Making Your Station Right For Work

When you think about the lies or untruths we are told in our lifetimes, it’s hard to know which one in the most prominent. Whether it’s George Washington chopping down the cherry tree, or that time in history when people were told the earth was flat, myths have been around as long as truth has. One myth (or lie) repeated to us every time we shop is this: One size fits all. In all of the items I’ve seen marked with that phrase, I’ve never seem them actually fit everyone who wants to wear or use them. In fact some clothing manufacturers admit “all” is kind of a stretch and are now printing “one size fits many” on their garments. The area that most needs to catch up to the idea that one size doesn’t fit all is work environment designers. People who create office space with desks, computers and chairs all the same don’t understand that an ergonomic work space will be different for every person they employ. Chair and Desk Every person has a different body, and needs a chair that fits and encourages the best posture for that person to work in. A good chair should be able to be easy to adjust have a back that goes high enough to support the spine without any pressure points. It should allow arms to be supported with arm rests that are aligned with the desk to ensure the wrists hang at a natural level to interact with the keyboard. The chair should also have a caster-set 5 wheel base so there is more stability toward the center of the chair and the wheels should move easily. The desk should be at such a height that people can sit with their feet on the floor and have at least 8 to ten inches between the top of their legs and the desk. This will also help the monitor stay at a higher level. Keyboard and Mouse Factory workers used to be the unchallenged number one worker for suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome or repetitive motion injuries. Keyboardists and data entry clerks now challenge them for the number of claims submitted each year. A keyboard should be in position slightly below the wrists so they hover over the keypad and the fingers can move freely. Although wrist pads are popular items they actually hinder the posture process for constant typists because the wrists resting up cause the hands to be at a bad angle. The keyboard itself should have spring assisted keys so they can provide momentum to the fingers and be capable of being placed in the reverse inverted position. A mouse should be close enough to the keyboard that the typist does not have to reach to use it or put their hand in an unnatural position. Monitor and Printer A huge source of neck strain has been the act of looking down to see a monitor. The monitor of a work station should be at eye level so the head as to be at nor more than a 30 degree angle. The monitor should be 20 to 30 inches way from the eyes of the typist and should be adjustable so the glare from lights or the sun does not interfere with work. The printer should be in a position away from the desk so the typist can stand up and move around to retrieve paperwork. The small break in momentum will help the body sustain work longer because it’s not in the same position all day long. If a printer must be within grasp, it should be on the desk in such a way that the typist is not encouraged to lean or stretch the back to get the paper. Realizing one workstation type will not fit all people will save dollars, pain and time for the business and the employee. That’s a truth worth striving for.

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