We’ve talked at Office Ink before about how poor ergonomics in the workplace is bad for your back, your eyes, your reputation and your energy levels. Now, more and more research shows the typical office environments poses other significant health risk to millions of office workers. Yahoo! has helpfully put together a list of all the new ways your job is trying to kill you:
Misaligned hips, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and varicose veins: poor workplace ergonomics stress nerves, muscles and bones.
Weight gain and diabetes: the chief hazards of getting paid to sit on your duff all day is the sedentary nature of the work. And a stressful work environment further elevates the risk of diabetes. Snacking at your desk doesn’t help either.
You probably can’t quit your job, real as your fears of varicose veins may be. The best thing you can do to minimize the health risks of a sedentary office job is is improve the ergonomics of your workplace with properly sized and designed office chairs and desks, take regular breaks to stretch your legs and cut down on snacking at your desk.
Do you have additional tips on beating the health risks of the modern office? We’d love to see them. Leave your advice in the comments of this posts.
Not sure of the best office furniture layout of wheelchair accessibility? Use our office furniture wheelchair accessibility guide to develop an office furniture plan that optimizes maneuverability and ergonomics.
Your office furniture layout should allow ample space for workers who use wheelchairs to move around in. Here are a few guidelines:
Wheelchair passage: office furniture should be placed a minimum of 32″ from walls and other obstructions to allow for smooth wheelchair passages.
Turning space: allow 60′ clearance so workers can rotate and turn around corners.
Wheelchair Workspace Ergonomics:
In office settings, wheelchair accessible work spaces aren’t too different then standard work areas. The main thing to keep in mind is that workers will need to be able to reach without standing. Here are a few dimensions to keep in mind wjen configuring your office furniture.
Floor space for stationery wheelchair: allow 30″ x 48″ for workers to sit in front of desks and tables.
Desk Height: between 24-36 inches high. Standard desks are usually 30″ high.
Forward reach: workers shouldn’t have to reach any higher than 48″ and no lower than 15″. ”
Side Reach: When workers need to reach to the side, items should be now higher than 54″ and now lower than 9″.
The dangers of sitting all day at work are well known at this point: increased BMI and mortality, as well as stress and discomfort in the lower back, shoulders and neck. A good ergonomic desk mitigates those dangers, as can a standing desk. But the best thing you can do to improve the ergonomics in your office is take the sedentary out of your sedentary job and add some activity to your day. You can start by taking periodic breaks to stand up, walk around and stretch. In this video, green-building pioneer Lloyd Kahn shows you how to take it to the next level and rig up an in office gym with little more than rope and a few exercise bands.
I love the ideas in this video, but not everyone has the space or the ability to turn their office into a gym. Luckily, there plenty of exercises you can do in your office that don’t require any equipment, and won’t rumple your clothes.
There is a dizzying array of ergonomic desk chair features on the market, each with a more inscrutable name than the last. It can be hard to decipher the jargon of the office furniture industry to determine exactly which features you need, and which you don’t. OnTimeSupplies.com has an in depth office chair buying guide designed to help you navigate the terrain, but here’s the quick and dirty version: the top three features you need in your ergonomic desk chair. Continue reading →
Is there anything the mighty binder clip can’t do? Last month, we showed you how binder clips can help teachers stay organized. Now Lifehacker comes along with “10 DIY Miracles” you can accomplish with a binder clip. Hands down, our favorite is their trick for repairing your ergonomic keyboard.
Lost the little feet that elevate your keyboard? Those little plastic squares provided big boost to ergonomics in the workplace. Experts say your keyboard should tilt down & away from the body, a position impossible to accomplish without the aid of those little feet. If yours have snapped off, you can replace them with a binder clip:
Step One Remove the two metal wings from your binder clip.
Step Two Slip one metal wing into each of the foot wells.
Voila! You’ve repaired your ergonomic keyboard and improved the ergonomics of your workplace. Happy keyboarding!