Find out how the targeted adaptation of working environments and processes not only promotes ergonomic handling, but also has a significant impact on the efficiency of logistics processes.

5 min reading time

Reduction of physical stress in the manual work process

Ergonomics is becoming one of the most important factors in the analysis of manual work processes. In general, this refers to the use of psychological and physiological principles in the design and construction of products, processes and systems. A key aspect is the reduction of errors and the enhancement of performance as well as safety and comfort, with a view to the interaction between man and object. There is a great concern to keep experienced employees in their processes as long as possible. To guarantee this, it is essential to banish overloads and critical movement sequences from the work processes. For example, a digital analysis can reveal critical movement sequences and, based on the knowledge gained, make small changes to the workflow that make a big difference to the employee's stress situation.

This is a combination of different disciplines such as psychology, engineering, physiology, visual design, industrial design, user experience, etc.. Basically, this is research into the design of equipment, devices and processes that correspond to the human body and its cognitive abilities.


Digital ergonomics: The relevance

In addition to the design of safe objects, digital ergonomics is relevant for user-friendly interfaces to machines and devices. Analyses with Motion-Mining® reveal load risks that can cause musculoskeletal disorders or similar injuries if they occur repeatedly. If an employee is exposed to these overloads or incorrect loads over a longer period of time, it can lead to permanent injuries. Accordingly, a "fit" is required between the user, the equipment and the environment, or the proper "adaptation of a workstation to a person." User capabilities and limitations are taken into account.

Motion-Mining® technology uses digital ergonomics analysis to help companies evaluate the compatibility of people and technology. For a digital ergonomics analysis, the activities performed and the requirements for the user, the equipment used and the knowledge used are considered, among other things.


Digital ergonomics: specialization

The three areas of physical, cognitive and organizational ergonomics can be distinguished.

The focus within these broad categories is very diverse. Specializations in physical ergonomics include visual. In the cognitive area, specializations are found in usability, human-computer interaction, and user experience engineering.

Certain specializations, such as environmental ergonomics, may extend across these disciplines. Here, we study the interaction of humans with the environment, characterized by climate, temperature, pressure, vibration, and light. The evolving field of human factors in road safety uses human factors principles to understand the actions and skills of road users - car and truck drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, etc. - and to use this knowledge to understand the actions and skills of road users. - and to use this knowledge to design roads and streets to minimize collisions on public roads.


Digital Ergonomics: The Physical Domain

The subject of physical ergonomics is aspects of human anatomy and some of the anthropometric, physiological and bio-mechanical properties associated with the activity of the body. Physical ergonomic principles are widely used in the design of consumer and industrial products. The goal is to optimize performance and prevent work-related disorders. Triggers of chronic musculoskeletal injuries must be detected and reduced.

Initial diagnosis of work-related conditions such as musculoskeletal disorders, is often difficult, even though this type of condition is one of the most common types of work-related injuries. Musculoskeletal disorders often result in chronic pain, loss of function, and disability. A higher rate of employee complaints as a result of incorrect strain is triggered, for example, by repetitive and stressful activities, repetitive overloading, frequent, heavy or overhead lifting, or awkward working positions. The consequences can be localized fatigue, discomfort or pain that does not subside after periods of rest during the night.

Digital ergonomics analyses not only add value on the employee side. Employees in ergonomically correct work processes drop out less and cause fewer health-related costs. In addition, employee productivity can be increased and employee turnover reduced.


Digital ergonomics

Digital ergonomics maps digital models and methods for planning, realizing and continuously improving products and socio-technical work systems. In the process, personal characteristics of employees are recorded in order to optimize work systems ergonomically. For this reason, the term personal digital ergonomics is used here. Among the most important ergonomic tools for digital ergonomics are digital human models. They represent real people virtually.


Digital ergonomics: The cognitive domain

Cognitive ergonomics focuses on mental processes such as perception, memory, reasoning, and motor response as they influence interactions between people and other elements of a system. A correlation between time spent sitting and its cognitive function, such as decreased mood and depression, has been demonstrated in epidemiological studies.


Digital ergonomics: optimization proposals within the scope of a Motion-Mining® ergonomics analysis

Even small optimization measures can contribute to improving the stress situation of employees. Through a digital ergonomics analysis with Motion-Mining®, measures are derived on the basis of the collected data. To date, a digital ergonomics analysis can distinguish between 50 movements, including critical movements such as bending from the back, carrying, lifting, holding, and overhead activities, which can be specifically considered in terms of ergonomics. This creates a direct benefit on the employee side. For a digital ergonomics analysis, in addition to key productivity figures, key figures are also recorded which, similar to the key feature method, allow conclusions to be drawn about the strain on employees. In addition to critical movements, these include, for example, the number of handling operations and the distances traveled. In the future, sensors for light, temperature and sound are also conceivable for a digital ergonomics analysis in order to record the working conditions even more precisely.

Measures for a digital ergonomics analysis are, for example, the correct placement of products in order picking. This can reduce the strain on employees by reducing bending and overhead work. Optimal route planning so that excessively long walking distances can be reduced is also a typical measure for a digital ergonomics analysis. When optimizing walking distances, an increase in efficiency analysis takes place at the same time. Efficiency and digital ergonomics analyses are often carried out simultaneously.

Motion-mining® at a glance

Measure | Evaluate | Optimize

Seamlessly integrate our Motion-Mining® hardware into your work processes to capture activity and motion data from your employees and vehicles. Evaluate them visually with our AI-powered MPI software.

MotionMiners Icon Orange

Ready for more efficiency in your processes?

Arrange a no-obligation consultation appointment. Ask your questions & get a live insight into MotionMiners INSIGHTS.

Companies that already rely on MotionMiners