System call toll-free 888 4 REMEMBER (888 473-6362).