December 20, 2011
Lights, Camera, Action, Occupational Health Information: Niosh Uses Social Media To Highlight Police Bike Recommendations
Contact: Fred Blosser, (202) 245-0645
There is a new action video in town, and it promotes an occupational health message for real-life heroes.
“Safety Check,” an informational video produced by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), puts the viewer behind the scenes as Chicago police bicycle officers check their safety equipment in the locker room, and then it follows officers on duty with partner’s-eye-view tracking shots on the busy streets of Chicago. The brisk, 1-minute, 26-second video is available on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEzfgS36eEE
As officers check their safety equipment, one item they check off is a noseless bicycle seat. As the video asks: Noseless bicycle seat?!? Really?
Over the last several years, NIOSH researchers have investigated the potential health effects of prolonged bicycling in police bicycle patrol units. These potential effects include the possibility that bicycle saddles with protruding noses exert excessive pressure on the urogenital area of cyclists, restricting blood flow to the genitals, resulting in adverse effects on sexual function.
NIOSH studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of no-nose bicycle saddles in reducing pressure in the groin and improving the sexual health of male bicycle patrol police officers. While most workers in jobs that involve bicycling are men, recent evidence suggests that no-nose bicycle saddles may also benefit women. The short informational video directs viewers to further NIOSH resources on the web at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/bike/ .
“Video offers an engaging way to reach our stakeholders and the general public with information, and to open the door to our wealth of resources for preventing work-related injury and illness,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “With modern production technology and social media networks, we have the ability to produce high-quality informational video in-house and to reach a wide range of audiences in ways that we could only have imagined a few years ago.”
Dr. Howard added, “As safety and health professionals realize, these new tools of video and social media are invaluable for informing our diverse stakeholders, who are increasingly de-centralized and often difficult to reach through traditional means. We appreciate the assistance of the Chicago Police Department and its dedicated bike patrol officers in helping us plan, shoot, and disseminate the video.”
NIOSH has worked with the Chicago police department and several other police departments with bicycle patrols to assess the problem, conduct job-related reproductive health research, test a solution in the form of noseless bike saddles, and publish recommendations.
The NIOSH web page contains numerous reports, studies, and demonstration videos that describe research findings and provide practical information on using no-nose saddles.
NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing occupational injuries and illnesses. It was created under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. More information about NIOSH research can be found at www.cdc.gov/niosh.
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