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Ergonomics: Posture And The Alexander Technique

Ergonomics is a complex mix of physics, biology, psychology, engineering and design. The discipline studies the relationship between humans and the surrounding – the products, environment and systems. It works towards understanding and improving ways to safety, health and comfort of work force in factories and offices. It is a study of techniques in maximizing human work performance by re-structuring and rearranging office equipment, furniture, procedure, timetable etc. Ergonomics is not limited to offices and factories, it also applies to other areas of human life as well. In more applied terms, Ergonomics is about designs of products and equipments in offices for the comfort of users to increase output and effectiveness.

Argonomics also studies postures – of people at work. It studies to reduce the static time while working and also reduce the negative impact the work has on the body. It says we can reduce the work related injury if we change several position while working, provide these postures are also equally healthy and safe. When in hard labor greater muscular mass of our body part should be used to reduce pressure. The joints of our body should be in their mid-point range of movement while working; this particularly applies to the head, trunk and upper limbs.

A serious problem with the theory is a challenge to the conventional thinking of ergonomics. If a person is supposed to keep note of and follow all the points mentioned above working, he has to be an expert in observing himself very carefully while working. He has to be able to observe his own muscular and joint functions, and change postures accordingly on his own. General working people without specialized training will not be able to follow these scientific activities. It is derived therefore, that we must lean new ways to observe and understand our body movements while at work, for ergonomics to really work for the benefit of all.

That is where the Alexander Technique came in. Alexender Technique, applied to everything from sitting, standing to walking, lifting and speaking, helps to perform the necessary tasks without unwanted pressure and hamful tension in the body. It is a method that works to change movements or habits in our everyday activities. Developed in early 20th century, Alexender Technique is a practical education and teaching of method to teach people to understand what they are doing wrong in their work process and style, and to teach them to adopt ways to reduce the harmful body movements and postures. In essence, it is also a process of un-learning some to the ways we have been habituated with while working.

Frederick Matthias Alexander, the founder of the technique, was an orator who developed problems with his voice. He discovered that he was unnecessarily stiffening his whole body while speaking. He worked on it and in eight years successfully applied his observation to solve his voice problem. After years of study and observation he applied the same technique in other forms of body activities. The very technique today is being used as a part of ergonomics to understand and better work area human activties and human body movements.

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