I’ve seen all sorts of workplace ergonomics courses aimed at corporations (with the idea that an individual in the business will be trained and then disseminate the information down to Joe Blow in the cubicle), but I haven’t seen too many that just anyone can attend. Businesses are more worried about productivity than your health (oh, they want you to stay healthy, so you don’t take sick days…), so I think we should be the ones taking an interest instead of working with second-hand knowledge that may or may not be particularly helpful by the time it gets passed down to us. Besides, we tend to ignore it at the time anyway. When it comes right down to it, we have a hard time caring much about ergonomics until we start getting symptoms (whether it’s RSI, sore neck, headaches, or what have you).
In a couple weeks, Colorado State University is offering a seminar on ergonomics for anyone in the area (free for staff and students). That doesn’t help me up here in Seattle, but it’s nice to see more of this kind of thing–education that’s aimed at you and me, the people who deal with the pain. Usually, we’re stuck surfing the web for information on repetitive stress injuries. That’s… just great considering surfing the web is probably what got you the problem in the first place. I for one would love to see more of these kind of classes cropping up locally, where they cover topics like setting up your workstation correctly and taking breaks, doing exercises at your desk, etc. We could all use this knowledge!