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Digging deeper...HERShovel™ for Women

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  • What is hergonomic®?
  • Why is (h)ergonomics important?
  • Why hergonomic® instead of simply ergonomic?
  • Hergonomic® is a term trademarked by Green Heron Tools. Why?
  • Could hergonomic® tools work well for men, too?

What is hergonomic®?

Digging with HERS

Hergonomic® simply means ergonomic, for women.

Ergonomic = “designed for maximum comfort, efficiency, safety, and ease of use, especially in the workplace.” (Encarta Dictionary) So hergonomic® tools and equipment are those designed to be easiest, safest, most comfortable and most effective for women.

Why is (h)ergonomics important?

Tools & equipment help make our lives easier, by allowing us to accomplish tasks that would be difficult or impossible to do without them. But if they don’t fit, tools & equipment can also make our lives harder, by causing or contributing to injuries and disabilities – including chronic problems such as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), of which lower back pain is the most common. MSDs are widespread everywhere & are considered “near-epidemic” in agriculture.

Risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders include: (National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health)

  • Heavy physical work
  • Lifting and forceful movements
  • Bending and twisting (awkward postures)
  • Whole-body vibration
  • Highly repetitive tasks (especially problematic if your body is in a non-neutral -- bent or twisted -- position.)

How can we reduce these risk factors? One of the best ways is to redesign tools using the principles of ergonomics. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention)

Why hergonomic® instead of simply ergonomic?

The measure of a woman's bodyWomen’s bodies are significantly different from men’s. For example, compared with men women have:

  • 40-75% less upper-body strength
  • 5-30% less lower-body strength
  • Smaller stature (avg. female 5” shorter than avg. male)
  • More adipose tissue
  • Narrower shoulders
  • Wider hips
  • Proportionally shorter legs & arms
  • Smaller grips, grip strength 50-67% that of males
  • Greater flexibility
  • Lower center of gravity

This means a tool that is “ergonomic” for men is not necessarily ergonomic (comfortable, safe, efficient and easy to use) for women. 

Hergonomic is a term trademarked by Green Heron Tools. Why?

  • We are the only company in the world working to scientifically design agricultural and gardening-related tools and equipment that are specifically (& ergonomically) for women.
  • Ergo, ours are the only truly hergonomic® tools!
  • Liz’s childhood friend Val Eisley Morick – wordsmith extraordinaire -- was the only one clever enough to come up with the term.

Could hergonomic® tools work well for men, too?

Hergonomic® tools may work well for some men, particularly older men or those of smaller stature. This is similar to the suitability for women of some tools that were designed for the “general population” (which usually means for men, or for some “average” person whose height, strength etc. are more similar to a man’s than a woman’s) but that ended up working for women anyway. An example is Asian-made cutting tools, which often have smaller grips that end up fitting many women’s (generally smaller) hands.

In other words, hergonomic® = good for women, but does not necessarily = bad for men.

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