Ergonomics and the Aging Workforce

Shifting Demographics

Workforce Demographics are Changing.
Are you Ready?
10,000 people are turning 65 every single day
and this will continue through 2030!

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The aging workforce presents a challenge to industry—to design a safe and productive work environment to accommodate older workers.

  • Different shift preferences
  • Different training and learning styles
  • Tend to experience disfranchisement with their work and coworkers
  • Decreased reaction time and speed
  • Decreased manual dexterity and feedback
  • Increased body fat
"Ergonomics is about fitting the work to the worker”


FIVE ergonomics principles for an aging workforce:

Work in Neutral Postures:  Working with the body in a neutral position reduces stress and strain on your musculoskeletal system.

Allow for Posture Changes: Working in the same posture or sitting for prolonged periods of time is bad for you. Your body’s musculoskeletal (or movement) system is designed to move. Arrange workstations and tasks to allow for changing postures.

Work from the “Power Zone”: The power zone is also referred to as the “hand shake
zone”—this is an easy way to remember the optimal
location to perform work.

Provide good lighting: A common issue with older workers is lighting. Visual
acuity deteriorates with age, so make sure work areas
are properly lit.

Have a good grip: Providing “power grips” instead of pinch grips for jobs
and tasks is another ergonomics “low hanging fruit” to
help accommodate aging workers.



Humanscale Case Study: Rohde & Schwarz Build a New Image


Rohde & Schwarz Build a

New Image


FINDING THE RIGHT FIT Rohde & Schwarz, an international electronics group and one of the world’s leading manufacturers of communications and broadcasting equipment, has about 9,300 employees and representatives in more than 70 countries. The company is committed to delivering bespoke solutions for the world’s best industrial brands and also seeks to provide a healthy, beautiful working environment for its staff.

“ Humanscale products reflect our company ethos and philosophy in providing our staff with work tools to create a comfortable and safe working environment.” David Lew, Rohde & Schwarz facilities manager

In Singapore, where the regional headquarters is based and the team is responsible for managing all the Rohde & Schwarz businesses in the Eastern hemisphere, the company recently constructed a brand new office space. Completion of the space, including interior design and the purchase of new office furniture and equipment, took six months. When it came to seating, the team knew they wanted a modern aesthetic that enhanced the contemporary, light-filled office building. They were also influenced by new workplace health guidelines introduced by the Singaporean government that require employers to provide safe, comfortable seating and work tools for their staff.

Singapore’s focus on ergonomics in the workplace led Rohde & Schwarz to turn to the industry


leader, Humanscale, for chairs that combine ergonomic functionality with beautiful aesthetics. “It is very important to us to ensure the welfare of our employees at Rohde & Schwarz,” said David Lew, facilities manager, about the need for task chairs that provide exceptional comfort. “The first priority was comfort because many of our employees spend as long as nine hours a day at work. Aesthetic design was secondary.”


Although they were not familiar with Humanscale’s product lines, the representatives at Rohde & Schwarz were impressed by the variety of seating on offer when they first met with the Humanscale team. They were especially pleased with how the seating options were suitable for three-tier usage, at executive, boardroom and head of department levels, while the chair aesthetics seamlessly integrated into each environment without overpowering the space.

They met the Humanscale team at Singapore’s Schiavello showroom. The meeting came about by chance, Lew said, because the Schiavello showroom was in the same building as the company’s chosen interior designer.

“At the first meeting, all the benefits of Humanscale products were explained intensively, and colour samples and chair mock-ups were provided upon request,” he said.

The team evaluated other chairs from other manufacturers, but, ultimately, decided to go with Humanscale. They opted to outfit the space with three different chairs for each level: Freedom Headrest in leather for the executive seating, Freedom Headrest for boardroom seating and the Liberty chair for all staff.  In addition to the quality of Humanscale’s products, the aesthetics, which beautifully complement the interior design, were a deciding factor. “Humanscale offered a variety of chairs that were able to portray a consistent visual at the office,” said Lew. “We also considered the price and lead time, as well as the welfare of our staff and how the chairs complemented our overall brand image.”


Feedback from Rohde & Schwarz staff has been overwhelmingly positive. The automatic recline of all chairs is especially popular. Liberty’s Form-Sensing Mesh Technology, which ensures perfect lumbar support for every user, has also been praised for its comfort.


“The chairs are great,” said Procurement Executive Marilyn Tan. “They’re comfortable and easy to use and I’ve received many positive comments from my colleagues since we installed the new Humanscale chairs in our office.”

The representatives at Rohde & Schwarz said the experience of working with Humanscale was immensely positive and professional, and they would absolutely consider purchasing more products in the future. They were pleased that Humanscale’s focus on sustainability aligned with Rohde & Schwarz’s mission to “go green” and said they would highly recommend Humanscale to others.

“Humanscale products reflect our company ethos and philosophy in providing our staff with work tools to create a comfortable and safe working environment,” said Lew. “The chairs are ergonomic and fit our new build’s clean and simple aesthetics.”


2017 Project Review

You know we have been working diligently this year. We are so excited to share with you the amazing opportunities we have had this year working with Gresham Smith and Partners, Gilbert McLaughlin Casella, Sorci and Swords Design, IQuity, Gobbell Hays Partners, Kennon Calhoun Workshop and S/W Design Group. 

Each project came with its changes that we were glad to overcome with beautifully pleasing aesthetic furniture solutions.

We are thankful for our amazing staff and valued clients. We hope that 2017 has brought you much to be thankful for too and that 2018 brings love, peace and prosperity to all.

2016 FPI Furniture Installations

Year after year we are right there for our clients providing them with the right furniture solution. Facility Planners is happy to share our furniture solutions from 2016. This video includes custom furniture designs for multiple industries such as Corporate Offices, Marketing, Entertainment, and Healthcare, to name a few. Visit us at our new website for more on what we can do for you at or contact us at