Posted on 3rd Sep 2011 @ 5:10 PM
The field of ergonomics has exploded in recent years. Today, you can find the influence of ergonomics in all kinds of product categories: ergonomic chairs, ergonomic desks, ergonomic keyboards, even ergonomic baby products! Certainly, ergonomics has had a positive impact on our society. But is it possible to have too much of a good thing?
Although babies themselves aren't all that ergonomic.
Apparently so. There are some products on the market which purport to be ergonomic - even though the benefits gained by being ergonomic are of questionable value (or even downright undesirable). Here are five such items:
1. Ergonomic gun. This article describes the Kahr P9 and CW9 double action pistols as "ergonomic, … aesthetically pleasing, concealable, and eminently shootable." True, some people are very protective of their Second Amendment rights to bear arms. But consider this: if a person is worried about developing carpal tunnel syndrome from numerous episodes of pulling out a concealed handgun and firing it, should that person really own a firearm in the first place?
2. Ergonomic beer bottle. Believe it or not, the so-called "best-selling beer in Peru" touts its ergonomic bottle design. SAB Miller's Cristal (no, not the overpriced champagne) beer bottle is "designed to make consumption a better experience for its consumers." Okay, we’ll go with the assumption that people really do develop repetitive stress injuries from drinking beer (and that they can somehow still feel pain after all that beer drinking). But if the manufacturer needs a special bottle design to improve the consumer consumption experience, shouldn't they instead focus on the quality of the beer inside the bottle?
3. Ergonomic bong. You will immediately grasp the level of scientific research conducted on this product simply by reading this site's description of the Flash bong: "Just a perfect bong, ergonomic curved! [sic] Put in your hand [sic] and you want [sic] let it go anymore. [sic]" But despite all of this articulate praise, we have to ask the question: Is an ergonomic bong really necessary? After all, if you get sore joints and muscles from handling a bong, you're probably eligible for a doctor's prescription for medical marijuana anyway.
4. Ergonomic protest sign. This enterprising individual actually discusses the virtues of using a metal retractable pole to support a protest sign at a rally. Although this isn't an actual product that you can purchase (at least not yet), this begs the question: if you're worried about staying comfortable at upcoming protest marches, are you perhaps less concerned about the causes you are promoting and more focused on your personal experiences during the protests themselves?
That's the way to stand up for your beliefs! How inspiring.
5. Ergonomic torture devices. Okay, full disclosure: these aren't actual products - they only existed as part of a classroom exercise. In 2008, a professor's assignment at Britain’s Kent University School of Architecture encouraged students to explore the underlying principles of ergonomics - by designing ergonomic torture devices. Because, after all, conducting lengthy sessions of excruciating pain infliction can really be torture on your bones and joints.
Medieval torturers like these were commonly stricken with carpal tunnel syndrome.
So for those who think the possibilities of ergonomics are limitless, let us respectfully disagree. There are some things in this world that should remain somewhat uncomfortable or cumbersome -- because everyone will be better off as a result.