6 8 Blum Inspirations Ergonomics is on ever yone’s lips; occupat ional therapy is all the rage. Why is that? Unfor tunately, our societ y has focussed on treating symptoms instead of preventing them. That is up till now. Our think ing is changing. Many people have discovered the benefits of occupational therapy and osteopathy. I’ve noticed that an increasing number of patients come to my practices for prophylactic treatment. They go directly to an osteopath to avoid developing ser ious complaints. These complaints are not only caused by spor ts activities or accidents. Many of them can be traced back to the work place. What would you check up on at home from an ergonomic standpoint? Well, the first thing I’d ask myself is where do I spend most of my time? The combined k itchen and living room is something I’d definitely focus on, closely followed by measures to create a healthy work place in my home of fice. Do we make any classic ‘ergonomic’ mistakes when furnishing our apar tments? Yes, we do! We love to stick to standard dimensions. Please forget ideal dimensions, the per fect body shape and the correct angle. No human body is the same, and living concepts dif fer greatly and change all the time. Change is the only constant. That ’s why you have to adapt furnishings to each individual in line with their lifest yle. Just like you have to find the r ight therapy for each individual – should they ever need one. Which room is the most challenging from an ergonomic perspect ive? That strongly depends on the occupant. Take an elder ly person, for example, who has sight, hear ing and mobilit y impairments. Or disabled people who require help with their daily hygiene. Or wheelchair users, etc. who need to prepare a meal. Ever y room has dif ferent challenges. What ’s your personal checklist for an ergonomic kitchen? First, I’d work out which items I use most frequently ever y day and then I’d think about where best to keep them. For me, that ’s ever y thing to do with cof fee. It ’s impor tant to me to have a good cup of coffee. Not just at home but in my practices, too. I go through the following routine: raise my arm, take the cof fee maker out of the cabinet, use my other arm to add cof fee powder (also from above). Turn to tap, fill water, etc. If you break down each step into small bits, you get dif ferent movements. But watch out. Repeating the same movements again and again can cause repetitive strain injur ies and that T ime to get up and move The term ‘ergonomics’ no longer merely refers to the scientific study of people and their working conditions to improve ef fectiveness. Today, it is far more about people’s health, well-being and optimising their quality of life. Experienced osteopath Klaus Isele tells us what else is involved in modern ergonomics.