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Showing Category: Ergonomics

To Sit or To Stand: The Great Debate

Oh Hiya!

Sit or Stand

Meg here with a few tips on staying healthy and balanced at work. With the holidays past and the first strains of spring in sight, it’s a great time to bump up your work routine. Snap out the winter slump by boosting your activity at work. With these great healthy ideas, you’ll be boosting not only your health but also your productivity.

Standing desks are a great alternative to sitting in a chair during the work day, but the action can’t stop there! Studies show that while standing during the day gives you a healthy boost, it’s also necessary to bring in other ways to get your blood pumping.

One of my favorite ways to get moving at my desk is this Victor Steppie Balance Board. It improves my balance and posture while I’m working without distracting me. I also love how little space it takes up; I can just slide it under my desk when I leave the office. If you have a little more room around your space, a treadmill desk is another great option. They may be a bit bigger but they really allow you to be active while working.

No matter what you choose to do, the most important thing is getting up and getting active!

Until next time,

Meg

10 Essential Items For Your Home Office

 

Today we have more and more workers working out of a home office. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 report, the percentage of workers who work exclusively from home has more than doubled since 1990 to a whopping 9.6%. But in order to maximize productivity, you’ll need more than a smartphone and a laptop to get the most out of your home office setup. And most of that setup may be tax deductible to boot!

1. Get Organized with an Erasable Wall Planner

Keeping track of your meetings and conferences all in one place will keep your work days productive. When you’re in a small, new company with just a handful of employees it can be too easy to forget about things. Having this At-A-Glance Erasable Yearly Horizontal Wall Planner by your side with an included wet-erase marker will be large enough at 36” x 24” to fit even your schedule in each calendar square.

2. Stop Sending Your Bucks to Starbucks

Since home-based workers tend to put in even more hours than their office-based contemporaries, a good coffee machine is all the more important. If you don’t already have a high-quality coffee maker that won’t bust the bank, Keurig now has a good excuse for you to get one. Their K130 Brewing System is small, simple, and keeps things clean without a carafe or drip basket to clean out.

Chair

3. We Got Your Back

Your office chair is, believe it or not, one of the most overlooked pieces of office equipment. And it’s an area where a lot of people skimp. Similar to a mattress, you’re bound to spend a great deal of time there each day there so it pays to spend it in comfort with an ergonomic design. There are stools, task chairs, mid back and high back chairs to choose from in a variety of materials. Keep an eye out for good lower-back and arm support with easy adjustment settings. Of course preferences will vary, but it’s hard to go wrong with a HON Basyx High-Back Chair. Its vinyl upholstery looks and feels just like leather but will be much more resistant to spills without sacrificing the upscale looks for any executive office.

4. Can You Hear Me Now? Wireless Headsets

You’ll be on the phone a lot when you work from home, and both blasting calls on speakerphone from a distance or holding it by your neck gets old really fast. Here come Plantronics headsets to save the day. It’s a matter of preference, but the noise-cancelling Plantronics Voyager Legend brings a whole lot of value to the table without skimping on some important features. It’s over-the-ear, compact Bluetooth design eliminates the need for wires. But unique to this model is a call button that allows you to interact with Siri, Google Now or Cortana digital assistants. Fancy.

5. Protect Your Data

Cloud storage, such as Microsoft’s OneDrive or Google Drive, is a great way to help protect your data in small to medium-sized amounts. But data storage backup in the cloud as well as locally on an external hard drive is essential for any home worker. Doubling up on your data will offer some immediate peace of mind. External hard drive prices have dropped off sharply in the past 5 years or so and the latest and greatest come with fast-transfer USB 3.0 functionality. Blue Cow recommends the Verbatim Store ‘N’ Save USB 3.0 ($79.99) with 1 TB of storage to protect your Mac or PC data against system crashes.
When there’s a power outage and you have to reset your alarm clock it’s annoying. When it destroys the project you’ve been working on for the past three hours it can be catastrophic. A universal power source is a must-have insurance against Murphy’s Law in this respect. The APC BE550G universal power source can keep your desktop running for nearly 4 minutes in this situation. That’s sufficient time to save your current work and turn off your PC safely if a brown-out hits. It also acts as a surge protector and can reboot your network if it loses its connection.

6. Get Inspired with a Magnetic Dry Erase Board

Regardless of size and shape, having a whiteboard near your office space is an indispensable tool. They’re great for jotting down goals, to do lists, and general brainstorming that can potentially take your business to the next level. Quartet has a 24”x18” magnetic white board with a sleek black aluminum frame and marker stand. Because it’s magnetic, you can also place magnets on it like your refrigerator. Let the creative juices flow.

printer7. Multi-Function Printer

Every home office, at minimum, needs either a laser printer or a quality inkjet all-in-one. The HP Envy wireless all-in-one series has a mid-range model that includes a 2.7” touchscreen and features print speeds characteristic of more expensive models. But the real draw here is you’ll save a lot on ink compared to other models and with the Envy’s modern styling you’ll look good doing it.

8. Locking Vertical Filing Cabinet

If you have small kids at home, it’s definitely a good idea to have all important files of their grasp and secure in a decent storage setup that’s lockable. Blue Cow recommends a locking vertical filing cabinet simply because a 3 or 4 drawer model will act as a wonderful space saver for all your most important documents. Even if you have a small home office space, it’s worth making some room and invest in these things. It will be your best friend against a cluttered, disorganized desk space. This 3-drawer Lorell Vertical File in particular strikes the right balance of low cost and quality.

9. Work in High Definition
Whether you’re on your laptop or a desktop, there will be times exporting the display to a good-sized HD monitor will be a lifesaver. The Samsung 23” LED monitor here supports a razor-sharp 1080p HD resolution with deep blacks and rich colors. Its wide viewing angle will be readable from all sides of your desk space and its built-in cable management feature will help reduce the chaos in your work environment.

10. Personal Comfort Items

One of the main advantages of working from home is knowing that you’re always near the things that you love dearly. And, you don’t need to walk very far if you need lunch, a snack, a drink, or even a break from the work that you’re doing. But, having said that, it’s still good to add some personal comfort items in the home office. Personalize your office with inspirational quotes, family photos, or scented items. Your at-home work station can be your sanctuary where everything you need for business success is at your fingertips.

Home Office

 

Stop What You’re Doing and Stretch

By now we know the human body wasn’t designed to sit for 8 to 10 hours a day. Our bodies are meant to be in motion more than they’re stationary, and studies have shown that sitting for more than half the day significantly increases the risk of diabetes and heart problems, along with a host of muscle aches and pains.

And therein lies the problem; for us office workers, we don’t have a choice. Most of us are required to sit at a desk for long periods of time. That’s where stretching comes in. Doing some quick stretches at your workstation every hour or so can get the body moving and stimulate blood flow, reducing the pain and strain associated with long bouts of sitting.

Porter's Office Products

Try these quick and easy stretches at work:

  • Shoulder rolls. Slowly raise your shoulders toward your ears, and hold for three seconds. Then roll your shoulders back and down, relax, and repeat. This releases tension built up from using a mouse and sitting over a desk.
  • Shoulder blade pull. Lock your fingers behind your head and bring your elbows back as far as you can. Squeeze your shoulder blades together for ten seconds. You should feel a stretch in your upper back and chest.
  • The arm reach. Reach your hands out away from your body, and lock your fingers and turn your palms out. Straighten your arms as much as you can, and repeat twice.
  • The wrist flex. Again raise your arms out in front of you, this time with your palms facing down and fingers flat. Extend your wrists so your fingers are pointing up, and hold for a few seconds before reversing direction to point down. Repeat 3 times.
  • Touch your toes. The old classic. Stand up with your feet together, knees bent slightly, and reach down toward your toes. You should feel a stretch in your hamstrings and lower back.

For more office wellness tips, visit our Facebook page.

Mouse Pads

A mouse pad is a type of surface that is used to enhance the usability or movements of a computer mouse. Wrist rests are used to elevate the hands and wrists from the desk to prevent aches, pains, and carpal tunnel.

There are many benefits to using a mouse pad. They provide an extra ergonomic cushion for hands and can result in less aches and pains in the wrist as well as joint pains, a common problem among office workers. Another benefit of a mouse pad is that it reduces the amount of wear and tear on the work surface. However, comfort for the user is the main purpose.

These products offer great relief to persons using them especially if they already have preexisting joint pains or are experiencing lack of sensation while operating their machines. With many different wrist shape options, customers can choose the best fit for them.

When it comes to picking a specific mouse or keyboard pad, go for what allows you to have a firm rest for your wrist. The pad must be in a relaxed position and remain there without sliding out of place. The movement the hand makes should not affect the position of the pad. The other thing to think of is what will allow your hand to operate at their normal location. Thus, the pads must allow the correct slant for the mouse to sit on. Choosing the wrist pads with soft materials is something worth considering.

At Porter’s Office Products, we have many mouse and keyboard pads to choose from. They are offered in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors for increased versatility.

For mouse pads visit http://shop.portersop.com/EnhancedSearch.aspx?clear=1&keywords=mouse+pads&newSearch=true

For wrist rests visit http://shop.portersop.com/EnhancedSearch.aspx?clear=1&keywords=wrist+rests&newSearch=true

 

Avoid Poor Desk Ergonomics

Keyboard Tray

One of the most common health issues in the workplace is caused by poor desk ergonomics.  Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a disorder created from repetitive movements in a strained position.  Does your workstation include an adjustable keyboard tray at the appropriate elevation?  Contact us today to explore our keyboard options, and find the right fit for your desk.

Gesture Chair, A Game Changer

gesture chair

With today’s technology rapidly changing and evolving, Steelcase’s ergonomics team did a study of over 2,000 people on 6 continents, and found that people are sitting in 9 postures today that the traditional office chair does not support.  As a result, Steelcase released an innovative and ground-breaking chair in January designed to support these new postures: The Gesture chair.

positions

The Ultimate Work Station

Fitwork

Every day more people are experiencing the benefits of sit-to-stand work stations.  Height adjustable tables keep us moving, accommodate for the height variety of multiple users, and allow for flexibility in the workplace.  In addition, users experience many health benefits using ergonomically adjustable equipment.  In recent years, however, we are seeing a new trend in the workplace that is changing the way people live, work, and think.

Studies show that the more people move, the stronger their bodies, and their memories, become.  As workloads pile up and schedules overbook, everyone struggles to find the time to fit in daily exercise.

We have a solution.

Walkstations allow users to continue their work pace and stay moving.  Whether it is used for 20 minutes or 3 hours, daily use has unlimited health benefits.  Contact us today to find out more.

Solutions and Anecdotes for Ergonomics

Did you know…

The word ergonomics comes from two Greek words: “ergon” meaning work, and “nomos,” meaning natural law. Mereged together, the word becomes “working according to nature.” So it is natural that ergonomics makes good sense in the workplace, as people are better able to perform productively when things are in the right place for their bodies to function correctly. For more historical facts on ergonomics click here!

 

Ergonnomic Facts!

1. The average person sits more than 8 hours per day. Many office workers sit as much as 15 hours per day.

2. Ergonomic interventions can increase productivity from 3-12% and reduce error rates by 25%

3. Short and frequent breaks from the computer are more effective than longer, more infrequent breaks.

Grab and go: it couldn’t be easier

The Easy Grip Pocket File folder expands up to 5″. It was designed with a special “grip strip” to provide twice as much grip as a standard pocket folder, requiring less gripping force to remove from drawers or shelves. The rollover Tyvek reinforcement makes it virtually tear-proof. Contains 30% recycled content with 30% post-consumer material. SFI Certified. Click here to order product!

 

 

Support your legs

SoleMate Footrests with SmartFit System reduce muscle strain on your legs. With a convenient foot-operated pedal, the angle adjusts up to 30 degrees to support you at your optimal angle. Height adjusts 3.5″ to 5″ to match your comfort level. Color with teh SmartFit system. 21″W x 14″D 3.5″H. Gray. Manufacturer’s one-year limited warranty.

 

Click here to view more ergonomic solutions!

Easy ergonomic exercises while you work

If you have to be at a desk all day long, there are some simple stretches and exercises that you can do. To improve your overall ergonomic health, such as posture and blood circulation, and to avoid strain or injury like blood clots or  Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, try the following techniques.

  • Shoulders: Roll your shoulders forward 10 times, then backward. This helps release tension.
  • Arms and Shoulders: Brace your hands on the edge of your desk, each about a shoulder width away from your body. Twist your hands in so they point towards your body and lean forward, hunching your shoulders.
  • Chest: To counter a hunching posture, open your arms wide as if you are going to hug someone, rotate your wrists with thumbs going up and back, then pull your shoulders back. This is a good stretch across your upper chest.
  • Abdomen: Contract your abdominal muscles and hold them there for a few seconds, then release. Repeat this for a few minutes throughout the day while you are working at your desk.
  • Wrists: Roll your wrists regularly every hour or so: 10 times clockwise, then 10 times counterclockwise. This helps prevent carpal syndrome if you spend a lot of time typing.
  • Calves: While sitting, lift up your heels, so your weight is on the balls of your feet, then lower them. Repeat until your legs are comfortably tired. This exercises your calves and helps prevent blood blots from developing in your legs.
  • Ankles: Roll your ankles in a clockwise motion three times, then counterclockwise. This helps improve blood circulation and avoids that “pins and needles” feeling.