Friday, January 19, 2007

Bernardino Ramazzini: The First Ergonomist (and what have we learned from him?)

An interesting historical look at ergonomics ...

"Bernardino Ramazzini, and Italian physician and philosopher, is considered the founder of occupational medicine (or ergonomics). In 1700 Ramazzini published De morbis artificum diatriba (Diseases of Workers), the first comprehensive work on occupational diseases.

Ramazzini realized that a variety of common workers’ diseases appeared to be caused by prolonged irregular motions and postures. Ramazzini studied the relationship between certain disorders and postural attitudes, repetition of movements, and weight lifting and anticipated some preventive measures.

Standing, even for a short time, proves so exhausting compared with walking and running, though it be for a long time. It is generally supposed that this is because of the tonic movement of all the antagonist muscles, both extensors and flexors, which have to be continually in action to enable a man to keep standing erect. It follows that whenever occasion offers, we must advise men employed in the standing trades to interrupt when they can that too prolonged posture by sitting or walking about or exercising the body in some way.

Those who sit at their work and are therefore called “chair-workers,” such as cobblers and tailors become bent, hump-backed, and hold their heads down like people looking for something on the ground; this is the effect of their sedentary life and the bent posture of the body as they sit and apply themselves all day to their tasks in the shops where they sew. Since to do their work they are forced to stoop, the outermost vertebral ligaments are kept pulled apart and contract a callosity, so that it becomes impossible for them to return to the natural position. These workers, then, suffer from general ill-health caused by their sedentary life."    (Continued via Ergonomenon)    [Ergonomics Resources]

Bookbinder Ergonomics - Ergonomics

Bookbinder Ergonomics

Listen to this article


Post a Comment