This week we lost astronaut Richard Gordon, one of the first astronauts to walk on the moon. As we celebrate his incredible life, one cannot help but wonder what it would be like to go to work in zero gravity. Especially those of us who work long hours all day on our feet with the full weight of gravity on our bodies (14.7 pounds per square inch). It would be amazing to work on the assembly line floating from station to station.
The health effects and ergonomic repercussions on the body can be disastrous to workers who spend a large amount of time on their feet standing, stooping, lifting and bending. We can look to history for all kinds of examples on how those who stood working for large portions of their lives were affected after an entire life span.
A brief history of standing workers...
According to Hazards.org, during World War I, the health of munitions workers became an issue of great importance to the government. Fit workers were at a premium, and exhausted workers weren’t good workers. Under emergency war powers, the Secretary of State at the Department of Munitions issued an order requiring firms to make reasonable provision for “the supply and use of seats in workrooms.”
The health of those standing all day was causing many able bodied munitions workers to drop out of the war effort, which was not something, the UK or the U.S. could afford.
Earlier still, the Shops Act of 1912 required the provision of seats for shop assistants.
Nevertheless, over 100 years after doctors warned of the occupational health risks of prolonged standing at work, millions of workers are still compelled to stay on their feet for most of the working day.
As regrettable as the health disadvantages were in these generations, they did do us the enormous favor of giving the gift of health data for us to work off of now. What they told us was that these individuals were at greater risk of varicose veins, poor circulation and swelling in the feet and legs, foot problems, joint damage, heart and circulatory problems and pregnancy difficulties.
Standing workers, then and now...
A survey of union health and safety officers found widespread problems from standing at work. Unions representing shop workers, teachers, library staff, production line workers, bank workers, warehouse staff, museum workers, school supervisors, train drivers, printers, hospitality, casino workers and engineers all reported standing-related health problems experienced by their members. Even now, more than half the workforce in the UK alone, face health risks as a result of standing.
These problems were not just felt by those in the greatest generation or the baby boomers alone. Companies see the adverse effects today, noting that lower limb disorders cause over 2 million days sick leave a year. Surprisingly, scientists now know that time in an upright posture at work may cause hypertension comparable to 20 years of aging. (Hazards.org)
Interestingly, even further back in history, in the 1870s and 1880s, at the height of the Victorian era, doctors in Paris, London and New York began to report large numbers of “shop girls” suffering foot ailments caused by prolonged standing.
Almost 150 years later, the same problems exist. We now know that the list of ailments could even include your mental health.
Wearwell is changing history for the standing worker...
Thankfully, we live in a time where we get to reap the benefits of all the work and study done throughout history. A company like WearWell, LLC., who makes incredible scientifically advanced products to aide the worker on the job, are taking a lesson from astronauts like Richard Gordon and practically reversing gravity for the earth-bound body.
The extreme benefits felt by the hardest working portion of our society is physically and mentally relieved by Wearwell’s incredible products softening the ground and lightening the loads for millions of workers all over the world.
It takes great minds to create things that make everyday life easier. We at Wearwell are committed to supplying companies and workers alike with ways to reduce their pain and focus on the tasks at hand.
Amazing things have been built without these types of assists. Everything from the Pyramids to the Brooklyn Bridge to the Space Shuttle. These inventions were constructed often times with extreme pain and discomfort. Imagine how much our incredible world will grow and the amazing places our minds can take us when we apply products to our daily lives like that of Wearwell creations.