Many ophthalmic practitioners and other health-care professionals experience neck, shoulder, and back discomfort at work. Some simply put up with their discomfort mistakenly considering it a part of their job while others manage their situation by changing posture or exercising between consultations. Although the latter strategies might reduce discomfort, they do not address its root cause, be it job conditions, equipment design, consulting-room design or some combination of those.
Australian optometrist and ergonomist, Dr Jennifer Long, has researched work-related discomfort in optometry extensively and recently completed a PhD on the topic at the UNSW’s School of Optometry and Vision Science.
“Work-related discomfort affects individuals, practice owners, and the profession. It impacts personal and business activities,” Dr Long said.
“Reducing work-related discomfort can improve work capacity, comfort, and productivity – but it requires a whole-of-industry solution.”
Speakers at the sinar included: Mr Stephen Ward, from the Industrial Design programme at the School of the Built Environment, UNSW (Does ergonomic design = comfort and productivity?), Dr Jennifer Long, UNSW (Show me the evidence – the extent and impact of work-related discomfort in the optometry profession), and optometrist Ms Janine Hobson, who described how she designed her consulting room with comfort and productivity top of mind.
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