Wearable Devices Take Ergonomics to a New High-Tech Place #WSJ #WearableWednesday

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On the surface this seems like a good idea, helping reduce worker injury and improving posture. But how much should your employer know about your body movements? Via The Wall Street Journal:

Companies including Walmart Inc. and Toyota Motor Corp.are experimenting with sensors that identify when workers engage in risky movements—say, bending their backs without squatting—and prompt them to change their form in real time. The devices also collect data that employers can use to assess how new equipment, tasks or changes in production volume affect worker safety.

While makers of wearable devices say the purpose is to help employers reduce injuries, the technology also raises privacy and workplace-surveillance concerns, says Jack Dennerlein, a professor at Northeastern University in Boston who studies ergonomics. Employees might feel like Big Brother is watching them, he says, or fear they will be punished for not using the correct techniques.

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