For the first time this year, Insights-X will present the Special Award Ergonomics in cooperation with the Institut für Gesundheit und Ergonomie (IGR). This is a prize that can be won for special achievements in the field of ergonomics in the categories of "(School) bags and backpacks " and "writing utensils". The Special Award Ergonomics is open to manufacturers in the paper, office and stationery industry. Christian Brunner, Chairman of IGR, reveals in an interview why ergonomics is so important and which products have a chance of winning.
What significance does ergonomics have in the stationery industry?
Christian Brunner: From my point of view, a very big one. Everything we touch or do several times a day should take ergonomics into account. The question is always this: can we use the pen, the hole punch or the book bag well or could we use them better if the products were designed differently?
Whether it’s a matter of writing instruments or backpacks – we often use them every day. Anyone who writes a lot often quickly notices pain in their fingers or wrist and carrying heavy backpacks often causes back problems. What is the basic principle behind the ergonomic design of products?
C. B.: The most important thing is the application. If we can grip a pencil well and work with it well in line with our anatomy, this is an advantage. Think, for example, of different grip techniques or of right-handed and left-handed people. A school bag should allow the user to make adjustments to it so that it’s just perfect for the respective user. An abdominal belt brings the load to the middle of the body, relieving the strain on the shoulders and back. Good ergonomics means adapting the products for our benefit and not adapting ourselves to the products.
Are there legal regulations or DIN standards that declare that a product is ergonomic?
C. B.: Of course, in Germany, this issue is also legally anchored and laid down in standards for the various industries. DIN EN ISO 26800 describes a general approach with regard to principles and concepts in the field of ergonomics. In my view, ergonomics should get through to people and satisfy standards.
Why do you consider Insights-X to be the right partner for your institute?
C. B.: Through our partnership with Insights-X, the institute is consistently pursuing the path of internationalisation. Particularly in the field of the stationery sector, the cooperation perfectly communicates the important ergonomic effects on "schoolbags" and "writing instruments" – both nationally and internationally. IGR and Insights-X are both based in Nuremberg, which almost makes cooperation compulsory.
What requirements do the products have to meet to be eligible for the Special Award Ergonomics?
C. B.: Functionality and applicability are the top priorities. That is to say, whether the product can be adjusted to the respective user or whether there are different solutions for different users. In addition, the innovation of the submitted products is also assessed.
Thank you very much for the interview, Mr Brunner.
Do you have ergonomic products in the categories of (School) bags and backpacks or writing utensils? Until 21 September 2020, you can register your company with up to three products for the Special Award Ergonomics.Register here
IGR Institut für Gesundheit und Ergonomie
The IGR is a powerful network. Doctors, physiotherapists, scientists, operational health management staff, government representatives or product developers and retailers – they are all concerned with health and ergonomics.
The institute has its headquarters in Nuremberg and was founded in the middle of the 1990s. It originally began with courses for children, but in the meanwhile it deals with almost everything that is of importance for healthy work.
Pleasure and entertainment are an important key for the sustainability of any measures aimed at the improvement of occupational health. Through its initiatives and projects the institute actively supports companies in the achievement of their goals.