|January 17, 2012||Posted by Elizabeth under Ergonomics|
All properly functioning offices run on a multitude of platforms that help keep them on the right track towards success. Human resources aids in maintaining a good work environment and the standards by which employees work, marketing teams work to increase the number of outside eyes on the company and, in turn, drive sales, striving to keep the company’s profits on the rise. And all of the people within these companies are very different in their ergonomic needs.
With all of the focus on the major gears of that machine, sometimes the fundamentals are overlooked. When there is an important meeting to prepare for, or a new marketing strategy to be implemented, is anyone thinking about the alignment of the wrist when typing, or the height of a chair in relation to a person’s leg length? Probably not. But because people come in all shapes and sizes, the “average” office set up won’t work for everyone.
Proper ergonomics are an integral component to an efficient and successful workplace. But adapting the workplace for each worker based on their individual needs is not always easy.
It is so important learn what ergonomic solutions will make each person as comfortable, healthy, and productive as possible. There are three key factors to focus on and we want to share them with you.
- Keyboard design and placement: For an overweight or broad shouldered worker, a standard keyboard might not allow them to comfortably type because of the breadth of their upper body. An excellent solution for this problem is a split keyboard, which is also beneficial to those with carpal tunnel. Also, for those with larger fingers, a large key keyboard will allow for easier typing.
- Seating: A typical office won’t work for everybody. In order to provide the proper support for the lower back and legs, a specialized chair that is deeper and wider is sometimes necessary. For some, lumbar supports can be added to the chair to increase the lower back support for those with chronic back pain. Chairs where the arms can move in and out are great for larger people.
- Supporting the legs and feet: In order to achieve the right level of comfort and circulation, a person’s legs and feet must be properly supported. This happens by removing the pressure from behind the knees. The best way to do this is through the use of a footrest. (As shown on AlimedErgoExpert.com)
|September 22, 2011||Posted by Ronni under Ergonomics, Wellness|
If you have a desk job, you are likely to spend 56 hours a week sitting. That’s not just at your desk; that’s also in your car, on your couch, at your kids’ soccer games or at the movie theater. But seeing most of us maintain a 40-50 hour work week, one of our most important places we sit is our desk chair.
For this reason picking any old chair cannot work. You’ve got to research it, study it and try it out. You need the most ergonomic chair for your body type.
Ergonomics. I’ve read many articles saying it’s simply a buzz word for comfort. I have several colleagues that respectfully disagree. It’s a scientific construction and design of a product that supports the human body in the most comfortable and supportive way possible.
The question is – how do you pick the most ergonomic chair for you? We have worked with AliMed’s Ergo Expert and pulled together some great tips to consider when looking to purchase a new office chair.
4 Things to Look for in an Ergonomic Chair:
- Height of the Chair. The Ergo Expert suggests measuring the distance from the floor to the underside of your desk, then subtracting 8”-10”. Your new chair will most likely match this height measurement. Humantech®, an ergonomic consulting firm out of Ann Arbor, MI, says the perfect chair will allow your feet to be planted on the floor with your thighs parallel to the floor; your knees will thus be at a 90 degree angle. (Reported in The Wall Street Journal)
- Back of the Chair. The Ergo Expert’s top suggestion is focus on the lumbar support. The most convenient chair is one that can adjust the lumbar support, allowing an adjustment for the user’s height. You can also find a chair with the proper, non-adjustable lumbar support for you, by trying the chair out before you buy it.
- Seat of the Chair. The most comfortable chair is one that fits you explicitly, including the depth of the seat. It should measure the same distance from the inside of your knee to the base of your spine, says the Ergo Expert. Also, the perfect chair will only improve your health. A waterfall front to the seat will provide you with improved blood circulation to your legs.
- Armrests for the Chair. Armrests are possibly the most overlooked aspect of the chair. If you spend 90% of your day typing, you’ll understand why. But for the other 10% of your day, armrests that are too low or too high can put heightened strain on your upper back, neck and shoulders. That’s why, unless you find a chair that’s non-adjustable armrests perfect for you, the armrests should be adjustable to accommodate any user.
A comfortable, supportive chair should be the goal of any employee or employer. This is why you should NEVER purchase a chair without a money back guarantee or taking it for a test drive. You probably spend 30-40 hours a week sitting in your desk chair; make sure it is the best one for you.
No matter how comfortable the chair is, don’t sit down all day. Leading a sedentary life can often lead to obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Try to walk around your office at least once every hour. As for your new, ergonomic chair? It is said absence makes the heart grow fonder.
|August 22, 2011||Posted by Ronni under Aging, Ergonomics, Wellness|
Since the dip in the economy a few years ago, many, who once thought their retirement fund was booming, saw a drastic drop in their investments. Consequently, the workforce is populated with older Americans who cannot afford to retire.
They continue to work, and do so in environments that are suited for young, all-around healthy employees. Their offices are on the top floors, their chairs often are as old as their career at the company and their eye sight hinders their ability to utilize growing technology as easy as younger employees.
Employers can be taking the necessary steps to ensure their older workers are comfortable and free from potential injury and stress. For instance, computer screens can now be equipped with magnifying screen filters and accessories (like keyboards and mice) that are designed to accommodate arthritic hands and worsening eye sight. Also, chairs can now be purchased to ensure good posture and comfort for one’s hips and back.
Designing your home accordingly is just as important as your office to prevent injury and heal from surgery. These design updates are not always drastic overhauls that are time consuming and costly. Often, changes can be simple and relatively inexpensive to improve daily quality of life. For instance, adding a seat to the shower can drastically reduce the chance of slipping and also may make bathing more comfortable. Adding extensions to door handle handles and medication bottles may help those with arthritis or inflamed joints.
Ergonomics for the aging rises above comfort and safety – it’s also about mental health. When someone, no matter their age, is comfortable and feels safe, he/she has a higher probability of feeling happier, more efficient and more secure. This leads to fewer cases of depression and thus longer life. So keep in mind the possible ergonomic solutions and aids for the daily life of yourself or a loved one.