Device ergonomics

microwave radiationIt is important to constantly remind ourselves about computer ergonomics so that we don’t fall foul of what appears to be easy use devices. One of the biggest concerns is children’s use of devices. Their bodies absorb microwaves more effectively than adult bodies. You can read information on collective-evolution  and environmental health trust.  

Given we are surrounded by technology it is very difficult for us to deal with these issues. We need a clear picture and we need a clear process. The video supplies some very helpful information about trackpad use. Even phones and tablets become track pads as we use them with gesturing. It’s important we listen to people who know what they are talking about.

canscribe has set up a list of things to check for office and home office ergonomics . It can operate as a checklist and a reminder. Looking after ourselves in a technological environment is as vital as when we looked at the issues in industrial areas and environments.



Sitting or standing?

sitting or standing Image: The Ergonomic Times

There is sa lot of good research going on to do with whether we should be sitting or standing when we use technology for long hours and what sorts of sitting positions and chairs we should be using. The advice from The Ergonomic Times concurs with what my physio told me. Change positions every 20 minutes. My optometrist has also been very helpful in terms of advice with how to sit and view computers and tablets. I use a book seat for my iPad. It makes it more stable and it is at a better angle for viewing which saves wear and tear on my neck and eyes. Justin Young is trying to work out what the problems will be when people use gesturing control and so his time is spent researching the ergonomics of that so we have the right advice about the right set up so we don’t have carpal tunnel syndrome , excessive fatigue and have the right sorts of chairs. He makes the point that some organisations won’t be able to provide ergonomically satisfactory work stations for people. Why not? Maybe that’s a challenge we need to confront and come up with affordable options for everyone.

There is a big, long term study which has just come out of Canada which looks at the impact of everyone standing for long hours. Peter Smith led the study and it has some interesting information which we really need to pay attention to:

“Hilary Poirier, a customer service agent at WestJet in Halifax, spends most of the workday on her feet.

“We don’t really sit down very frequently at all because we’re always out on the floor,” she said. Though she said she has “the best job ever,” all the standing puts a toll on her body: feet, back, hips, legs, everything.

The results came as a surprise to her.

“For something like heart issues I wasn’t imagining that because usually you’re on your feet you’re being healthy,” she said.”

We probably have been getting the message it would be better to stand. Not so. We need options. We need to be able to sit and we need to be able to change and stand. Any place which is requiring us to only do one or the other isn’t helping our health.

Ergonomics month

America is having an ergonomics month. Not a bad idea given we are all tethered to our devices and need to be mindful of how this impacts on our bodies. I got that information courtesy of The Ergonomic Times which is worth keeping up to date with. I regularly blog about ergonomics because we use different devices. They absorb us and then we may forget what that is doing to us. There is some really good and useful ergonomic quick advice on Humanscale which will help you to do an easy overview of your ergonomic approach to workspaces. There is also an interesting article about how the Aeron chair has had a 21st century makeover. We can do things better because we have technology and access to data:

Today’s designers have access to more data, newer materials, and more sophisticated manufacturing capabilities, and those all factored into the new Aeron.”

My new bookseat friend

bookseatI am not complaining. Someone gave me a bookseat because they didn’t want it. My first thought was – oh, I can put my iPad on that. I did. It works brilliantly. It’s a stable surface where I can sit my iPad and it is better than having it flat on a surface. It also balances nicely on the arm of a big chair. All good, really. I had no idea there was such a thing as a bookseat. They are material full of polystyrene beads so they are beanbags for books and iPads. I find it very comfortable to work with and my iPad loves it.

Every body is different

Doug Thomas goes through a lot of hints and tips to do with ergonomics and shows you the sort of Microsoft products currently available to help you .His capacity to talk common sense and get his messages across is worth the view of this video. He is clear, articulate, has a sense of humour and talks very comfortably in the video format so that you feel he is actually talking to you. In 15 minutes he looks carefully at how you can improve the ergonomics of your computing and what you can do to help. It is cheerful, positive and practical. This video is via Office Blogs which regularly features videos to help you learn Microsoft products and then more things to do with computing and managing computing. The videos might have a focus on Microsoft but the impact is much wider than just a product sales pitch.They are tutorials to help you feel comfortable with technology. The videos are designed to help you genuinely learn and become involved in learning. I got the link to this video via The Ergonomic Times. If you are interested in following through on the Office Blogs help then you can find the link here.

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