Ergo love. It's contagious

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

You will never meet a person more passionate about ergonomics than Greg Bowden, Northern Light’s Occupational Health ergonomics guru. He doesn’t understand why we all don’t feel that way. In fact, truth be told, he feels like more can be done to get our attention and help us understand why we should care.  It didn’t take me long to realize how much he cared after he arrived at my house for a home ergo eval and we started chatting.
“Maybe because ergonomics is a little boring?” I suggested, attempting to bring into focus our need for a good marketing angle. “Necessary,” I added quickly when I saw the look on Greg’s face. “But, yeah, maybe a little boring?” My tact was failing me as I struggled to tell my truth so I backed it up and asked what I should have asked in the first place “Why are you so passionate about this?”
“It’s because of the instant gratification I get knowing I’ve helped someone feel more comfortable in a matter of 20 minutes.” And then he proceeded to make me happier and more excited than I could ever have imagined about the topic. He fixed my chair.
Chairs, as it turns out, are the source of major discontent for many people. For a while now I have suffered the daily annoyance of a chair with the seat back set in a near reclining position. No amount of fiddling brought it up straight where it might do me some good. Beaten down by the time afternoon rolled around and with no further intention of standing or even sitting up straight on my own without a chair back for support, I’d puddle over one chair arm for the last few hours. And so when Greg jiggered a few levers on my desk chair with bold and decisive know-how, the back of the chair instantly conforming to the planes of my back and supporting it in a way I’d longed for, I got it. I got the passion he felt about getting people straightened out in a way that allowed them to work with comfort, ease and structural health.
I now stand humbly and gratefully corrected. There is nothing remotely boring about ergonomics for those who are body-wise from the get-go and the body-worn converts after an injury. Whether you are working from home or working on campus, it’s imperative to have a workstation engineered to keep you safe, comfortable, functional and free from injury (think carpal tunnel). To help employees better understand the risk of injury we run when we are not paying heed to moving our bodies in safe ways – or keeping them stationary for extended periods of time – a “Know Your Ergonomic Numbers” campaign will be launched later this fall according to Cheryl Russell, Northern Light Health Director of Employee Safety & Loss Prevention. “Our workstations have become very fluid as we move around with laptops from area to area. It’s essential that everyone understand the general principles of ergonomics whether they work at a desk or in a different context within Northern Light,” says Cheryl. “We have a number of ergonomics certified trainers who are here to ensure you are working in a way that brings no harm to your body.”
On that note, I say with utter confidence you will want to see the attached document for a truly exciting list of where we tend to ergonomically go wrong, what we need to do to work in harmony with our body, and the process for getting a consult to straighten yourself out. Greg’s dream is to help people avoid damaging their bodies on the front end, saving Northern Light and employees a lot of money and grief on the back end. 
Greg is happy to answer your questions, send stretches and even help you find reasonably priced equipment. Just email him at
If you’d like to have an ergonomics evaluation, just talk with your manager/leader. Managers, you can either email Greg directly or send your request to
To wrists, heads, necks, backs, hips and knees that don’t ache,