July 2016: Case Study – 404,266,869 Observations, Objective Results
We have all heard the adage about how “a picture is worth a thousand words“. Well, here’s “a picture worth 404,266,869 keystrokes and mousing seconds”. This is yet another actual ErgoSuite data chart analyzing a year’s usage of ErgoSuite’s Employee Tools by a large population of office workers:
What Does The Chart Depict?
Let’s look into the chart and see what is happening through this actual data. We’re looking at an ErgoSuite Enterprise chart where we’ve chosen to view Trend Lines (Least Squares Linear Regression) which analyze actual underlying data. Used throughout data analysis and in mathematics, these lines represent the actual underlying data’s movement over time.
Naturally, the underlying data is never as smooth as the trend lines because it ebbs and flows monthly traversing seasonality such as reduced activity during holidays, however, the trend is clear and reliable.
Linear regression is an invaluable tool which is widely used for modeling trends from complex data sets.
In this analysis, ErgoSuite is modeling actual data and not forecasting future trends. We’re specifically examining (1) Keystrokes, (2) Minutes Keying, (3) Minutes Mousing, (4) Coaching Cues from ErgoSuite’s ErgoCoach and (5) Cue Compliance which is a measure of an employee’s adherence with coaching cues supporting an organizational best practice. These coaching cues are only required when an employee’s “recovery time as a function of duration and repetition” is inadequate (high risk).
Each metric in the chart is indexed to its initial value, for comparability, showing its trend (growth) over the period. For example, seeing Cue Compliance grow from an index of 99 to 102.5 simply means its growth
has been 3.5% from its initial monthly value and does not imply that compliance is above 100%.
The average number of observations ‘per employee’ underlying each trend line is more than 192,000 over
the twelve month period. The employee population spans the full spectrum of low, medium and higher
computer-usage. We know we need to protect the full spectrum due to significant exposures outside of work which are at historic highs today. When employees develop new good ergonomic behaviors at work, they carry on after work when using the computer at home.
- In the chart, while output is increasing over the year, coaching cues are decreasing over the same time period. Here is solid evidence of new good ergonomic behaviors forming. Employees are not “being coached less because they are doing less”. In fact, they are producing more within a lower risk profile.
The understanding key here is that employees learn to automatically take frequent short microbreaks while working to the extent that ErgoCoach recognizes this, thus reducing its need to provide coaching cues to
meet the organizational best practice or standard.
Reduce Wasteful Healthcare Overutilization Due To Poor Ergonomic Behaviors
During this highly-effective behavioral training, ErgoSuite’s ErgoCoach, which has been helping people improve their behaviors since 2000, provides unique operant conditioning through positive reinforcement effectively helping employees learn to adopt neutral postures and pace themselves – learning microbreaks – eventually realized as new automatic behaviors. ErgoCoach’s unique behavioral training is automatically tuned to each employee individually in real-time working in concert with their ever-changing patterns of duration, repetition and recovery time at any moment in time.
There is no panacea here. It all happens steadily and gradually over time which precisely tracks well-known models of human behavior change as taught by Applied Behavioral Analysis. There is no perfectly-straight
day-to-day or month-to-month progression of behavior change as this process involves a complex system of computer software, artificial intelligence and human beings. For each employee, there are days with two steps forward and there are days with one step backwards. This is the real world of effective sustainable long-term behavior change.
- The only way these new behaviors become sustainable is when the employee learns to change their behavior where they can automatically pace themselves without having to focus on it. This
is no different from how a musician uses the coaching of a metronome while developing their rhythm. This is the ideal time to positively reinforce neutral postures and awareness training.
People’s capacity to learn new behaviors will vary from time to time based on many factors, however,
the progression of objective data in the above chart is quite clear and significant representing how these employees are learning to automatically set their pace or beat while working with a computer for certain. ErgoCoach understands Relapse Theory quite well and gently helps employees through those times with special care.
When employees can finally automate good ergonomic behaviors including neutral postures and pacing,
they are more comfortable and produce more at a higher quality of work and lower risk profile.
- Other hazards such as optics, contact stress and environment issues need to periodically be addressed if they are uncovered, however, when you read each country’s regulations and laws regarding office ergonomics, you clearly see the huge prominence of the two key employee behaviors – posture and pacing.
Moreover, you absolutely and effortlessly can objectively and conclusively measure both risk levels and behavior change in office ergonomics and we’re not referring to surveys, assessments or other subjective data.
Case Study Mitigation Results
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