June 17, 2015

Best Company Practices for Home Office Ergonomics

While there are many great reasons for corporate telecommuting and Home Office arrangements there are also considerable ergonomic, safety and security concerns employers need to address.  Many […]
July 29, 2014

Sit-Stand vs. Sit: Muskuloskeletal Complaints Decrease; Mood Improves; Performance Remains the Same

German researchers investigated the effects of seated work vs. a mix of seated and standing work on physical and psychological complaints and on data entry performance. They found improvements in musculoskeletal comfort and mood when subjects varied working postures between sitting and standing, as compared to sitting only, with small effects on data entry performance.
June 3, 2014

3-Pronged Approach Resolves Office Ergonomics Issues

Delivering comprehensive ergonomics services to large or distributed office populations is challenging, time consuming and very expensive. Sending qualified ergonomics professionals is often difficult to arrange, […]
November 5, 2013

The Effect of Key Spacing on Typing Speed, Error, Usability and Biomechanics

A team of researchers studied various center-to-center key spacing on computer keyboards to investigate whether current keyboard design standards are conducive to typing performance (speed, error rates), usability, and forearm biomechanics. Current keyboard design standards, oddly, are not based on human performance data, and this study is one of the few that takes a human-centered ergonomics approach to the ubiquitous computer keyboard. Their findings will impact future keyboard design standards, and bring credibility to the phrase "I fat-fingered it," a common explanation for keyboard related errors. Could this study also begin to lay a foundation for different sized keyboards for different sized people?
July 31, 2013

Origins of Active Furniture Design

When Jack Kelley began his career as a furniture designer in the 1960s, he had never heard of ergonomics. Few furniture designers had. Interviewed for The Ergonomics Report
May 16, 2013

Preferred Setups for Large Computer Displays and Side-by-Side Dual Display Arrangements

In this reprint from The Ergonomics Report Archives, Peter Budnick reviews a study that investigated workstation settings, including display distance, height, tilt and keyboard height for larger displays (up to 27 in.) and dual display setups. This is an important contribution to our understanding of these increasingly common display sizes and arrangements.
January 30, 2013

Thumb Reach Distances and Envelopes for Handheld Devices

Applied researchers Otten, Karn and Parsons where tasked with designing a handheld consumer camera requiring thumb operated controls. They were surprised to find that very little data was available for such devices, so they embarked on a collaborative research and design project to collect their own data, which they later shared in the published journal Human Factors. Peter Budnick reviews their work, describing it as a good example of "informed design," which he describes requiring an ergonomic, human-centered approach. The researchers also used novel techniques to collect thumb reach distance and envelope data, and also applied the "Mr. Potato Head" method to investigate control location preferences.
December 31, 2012

UK Ergonomists Mark 20th Anniversary of DSE and ‘Six Pack’ Regulations

Twenty years ago on 1 January 1993, the UK implemented six wide ranging health & safety regulations that included provisions for ergonomics. Dubbed the ‘Six Pack', the 1993 regulations made clearer duties in relation to some activities (e.g. computer work, manual handling) and gave more detail and guidance to help employers protect the health & safety of their staff. "As a result, both employers and employees know much more about safer working practices and what has to be done in the workplace by both parties to achieve this. More could still be done to combat stress and improve overall employee wellbeing. And there will always be some difficult situations which will require compromise solutions," says Dave O'Neill, Chief Executive of the IEHF.
December 14, 2012

Ergonomics an Afterthought for Lounge Chair Classics?

The icons look as if they were designed today, but some are over 80 years old. And all suit open-plan living, a concept of architectural design that remains as popular today as when Frank Lloyd Wright et al introduced it in the 1920s. This article was originally published in The Ergonomics Report, and contains an update with pictures of Frank Lloyd Wright chairs taken at Taliesin West, where Wright spent his winters later in life.
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