Tagged With ergonomics


Laptops are uncomfortable. But you can fix that if you're willing to look just a little weird. The key is in the just a little. Today Wall Street Journal tech columnist Christopher Mims tweeted a photo of his mobile work station. Mims uses a wireless mouse, foldable keyboard and laptop stand to make an ergonomic but efficient setup when he's working at a cafe.


Absenteeism is a massive impost on businesses. A recent survey has found that workers are, on average, away from work for about 9.5 days per year. With the average work week nudging towards 41 hours per week according to the ABS many of us are spending a lot of time at work in potentially unhealthy positions. Belinda Lyone, the general manager at family owned business COS, is involved in supplying offices with office equipment and is deeply concerned at how our work environments are making us less healthy. That's bad for business but, more importantly, bad for all of us.


Standing desks have become a bit of a trend in recent years, with many spouting off advice about how it has a whole host of health benefits to stand rather than sit when you're at work. But according to recent studies, it might not be quite as beneficial and life-changing as you might think.


I've been a Mac user for a decade, but I've always hated Apple's default one-button mouse, and I've never gotten comfortable with trackpad gestures. I grew up using a three-button mouse on the family Amiga. Years later, I loved scroll wheels, trackballs, and mice with thumb buttons, but I wanted more.


The internet is saturated with advice around maintaining good posture (guilty!), but it's not as if you'll be dragged off to "bad posture" prison so what's the big deal? Your muscles start to tighten up, weaken or become inhibited to establish your new "norm", but these norms aren't ideal for everyday living.


Do you ever have a stiff neck tingling in your fingers or forearms, lower backache or tired eyes? If so you could be suffering from an MSD or musculoskeletal disorder, the most common of which is RSI or repetitive strain injury that many people suffer from who were not taught how to touch type. Here's how to set up a healthy, ergonomic workspace to keep you comfortable and injury-free.


OS X: Odds are you could probably improve your posture a bit while you work, and Nekoze is a fun little app that will help you do it. Nekoze takes the form of a cat that keeps an eye on your posture while you sit at your desk. If you slouch too much, the cat will flash a warning on screen, telling you to sit up straight.


In a letter to Felice Bauer in 1912, philosopher Franz Kafka lamented, "time is short, my strength is limited, the office is a horror, the apartment is noisy, and if a pleasant, straightforward life is not possible then one must try to wriggle through by subtle manoeuvres." Modern workers may well empathise with Kafka's description of his workplace.