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From the Desk of Nichola Adams

Micro vs. Macro Ergonomics – What’s The Difference?

Increasingly, the terms micro and macro ergonomics are being used so I thought, today, it would be useful to focus in on their differences. In our work, in order to provide a holistic approach and optimise an individual’s wellbeing, we need to use both!

Micro ergonomics is when, as an ergonomist, we pay meticulous attention to the details. When providing an ergonomics assessment, it involves optimising the immediate workspace – from the chair and desk to the keyboard and mouse. Micro ergonomics ensures that each component of the workstation aligns with the unique needs and preferences of the individual, promoting comfort and reducing the risk of musculoskeletal issues.

However, this can only be truly effective when we take macro ergonomics into account at the same time. This involves taking a step back to look at the bigger picture. As humans, our experience within the broader organisational structure, culture, and workflow will have a significant effect on our mental and physical wellbeing. When we go into a workplace, the culture is often palpable. Optimally it will be supporting collaboration and innovation within a workplace where employees feel psychologically safe. Just this week, our founder and director Nichola met with a client who had left a workplace where she didn’t feel safe and her mental and physical health had been impacted accordingly. The change in her whole being was evident. The new organisation will be benefitting from her immense experience and skill sets.

We are regularly involved in conversation around the importance of combining both micro and macro ergonomics with those responsible for company culture and strategic implementation of wellbeing solutions across organisations including C-Suite Management, Heads Of People, Wellbeing Experts, Occupational Health, Diversity and Inclusion Leads and Human Resources professionals.

When creating a truly ergonomic workplace, organisations must recognise that micro and macro ergonomics are not mutually exclusive. They complement each other, working in tandem to create an environment where individuals thrive, and the organisation creates the right culture to enable change based on proper conversations and feedback.

If you are examining your organisation at either Micro or Macro level currently do give us a call to discuss how we can help you make the right choices for your people via

Nichola Adams

Founder of Inspired Ergonomics

Nichola Adams, MSc Health Ergonomics, Tech CIEHF, ACPOHE Reg Member, is the Founder of Inspired Ergonomics.

Nichola is a specialist in back pain disorders in the workplace. Inspired Ergonomics regularly provides consultancy services to leading UK and International companies on how to reduce and prevent back pain in the workplace as well as working with rehabilitation companies.

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