September 2018
Message From the President

As ergonomist and an individual that is working toward being a PMA certified Pilates instructor, I am always concerned about the health and wellness of the people in my life. Sadly, a common theme these days when listening to the news is the concern about people's lack of physical activity and the prevalence of obesity in the world today. Earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) created a Global Action Plan on Physical Activity, which sets the target to reduce physical inactivity 10% by the year 2025 and 15% by 2030. On Sept. 4th, The Lancet published an article by four WHO experts that indicated more than 1 in 4 adults globally - or 1.4 billion people - are not getting enough physical activity. Based on their research, this means that "the 2025 global physical activity target (a 10% relative reduction in insufficient physical activity) will not be met." Looking at data from the CDC shows that the rate of obesity in U.S. Adults for 2015-2016 ( was 39.8% - which is an increasing trend from previous years.

All this means it is important to find ways for ourselves, our family and friends, and our co-workers to increase their physical activity. The WHO defines physical activity "as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure." So, physical activity doesn't have to be "exercise" - it can be things you do on a daily basis to increase your movement - parking your car in the farthest parking spot so you have to walk further into work or the store, household chores, gardening, changing postures often at work or even walking to a co-worker's desk rather than e-mailing them.

So now that fall is upon us, please make some time to get outside and take a walk to enjoy the beautiful fall weather and colors.

As always, we welcome your suggestions and your continued efforts to get the word out about the Society by telling your friends and colleagues about AES.
Teresa A. Bellingar, AES President
What Assessment Tools do Ergonomists Use Most?

There are a multitude of tools available for use by those who conduct ergonomics evaluations or design work with the aim of improving productivity and reducing injury risk. But which ones are most commonly used by ergonomists? Results of a recent survey were presented last month at the International Ergonomics Association's conference in Florence, Italy.

Three investigators from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Patrick Dempsey, Brian Lowe, and Evan Jones, compiled survey results from over 400 Certified Professional Ergonomists. Those observational assessment tools used most by professionals in the U.S. were:
In addition, several physical tools were found to be most often used by these ergonomists to perform their evaluations, including: grip dynamometers (64% of respondents); pinch dynamometers (62%); and push/pull gauges (60%).

Do you have these tools in your ergonomics tool box? If not, look into them and determine if they are appropriate for your workplace improvement efforts.
AES Member Spotlight - Ashley Bayer

Ashley Bayer is an industrial engineer for Tyson Fresh Meats in Holcomb, Kansas. In addition to improving the facility's labor efficiency, she and her colleagues manage its ergonomics program. This includes educating team members about both occupational illnesses and their prevention through workstation modifications and stretching. Ashley's work has long focused on process improvement and employee-based solutions, but this is her first position where ergonomics has been at the forefront.

Before working in the food industry, Ashley applied her industrial engineering expertise in both the service and manufacturing industries. Although these are vastly different environments, she has been able to successfully apply IE, lean, and Six Sigma concepts across them, and Ashley is most proud of her ability to translate best practices from one industry to another. One useful lesson she would like to share is that workplace or process modifications often do not account for every ergonomics issue that may arise. Rather, she has found that ergonomics must always be considered, often because the workforce is continually changing.

One expectation Ashley has by being a member of the Applied Ergonomics Society is to gain new information about ergonomics that she can use within Tyson. She also is interested in learning about novel approaches for implementing ergonomic improvements that can help to prevent repetitive motion injuries.

One of Ashley's enjoyments is playing with her three-year old daughter. She especially likes family time in the summer, going to parks and swimming.
Making Sense of the Complex World of Exoskeletons

Exoskeletons are essentially wearable devices that assist with or enhance physical effort. Not surprisingly, many industries are considering having employees use them, in an effort to reduce work demands and injury risk, increase human capability, or improve productivity. It seems everyone these days is talking about them - their merits, concerns, and the variety of styles offered from a multitude of vendors.

Navigating through all of these issues can be daunting, and there are many unanswered questions, such as: How much of a benefit to employees will these provide? What evidence is there that these devices work as advertised? How does one determine the best option for use in a particular work setting? Does use of an exoskeleton introduce safety issues? Are there long-term physiological implications for employees who wear them?

Fortunately, there is a concerted effort underway to systematically address
these, and many other, questions and concerns.  Formed by the
American Society for Testing and Materials, ASTM Committee F48 on Exoskeletons and Exosuits has been established to develop voluntary consensus standards to study the safety, quality, efficiency, and performance of these devices across various applications - industrial, medical, military, and consumer use. The Committee encourages exoskeleton/exosuit research and also sponsors symposia and workshops. F48 work product will eventually be published in the Annual Book of ASTM Standards. 

Interested in learning more about this Committee or becoming a member to help direct its activities? Visit their website or contact ASTM Staff Manager Pat Picariello .
Virtual Career Fair Coming Soon - Sept. 26

Grow your network and get leads for open job positions at the  IISE Student Virtual Career Fair on Sept.26, 1-4 p.m. EDT. IISE student members can upload their resumés, browse current job openings with leading employers and chat one-on-one with recruiters to advance their job search. IISE professional members  can host a booth for their organization and connect immediately with interested, talented students who are actively seeking job opportunities in the field. Mark your calendars and register for the  IISE Student Virtual Career Fair  today! Are you an  IISE Corporate Partner ?  Sign up today for a chance at a FREE booth at the IISE Student Virtual Career Fair!
2019 Applied Ergonomics Conference - Ergo Cup® Competition

The internationally recognized Ergo Cup® competition, sponsored by the 
Ergonomics Center of North Carolina and Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at North Carolina State University and presented by IISE, provides an exciting opportunity for companies to highlight their successful ergonomic solutions. The general theme across all Ergo Cup® categories is innovation.

The goal of this competition is to recognize and encourage the development of innovative ergonomics solutions and education in the workplace. Any organization that can demonstrate an effective ergonomics solution or education initiative within the last 24 months (October 2016 - 2018) is eligible to compete. The ergonomic solution preferably should have been implemented at least 1 full year and actual productivity, quality, and/or safety ROI results should be presented. Five Ergo Cup® awards are presented annually for outstanding solutions through training, engineering and teamwork.

NEW for 2019

As a picture is often worth a thousand words, you now have the option to submit Before & After PHOTOS of your Ergo Cup® entry. The photos must be converted to a PDF document that is a maximum of 2 pages in length and no more than 10 MB.


Practitioner of the Year Award 

Sponsored by Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., this award recognizes achievements in the creative application of ergonomics, including process improvement, education, applied instrumentation and product development.
Please click here for more information and the nomination form.  The 2019 winner will be announced at the Awards Luncheon on Thursday, March 28.

Student of the Year Award

Sponsored by CNA Insurance, 
this award recognizes achievements in ergonomics application or research, including process improvement, education, applied instrumentation and product development as submitted for presentation in a poster or oral presentation at the Applied Ergonomics Conference.

All students who submit an abstract for a poster session (deadline November 9, 2018) and are accepted to present at the 2019 Applied Ergonomics Conference will be considered for this award. The top finalists will be notified and may be asked to answer a short essay question.  Click here for more information and abstract submission. 
Big Ideas in the Big Easy 

Be a part of the conference where attendees gather from around the world to share best practices with other professionals in ergonomics, healthcare, safety, human resources and risk management.
Oral and Poster presentations will be presented in the following areas:
  • Advancements in Ergonomics
  • Ergonomics In Action
  • Ergonomics Programs
  • Office Ergonomics Programs and Applications
  • Ergonomics in Health, Safety and the Environment (HSE)
  • Multi-skilled Ergonomics Practitioners
  • Master Track 

Submit your abstract for Poster Presentation

We are accepting abstracts for poster presentations until Nov. 9, 2018.  Educators, students, professionals, researchers and others are urged to submit original contributions related to the fields of ergonomics, healthcare, safety, human resources and risk management that can be displayed in an educational poster format.

IISE Connect  allows IISE members to easily interact and communicate online, empowering you to have better access to your member benefits.
Newsletters are now available in one spot to allow you easy access and frequent reference. Newsletters will be placed in the AES Connect community. Click here to view the community page.

 Not an IISE member yet?   Join AES here.