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4 Simple Ergonomic Steps to a More Productive Workplace

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Elizabeth M
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Good advice
Elizabeth M   1/8/2013 12:11:28 PM
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These are good steps to take, Jim, and definitely much needed. I don't work in an office environment anymore, but when I did I don't think enough attention was paid to ergonomics. Though I don't have serious physical ailments, I do have some minor complaints from being hunched over a computer for years that I think a little consideration to ergonomics might have prevented. Thanks for shining light on the problem again.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Good advice
Cabe Atwell   1/9/2013 3:16:33 PM
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How about a guide, Mr. Norton? I wish I knew what to get to reduce RSI from typing all day.

C

Cadman-LT
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Re: Good advice
Cadman-LT   1/12/2013 12:33:27 PM
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Dragon Naturally Speakingb Cabe...lol

Cadman-LT
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Re: Good advice
Cadman-LT   1/12/2013 12:38:21 PM
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I also want to say...most people do not realize the placement of their monitor. I see it all the time. Look it up. Your eyes should gently look down towards the monitor. It reduces eye strain. I have seen montiors so far above the desk it's ridiculuos. Neck and eye strain. I read about this years ago and have adhered ever since.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Good advice
Cadman-LT   1/12/2013 12:42:11 PM
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Cabe, they do make gloves that help reduce the stress on your hands. I bought some years ago. They have supports in the palms and no fingers...might look into those...they helped me when I was drafting full time.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Good advice
Cadman-LT   1/12/2013 12:44:53 PM
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Cabe I just pulled mine out, they are called SmartGlove by IMAK Corp. It actually has a support across the back of the hand.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Good advice
Cadman-LT   1/12/2013 12:49:25 PM
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I just hate seeing people suffer using computers in situations that are totally avoildable if they just use a little common sense. Also, employers should be the ones not forcing uncormfortable  computer setups on employees.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Good advice
Cadman-LT   1/12/2013 12:53:24 PM
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Cabe, if you are behind a computer and using one as much as you do...well I would think that you would come up with your own solution. I am behind one as much as you, and have been for more years than you for sure. I don't sit behind a desk, I don't do much of what "normal people" do...I can't. I spend too much time behind the pc, so I created my own way to make it comfortable, I suggest you do the same. It's a long road.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Good advice
Cabe Atwell   1/14/2013 5:23:26 PM
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Thanks for the tips.

Monitors - everyone has their own suggestions for position, etc. If I had a 27" 2560x1440p screen, what do you recommend for position from the face?

Wrists/hands - I use a Microsoft 5000 curves keyboard. My problems were then solved after that. But voice recognition is a good idea. I will look into it. I used it when the software first came out. It was fun, but crude at the time (the year 1997). I'm sure 15 years has made it better.

Desk- I have a regular desk and a standing desk. Alternating between the two is a good way to break fatigue.

Let us all know.

C

Jack Rupert, PE
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Re: Good advice
Jack Rupert, PE   1/19/2013 5:27:11 PM
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A colleague of mine just got a joystick style mouse after trying a few other designs.  He loves it.  The joystick itself doesn't move like a gaming one; the whole device moves just as a standard optical mouse would and the handgrip is fixed.  The only thing is that it is USB tethered, not wireless.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Good advice
Cabe Atwell   1/23/2013 4:23:58 PM
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Yes, the vertical mouse. I had one too. I could not get used to it. Oddly enough, the boasted "natural feel" did not feel natural at all. I have it in a box somewhere.

Perhaps in this case, a touchpad/trackpad is the way to go.

C

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Good advice
Ann R. Thryft   2/1/2013 2:54:29 PM
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To counteract tendonitis, I've occasionally used a simple adjustable velcro band that goes around the lower arm, just below the elbow. It works by compression, right on the tendon cluster that controls the fingers. There are several different ones available. I also find a touchpad even better than a  mouse--except for the cursor movements of editing--and definitely can't use a trackball.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Good advice
Cabe Atwell   2/1/2013 4:07:50 PM
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The most obvious answer to this problem, stop using the devices so much. We were meant to chase down animals, farm, build things... not sit at a desk all day with our hands in the same orientation.

Perhaps as the Microsoft Kinect and similar devices progress, combined with voice recognition, we will no longer have that issue.

Just a thought.

C

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Good advice
Ann R. Thryft   2/5/2013 11:55:29 AM
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I agree. As for me, I'd love to "write" and/or edit, change programs, go online, etc., just by dancing to Jimi Hendrix in front of a Kinect-equipped computer. Or whatever we'd be calling it by then. But that means we'd have to be able to program our own individual Kinect-type device, or somehow configure it, to respond to our own individual body motions.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Good advice
Cadman-LT   2/7/2013 6:48:09 AM
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Hey Ann...that 3d printing is getting pretty good. They even showed it on The Big Bang Theory!

Cadman-LT
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Re: Good advice
Cadman-LT   2/7/2013 6:40:33 AM
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Ann I bought special gloves with metal strips in them....it helps.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Good advice
Cadman-LT   2/7/2013 6:43:44 AM
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Ann....I think if you had these gloves a mouse would be better.....I can't stand touch pads....or track balls for sure...I dug them out...they are called Smart Gloves. FYI

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Good advice
Ann R. Thryft   2/7/2013 12:35:00 PM
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Cadman-LT, do you mean motion capture gloves, and/or gloves with some kind of motion-capture tape? Like the ShapeTape described here: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=245683

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Good advice
Cabe Atwell   2/8/2013 4:45:56 PM
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I think I would prefer to be glove/body wear free for my HMIs.

C

Cadman-LT
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Re: Good advice
Cadman-LT   2/12/2013 9:30:39 AM
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Ann, no. They are just gloves with metal plates in them to help with carpal tunnel. They work pretty well. 

Cadman-LT
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Re: Good advice
Cadman-LT   2/12/2013 9:33:23 AM
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Hey Ann, I looked up your article on the tape...that just seems goofy! What now I have to wear a coat whenever I need to use my pc or game console?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Good advice
Ann R. Thryft   2/12/2013 4:06:00 PM
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Thanks, Cadman-LT. That makes more sense. Regarding the article, the motion-capture tape was used initially for testing the software's accuracy in controlling a virtual robot, as the article states. The next-gen system will use Kinect to control an autonomous robot.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Good advice
Cadman-LT   3/9/2013 11:46:06 AM
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Ann really? Kinect? Kinect is shotty at best. There are better solutions than Kinect. LEAP if I remember correctly is one. 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Good advice
Ann R. Thryft   3/11/2013 4:56:25 PM
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Cadman-LT, the researchers described in that article said their next-gen system would use Kinect. At the time, LEAP either wasn't out yet, or had just been announced.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Good advice
Cadman-LT   4/10/2013 11:53:49 AM
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Ann next-gen system. Why start a project with out of date equipment. Isn't LEAP supposed to be so much better than the kinect? If they aren't even done with it why use old tech? It'll be out of date before it's launched.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Good advice
Ann R. Thryft   4/10/2013 12:25:54 PM
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A project starts with whatever technology is available at the time, so if it's the latest and greatest at the time, it's not exactly out of date. As I said, LEAP came out after they'd already started. And obviously, they don't think it's better than Kinect, at least for their project. Lots of people would agree with them: it depends on the project, and is often simply a matter of preference.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Good advice
Cadman-LT   5/18/2013 12:39:05 AM
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Ann, but they Do say Leap is WAY better than kinect. I suppose that remains to be seen. I agree that it does depend on the project though.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Good advice
Cadman-LT   2/12/2013 9:58:23 AM
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Ann,

 I just saw a hairbrush made in 1 pass by a 3D printer. So multiple materials....just neat.

Jack Rupert, PE
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Re: Good advice
Jack Rupert, PE   2/25/2013 3:49:01 PM
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Is that what those things are for Ann?  I've seen a number of people using those bands, but I could never figure out what they were used for...and didn't want to seem that nosy by asking.  I'll have to keep that in mind.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Good advice
Ann R. Thryft   2/25/2013 5:39:13 PM
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Jack, do you mean the compression bands worn below the elbow? Yes, they actually work, at least on my mouse-arm.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Good advice
Cadman-LT   2/12/2013 9:25:38 AM
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Cabe,

 The only postioning of the monitor (besides how far away it is) that I agree with is just slightly lower than your line of sight. So your eyes are not straining to look up. As far as a desk goes....I stopped using desks years ago.....I sit on a couch or lazy boy...make up your own way that makes that work for you....I have! I HATE desks!...lol well, unless I built them 

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Good advice
Cabe Atwell   2/14/2013 11:25:42 PM
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At CES 2012 and 2013 I saw a log of those reclining chairs with monitors suspended around them. You lay back like a dentist’s operating chair. Is that good? It seems like it take all the strain off the body, while at the same time making it weak. Reminds me of the chair the “genius” programmer from the movie “Grandma’s Boy” sat in. C

Tim
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Good ideas
Tim   1/8/2013 7:21:15 PM
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These are good ideas for work station construction. Workers that are not fatigued perform better with better quality product.

Mydesign
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Role of Saftey Officers
Mydesign   1/9/2013 5:14:52 AM
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1 saves
Jim, according to industrial saftey standards the employer has to appoint enough number of saftey officers for assessing various risk factors at work place and to make sure about necessary steps and precautions. But if we are looking to our industries, the number of saftey officers is very minimal and in some industries it's almost null. Then how can they ensure the saftey of employees at various working environments?

bobjengr
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ERGONOMIC STEPS
bobjengr   1/25/2013 6:39:18 PM
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 Excellent post Jim.  I am assuming by the title you mean office environment AND factory floor environment.  Prior to retirement, I was engineering support to three production lines; two gas assembly countertop lines and one gas slide-in gas range line.  The number of "fatigue" injuries was remarkably high, in my opinion, and exceedingly difficult to solve with fixtures and tooling alone.  We did incorporate automation to some degree but the best solution seeded to be rotating personnel so that a maximum of three hours per day on the most difficult job was the answer.  I think this solution certainly follows from the four recommendations you made in you post. 

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