Applied Ergonomics Conference 2015
Ergo Cup®/Awards
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Featured Speakers

Ted R. Borgstadt 

Overcoming Ergonomics Challenges in Obesity

Ted R. Borgstadt, TrestleTree 

During our generation, obesity has catastrophically increased. In 1990, 10 states had below a 10 percent obesity rate and no state had more than 15 percent. In 2012, no state was below 20 percent in obesity rate, and only 10 states had below 25 percent while 13 states were above 30 percent. Nothing good comes from obesity; as a child, an adult, a family, a company, a community or a nation. Obesity threatens to shorten the lifespan of our children, increases risks for cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes for adults, robs the family of the ability to engage in physical activities together, dramatically increases the risk, severity and expense of worksite injuries, obesity threatens the number of able bodied workers in the community and chisels away at the American productivity and innovation.

There is hope. There is a proven model that engages and changes difficult lifestyle behaviors of individuals, families, companies and employers. The solution moves beyond a simple focus of educating the population. This true solution empowers a uniquely trained Coach to "match and move" each individual, based on their unique life circumstances, to their best, holistic health and wellbeing possible.

Ted R. Borgstadt holds a degree in business from Evangel University and is the CEO, chairman and co-founder of TrestleTree. With TrestleTree, he has invested the last 12 years focused on the health, safety and wellbeing of the individual, the family, the workplace and the community. Borgstadt has more than 25 years of healthcare management and pharmacy services experience and, prior to starting TrestleTree, owned retail pharmacies in northwest Arkansas. He is a speaker at national health and safety conferences and is a guest lecturer at the University of Arkansas' Walton School of Business. He also has served on the Washington State University School of Pharmacy Dean's Advisory Council and is a founding Board member of LifeSource International, a nonprofit organization with a holistic approach to supporting families.


Jack Dennerlein, Ph.D. 

The State of Ergonomics for Mobile Computing Technology

Jack Dennerlein, Ph.D., Northeastern University 

Mobile computing technology affords users (through their intended mobility) many different work environments that increase the opportunity for users to adopt postures and configurations outside of those recommended by many desktop computer guidelines. As a result, there is concern that these non-standard postures and configurations may increase risk of adverse outcomes and hence a need for usage guidelines. For mobile phone use, there are several case studies in the literature describing over usage and pain. There is a single epidemiologic study reporting association between duration of use, specifically texting, and pain at the base of the thumb. Laboratory and observational studies confirm that users adopt alternative postures when using mobile devices, often placing devices low on their laps requiring more flexion of the head.

In addition, the soft keyboards displayed on the touch screen do require less force; however, their use is often associated with more wrist extension. Approaches to mitigate potential discomfort with these devices include appropriate and well-designed accessories such as cases and external keyboards as well as minimizing the duration of use in any given configuration. The additional variability afforded by these devices may prove beneficial in the long run.

Jack Dennerlein is a professor in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University, as well as an adjunct professor of ergonomics and safety at the Harvard School of Public Health, both in Boston. Dr. Dennerlein has 20 years of research experience in ergonomics and safety with more than 100 peer reviewed publications. His research encompasses how computing technology interacts with occupational biomechanics and the development of computer-related musculoskeletal disorders.



The Ten Commandments of Ergonomic Design

Josh Kerst, Ergonomics Engineer

What we see as "ergonomics problems" are, in most cases, rooted in the design of equipment and manufacturing processes. While safety and health professionals must manage the unfortunate outcomes of these design issues – injury and illness, it is the engineering function that can ultimately fix the issue. This session will explore the 10 essential ergonomic design principles to prevent the conditions which caused the injuries and prevent them from being repeated. Both good and bad examples of these design principles will be examined in real-world examples along with their impact on safety, quality, delivery and cost (SQDC) through case examples.

Josh Kerst, C.P.E., C.I.E., has an incredible depth and breadth of ergonomics design experience spanning across a variety of manufacturing, laboratory, office, retail, food service, transportation, amusement theme parks and warehouse operations. Kerst has more than 25 years experience consulting to companies around the world providing hundreds of ergonomic assessments, training courses and design collaboration. As a thought leader in the field of ergonomics, he challenges organizations with new ways of thinking and approaching workforce strategies that embrace and support a high-performance workplace.

Kerst obtained a B.S. in industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan.


Laura Lapidus 

The Americans with Disabilities Act and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 in the Workplace: Where Does Ergonomics Fit In?

Laura Lapidus, CNA 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008 require that employers provide reasonable accommodation to applicants and employees who are qualified individuals with disabilities, unless doing so would be an undue hardship. Ergonomics can assist employers in accommodating disabled employees with various disabilities, ranging from muscular-skeletal disabilities to chronic diseases such as lupus and multiple sclerosis. The course will discuss some of the important definitions and provisions in the ADA and ADAAA, focusing on what constitutes reasonable accommodation under the law. We will focus on the role of ergonomics at various stages of the application, hiring and employment process.

Laura Lapidus, Esq., is a risk control consulting director for CNA, managing the development and delivery of employment practices risk control products and services. She has more than 19 years of experience in employment law, including 10 years managing employment practices claims for other insurance carriers. She also served as in-house employment counsel for a nationwide restaurant company and for the Internal Revenue Service, and practiced at a litigation boutique focusing on employment law and commercial litigation. Lapidus is admitted to practice in New York.