Ergonomics Made Easy Blog

Resources and solutions for people in pain that could use help with ergonomic products. Ping blog

3 Ergonomic Tips

Wednesday August 27, 2014

Ergonomic Hacks for Bankers

Banks are every day necessities.  We need them, and they need us.  But not all banks are equal.    Some serve their employees and customers better than others.  Here are three things that will help any bank have happier, healthier, and more protected transactions.

  1. Monitor shields.  Monitor shields keep the sun from rendering the screen useless.  This is great for counter-acting windows and glaring overhead lights.  Additionally, monitor shields protect the user from nosy neighbors.  Whether people mean to or not, we simply can't help ourselves from straining to see other people's business.  A shield allows the user (the person sitting right in front of the screen) to see what's there, but not from other angles.  Thus, the user and his/her information is protected.  Plus, when necessary, the screen is easily and quickly removable.  
  2. Monitor lifts.  Not as .007 essential, these devices lift the monitor for better viewing for short, average, and tall employees.  Screens are sort of a one-size-fits-all purchase, but lifts allow for adjustment for fewer neck aches and pains.  What's more, keeping the screen raised keeps your eyes healthier.  Eye strain is a common problem for computer workers, and it only worsens when looking down at a screen for too long.
  3. Sound masking.  An individual sound machine allows a single banker to ignore business around him and focus on the task or conversation at hand.  A sound masking system is farther-reaching and achieves speech privacy for all involved.  Both employees and customers are protected from being overheard.  Be it for the bank itself, or the customer, speech privacy cannot be over-rated.  That's why every aspect of leaks needs to be considered- not just the digital ones.


Taking care of employees and customers is important.  Everyone needs to walk away happy their experience.

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How an Adjustable Height Ergonomic Desk Helps You

Thursday August 21, 2014

Stand for Your Life!

Studies are telling us that "Those who spend 11 or more hours a day sitting are 40 percent more likely to die over the next three years regardless of how physically active they are otherwise..."  Sounds quite ominous.  We are literally sitting ourselves closer to death.  How, as people who compute at a desk all day, are we going to reduce sitting time?  Besides getting a new job, there is one alternative that proves quite helpful and do-able: adjustable height ergonomic desk.  An ergonomic desk is made to fit your and your body comfortably and to house all your essential items within close reach so there's less strain for you.  An adjustable height desk allows you to raise or lower the work surface, which allows for quick changes of position, as well.

adj desk

Comfort

Sitting at a computer all day puts enormous pressure on your back and shoulders.  A recent study with adjustable height desks at Cornell University reports that most people reported reduced muscle strain when they switched between sitting and standing while at work.  As an added bonus, if you suffer from pain in your neck and shoulders, the flexibility to both sit and stand at your computer can significantly decrease your muscle strain at work

Productivity

Standing up and taking a break improves circulation and increases productivity. A study at USC discovered that just standing up can increase brain function by 5% to 20%. An adjustable height ergonomic desk allows you to stand at your desk while maintaining good, ergonomic posture at your computer.

Collaboration

An additional bonus to an adjustable height desk is that the standing position makes co-worker collaboration more feasible.  One of the more awkward work moments is having someone bend over your see to see your screen as you work together, or you having to bend over someone else's, especially for sustained work time.  An alternative is to both stand to collaborate and enjoy the benefits of standing together.

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4 Tips for a Better Ergonomic Work Station

Sunday July 27, 2014

More and more people are struggling with work-related stress, strain, or even injury.  This may be due to computer-related jobs in which workers need to sit most of the day, staring at a screen, and repetitively typing all day.  What you may not know is that even a desk job can be improved with a few minor, and some more major, changes to your work habits and station.

Ergonomic Work Station Set-Up Principles

  • You may think neck aches and pains are part and parcel to a desk job, but thankfully, that’s not the case!  A monitor set too low, such as just on your desk top, causes you to strain your neck and your eyes to see it.  A monitor lift literally raises your screen to eye level and about 20 inches from your torso, which keeps you in good ergonomic health.

  • Sore backs are a common complaint.  Two options here: an adjustable ergonomic chair which allows you maximum adjustment and comfort.  The second option is to check your current chair to see if it’s adjustable and actually adjust it  {the height, back support, and arm rests}!   The end goal is three-fold: your feet should rest flat on the floor, your back should be well-supported , and your arms should be able to slope slightly downward to reach your keyboard without cocking your wrists.

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common office injury and be easily avoided by practicing good wrist positioning.  A wrist rest is poorly named as its actual intent is to rest the palms of your hands in between periods of typing, with the result of protecting your wrists from awkward angles.

  • Ergonomic keyboards are known to offer better hand positioning and comfort and are also especially helpful as an add-on to your docked lap top.  They are much more comfortable for long periods of typing and can be moved closer to the body while your screen is elevated.

As you can see, just making some simple changes to your own movements can help decrease strain.  As for the ergonomic products, prioritize the one or two products that apply to your own weak points.  Keeping your muscles, joints, mind, and overall body in good health is worth a little change!

 

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Tips for Boosting Productivity: Part 1

Thursday January 26, 2012

Tips for Productivity

I love being productive and getting things done, whether at home or for work.  I thrive on being efficient and staying on top of things before they get out of control.  However, as much as I naturally love efficiency and productivity, I still have those days {or weeks} in which I just can't find my groove...or stay in it longer than half an hour.  I felt this way as a teacher and I feel it now as a stay-at-home, work-from-home mom of three.  I am often conflicted with how to divide my time between work and parenting, which is why being as efficient as possible is crucial for staying sane and keeping all the balls in the air.

Thus, I have come up with 3 steps for boosting productivity that I think are somewhat obvious, but still quite helpful.

Step 1: Getting rid of distractions

Distractions are a real time suck, as their name implies.  Whether it's noisy co-workers, neighbors, or even your own children {like my daughter asking me right now if I'm choosing to ignore her?}, these distractions interrupt our train of thought and therefore stifle creative thought as we struggle to wrangle our minds back into gear.

So, for those of you who work from home, I can’t emphasize how important it is to set up good boundaries for actually getting work done at home so you still have a place to work and place to relax at home.   For work, it's important to have a good home officewhite noise, and general organization.

Once you've protected yourself as much as possible from distraction, you have to discipline yourself to use your time well.  What do you do if you are fresh out of ideas?  Or if you have a great one but can't develop it due to other commitments?  This is where step 2 comes in to play.

Step 2: Getting rid of writer’s (worker’s) block


So, here are few tips for breaking the barrier when you’re staring at a blank screen:
  • Sit and think for 10 minutes.  Seriously, before you give yourself (another) break, try to come up with a starting point.  It’s not that I don’t value breaks- in fact I have a lot due to the nature of my work day and kids.  However, I think it’s easy to procrastinate by allowing yourself too many.
  • Make a list of things that need to get done and start doing them- it may be that you have a break-through as you make the list or start checking things off.  Sometimes, the feeling of accomplishment is enough to get your mind going.
  • If you’re writing, do a google search and see what others have written.  Sometimes this is good fodder for a new idea or a response to someone else’s.  I find that I write best {i.e. not plagiarize} if I read an article and then close it, whether I agree with it or not.
  • Since I do work from home and also have small children still at home, I don’t work 9-5.  So, I have a couple hours a couple times a day.  I push it hard while I have the peace and quiet to do it, then when I’m on with the kids, I keep a pad and paper by me so I can jot down any ideas that come to mind.  That way, I’m not working while the kids are around and I also don’t lose an idea.
  • Take breaks.  See, I do value breaks.  I just think they need to be earned.
  • Frequently, I work on an idea in the back of my head…maybe it’s a real life experience, maybe it’s not, but either way, I find that my best ideas come when I am not technically working.  I usually mull them over in the back of my mind as I wash dishes {we live in the UK- no dishwasher, so there’s lots of that} or pick up toys or even play with the kids.  Then, I either work on it the next chance I get, or I at least write it down so I don’t forget.
If you're struggling to be productive, rework your work space for minimal distractions, then discipline yourself to actually work.  Be sure to check back next time for Part 2!

Posted in children , productivity , sound machines , Uncategorized , white noise , working from home | Make a Comment

Taking Care of Wrist Pain By Day & By Night

Tuesday January 24, 2012

CTS

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome has been around awhile, but is being reported more and more frequently as our computer usage goes up.  Not only do we type, text, and mouse all day at work, we do it on the way to work, on the way home, and at home for personal time.  Plus, possibly quite unaware of it, we strain our wrists as we sleep.  If you don't believe it, pay attention tonight as you position yourself to fall asleep.  Check out all the crazy positions you try out as you attempt to find the perfect sleep spot.  Often, we prop ourselves on our sides by our wrist(s) or just fold them funny as we tuck in.  Thus, our poor wrists never catch a break- not even at rest time!  This problem is only worsened with pregnant women, who are already swollen and have a fairly high chance of experiencing CTS during their pregnancies.  Pregnant women are known for interesting sleep positions, so they, too, stress out their wrists as they toss and turn throughout the night.

It may seem as if CTS is an inevitable part of a computer-users' life.  Fortunately, that is not true.  First, be on the look-out for the symptoms: pain, burning, tingling, or numbness in any part of your hand, wrist, or fingers.  Next, check out the following habit and posture changes you should make immediately.

  • Correct your posture.  You may not realize that there is proper and improper hand and wrist positioning.  Essentially, DON'T bend or cock your wrists.  DO everything you can to avoid cocking or bending of your wrists.  If you feel pain as you are typing, texting, or mousing, stop what you are doing and re-position yourself.

  • Try ergonomic products.  In particular, an ergonomic keyboard is designed to better your hands, while an ergonomic mouse makes mousing more natural and less straining for your wrists.  Regardless of what keyboard and mouse you're using, be sure to keep them side-by-side and on the same surface to reduce movement and therefore injury.  So, lastly, a keyboard tray will store both and at a lower spot so your arms, wrists, and hands can work more comfortably.
  • Wear a wrist splint. If you're already experiencing wrist pain, one of the trouble spots is night time.  So often, we flex our wrists and sleep with them in quite odd positions, never even aware of it.  Thus, wearing a wrist splint at night time can protect you from doing more harm.

Using an ergonomic keyboard and ergonomic mouse at work and wearing a wrist splint at night can greatly reduce wrist pain and injury so you can keep working without excessive pain.

Posted in carpal tunnel syndrome , ergonomic keyboards , hand pain , repetitive strain injury (RSI) , wrist pain , wrist pain , wrist splint | Make a Comment