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Successful Approaches to Introducing Ergonomics in the Workplace

“Ergonomics” is the safety and health buzzword in 21st century workplaces. In its broadest sense, ergonomics involves the interaction of the worker with the work. Given that ergonomics focuses on workers and their work environment, it makes sense that introducing ergonomics into a workplace is most successful when workers are involved in the process.

Participatory Ergonomics

Photo: Applied Ergonomics

Participatory Ergonomics

The Ontario Safety and Health Association for Community and Health (OSACH) encourages a participatory approach that actively involves the people directly affected by the ergonomic hazards, that is, the workers. Too often organizations turn ergonomics over to specialists and leave workers out of the process. According to OSACH, the success of an ergonomics programs depends on the level of involvement of workers. Continue Reading…

Desk Work Increases Your Risk for the Sitting Disease

Can sitting down for long periods be considered a health risk? That would put millions of office workers, call center agents, gamers and people who spend lots of time in front of the TV at risk for the “sitting disease,” a newly recognized entity that is plaguing many people.

Sitting Too Much

Milton Waddams from Office Space probably sat tto much.

What is the Sitting Disease?

Although there is no medical term of this sort, ‘sitting disease’ is the new buzzword for sedentary behaviors that involve sitting for long periods of time during the day, while:

  • Doing a desk job
  • Watching TV
  • Commuting or driving to work
  • Chatting on the phone or social networking
  • Banking online, shopping, surfing the web, answering emails, etc.
  • Eating long meals, socializing or partying around a table with food and wine
  • Unwinding with a book or a magazine on a couch

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Silicon Valley Coders Do Stand Up Work

It’s a new trend, but it’s not entirely new. Standing desks, that is. It’s easy to find examples of famous people who did their work standing up decades, even centuries ago: Michelangelo, Jefferson, Churchill. The new part is that this not-so-quirky idea is slowly taking hold in offices across the country.

But nowhere is it more popular, and gaining ground more quickly, than in Silicon Valley–which makes sense since tech companies are, almost by definition, ahead of the curve. San Francisco designer Yves Béhar hit the mark in saying: “Traditional office furniture isn’t well adapted to the way that young companies and young people like to work.”1

AOL offers its employees the option of standing for work. Google offers standing desks as part of its wellness programs. About ten percent of Facebook employees use standing desks. Facebook even offers treadmill desks, so people can not only stand, but also walk while they work.2

Yammer Standers

Employees at Yammer using standing desks. Photo: James Patterson

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Standing Desks: 5 Reasons to Stand More

A standing desk or stand-up desk is a type of desk used for writing, reading or working while standing up or sitting on a high stool. Standing desks were popular in homes and offices during the 18th and 19th centuries, and they were custom-made to fit the height of the user. Modern desks are height adjustable, with ergonomics, to fit most people’s needs.

Happy at a new sit-stand desk

John M. enjoying his new Ergotron Workfit-S sit-stand workstation. Photo: jsmjr

Why Use a Standing Desk?

Today, more and more people are using adjustable desks to be able avoid sitting down. Here are some reasons why one should consider using a standing desk.

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