Sunday, 6 March 2011

High-Tech Winter Ergonomics

Positive user experience report on high-tech ergonomics for the winter.

Even though there are still weather concerns from Piers Corbyn, I am putting the snow-clearing kit back in the shed. I tried some high-technology aids during the cold spell. They worked well. This is my personal experience report, rather than a scientific ergonomic analysis.

First up, d3o - an amazing material. I bought a pair of 'total impact shorts' for each of us. I did not fall on the ice for test purposes, but subjectively, the d3o looks like it would give real protection in a fall on the pavement. I'll be buying a hat for next winter. Hip protection for the elderly could do wonders for A&E, if we can avoid risk compensation.

Next, shoes for crews. I have two pairs; a formal pair for meetings and a pair of trainers for pottering round the village. Subjective impressions support the data of very good slip resistance. Trying them on sheet ice and frozen snow, they were better than Vibram soles and much better than ordinary shoes. The nature of the sole made me wonder about their wear resistance. Too soon for a definitive judgment, but there are no signs of rapid wear to date. The local council now seems to use grit rather than salt, and the grit gathers in the soles. The shoes brought in lots of ice and grit; not a problem if you take them off at the door.

Lastly, the Uniqlo heattech base layers seemed to add real warmth and are remarkably cheap.

Please add your own winter ergonomics in the comments. We have plenty of cold winters to come.

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