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The basic philosophy of ergonomics is to make any design of furniture which lead . overalls and shoes which were allowed to be wore during measurements. This analysis took into account ergonomic aspects, namely those relating to the individual’s anthropometrics. Gait analysis was done with the adapted footwear. comparing shoe last data with target foot anthropometric measures or by studied within the field of product ergonomics and a wide range of algorithms have.

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Welcome footweqr the world of Product, Process and Equipment Design and the need for Applied Ergonomics – especially in footwear design. One of the first things that you need to consider while you are working on the first iteration of product, ergonimics or process design is the integration of ergonomics and safety. Standing is a natural human posture and by itself poses no particular health hazard. Working in a standing position on a regular basis, however, can cause ailments from sore feet to stiffness in the neck and shoulders, and other health problems.

These conditions commonly occur where the job is designed without considering the characteristics of the human body. When job design ignores the basic needs of the human body and individual workerswork can cause discomfort in the short term and can eventually lead to severe and chronic health problems such as rheumatism and arthritis.

Too much walking over hard or uneven surfaces is also a problem for leg and foot discomfort that might lead to an injury. The design of footwear that is specific to a job design considering the safety aspects and comfort can mitigate the injury potential.

There are two major categories of work-related foot injuries. The first category includes foot injuries from punctures, crushing, sprains, and lacerations. The second group of injuries includes those resulting from slips, trips and falls. Slips and falls do not always result in a foot injury, but lack of attention to foot safety plays an important role in their occurrence.

Surveys suggest that two out of every three workers suffer from some form of a foot problem. The type of flooring used in the workplace can also contribute to foot problems and has an important influence on comfort, especially on tender feet. Hard, unyielding floors like concrete are the least comfortable surfaces to work on, while slippery floors are hazardous for slips and falls that can result in sprained ankles or broken foot bones. There is not a workplace where an employee is not exposed to foot injury potential.

From hospitals to oilrigs the hazards differ according to the workplace and the types of tasks the employee performs. The first step in developing a strategy to reduce foot problems is to identify the relevant hazards at the workplace. Such hazards should be assessed in each workplace, no matter how safe or how dangerous it may seem. The most important goal of job design is to avoid fixed positions, especially fixed standing positions.

Good job design includes varied tasks requiring changes in body position and using different muscles.

Job rotation, job enlargement and teamwork are all ways to make work easier on the feet. It distributes standing among a group of workers and shortens the time each individual spends standing. It must, however, be a rotation where the worker does something completely different such as walking around or sitting at the next job.

If it increases the variety of body positions and motions, the worker has less chance of developing foot problems. Each team member carries a set of various operations to complete the whole product. Teamwork allows workers to alternate between tasks which, in turn, reduces the risk of overloading the feet. Frequent short breaks are preferable to fewer long breaks. Redesigning the job alone will not effectively reduce foot problems if it is not combined with the proper design of the workplace.


If the work surface is not adjustable, two solutions include installing a platform to raise the shorter worker or a pedestal to raise the object for a taller worker. This ability reduces the stress on the lower legs and feet. Even when work can only be done while standing, a seat should be provided for resting purposes.

Improving jobs and workplace designs also have the potential to increase foot safety in workplaces that are specifically hazardous. Here are some examples:. For example, loose nails, other sharp objects, and littered walkways are hazards for foot injury. Flooring can be a source of prevention as well. Standing or working on a hard, unyielding floor can cause a lot of discomfort.

Wood, cork, carpeting, or rubber – anything that provides some flexibility – is gentler on workers’ feet. Where resilient floors are not practical, footwear with thick, insulating soles and shock-absorbing insoles can alleviate discomfort.

Anti-fatigue matting can also be useful wherever workers have to stand or walk. While this provides cushioning which reduces foot fatigue, use carefully as when installed improperly, it can lead to tripping and slipping accidents. Special anti-slip flooring or matting can reduce slipping accidents. If installed properly, these mats are useful, but workers may find that their feet burn and feel sore. The non-slip properties of the flooring mat cause their shoes to grab suddenly on the flooring making their feet slide forward inside the shoes.

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Friction inside the shoes produces heat that creates soreness and, eventually, calluses. A non-slip resilient insole can reduce this discomfort. Proper footwear is important, not only for foot comfort but also for one’s general wellbeing. Improper footwear can cause or aggravate existing foot problems. Unfortunately, egonomics fashionable sometimes takes precedence over choosing well-fitting, supportive safety footwear. Many safety anthropometr manufacturers, however, produce safety footwear that does look fashionable.

How to purchase footwear for working purposes is extremely important. Good footwear should have the following qualities: When selecting footwear, one should remember that tight socks or stockings can cramp the toes as much as poorly-fitted shoes.

Wrinkled socks, or socks that are too large or too small, can cause blisters. White wool or cotton socks may be recommended since coloured socks may cause skin allergies in some people. Employees need to understand the importance of footwear that is properly designed. When considering these strategies to protect foot injury, we have to remember the fundamental principle of occupational health and safety: The role of personal protective equipment is to minimise exposure to specific occupational hazards, not to eliminate them.

Protective footwear does not guarantee total protection. Providing adequate protective footwear is an effective protective strategy.

Ergonomics for the Feet

All working footwear, for both men and women, whether it is safety wear or not, should provide comfort without compromising protective value. In addition, protective footwear should conform with anthropo,etry appropriate standards.

A soft pad covering the edge of the toecap increases comfort. If the toecap cuts into the foot, either the size or style of the footwear is incorrect. Soles come in a variety of thicknesses and materials. They need to be chosen according to the hazards and type s of flooring in the workplace.

Thermal environmental issues must also be considered.

Selection should be made to suit foitwear specific working condition. Working outdoors in cold weather poses a special requirement on selecting the proper footwear. Loss of heat through steel toecaps commonly blamed for increased heat loss is insignificant. Working in a hot environment such as those experienced by workers in the Middle East, foot care is especially important as severe problems can occur in these conditions.


Considering that the formation of blisters can be considerably reduced if the feet are kept as dry as possible, care should be provided to reduce the humidity close to the surface of the foot. It is, therefore, difficult to judge footwea compare different footwear systems consisting of shoes, socks and inlay soles and their influence in a variety of climates. Socks have a major influence on the climatic wearing comfort of footwear systems for extreme environments.

Thicker socks will provide a drier foot climate without considerably raising the skin temperature. It is as important to keep the feet dry and comfortable as it is to attend carefully to the design of footwear in the first place – an activity in which ergonomics play a vital part.

Ergonomics is a multidisciplinary science comprised of engineering, mathematics, anatomy, physiology, psychology, biomechanics and anthropometry. Whatever you are designing, it must fit the person it is designed for.

People come in all shapes and size, like or dislike colours, textures, forms and shapes. Consequently, when we design products, factors such as these should be kept in mind. But the most important factor is the fit, a function of anthropometry the science of human body measurements.

One size does not fit all! If hearing protection is uncomfortable, many employees will not wear it – and so on. Ergonomics is mainly concerned with working out footwrar, in order to improve the design of products.

An example for the need of good anthropometrics is seen when feet are measured for footwear. Incorrectly measured feet can lead to the purchase of footwear that is unsuitable in terms of its size and that can be comfortable and unhealthy to wear.

The more data collected relating to feet size, the more shoe designers and manufacturers will be able to produce shoes that are comfortable and healthy for the purchaser. Lack of attention to ergonomics may also lead to the injury and illness potential of the employee.

The risk factors for ergonomics are:. These risks when produced as one or combined, can produce cumulative trauma disorders CTDs also called musculoskeletal disorders MSDsoveruse syndrome, repetitive ergonoics injuries, repetitive motion injuries, all of which are subtle and costly injuries and illnesses that can occur over any body part and happen over time.

They are described as:.

Ergonomics / Anthropometrics and Feet

Some of the considerations for the reduction of ergonomic risk factors offered to engineers are administrative controls. Some examples of the administrative controls are:. This eggonomics quality problems as well. In closing, design in ergonomics is important information not just for the engineers but for the purchasing agents of the company as well. Our most expensiveasset is the employee and we need them to continue working safely and efficiently.

Ergonomics knowledge is the best tool we can provide throughout a company and job. Tool and equipment designs are integrated throughout this knowledge base to achieve profits and reduced injury potentials. She has lectured to the Fortune Companies in the US and abroad and to many international companies.