Brian Clay from Workrite is one of our favorite reps here at CFI, so I was excited to learn that he was willing to talk with me a bit about ergonomics for the blog. Let me know if you have any specific ergonomic questions for Brian; he said he was more than happy to work with me for Part II.
CFI: What is your background in ergonomics?
BC: I’ve been associated with Ergonomics in the Contract Furniture Industry for 10+ years as a Territory Sales Manager for a Northern California ergonomics manufacturer of ancillary items to complement the commercial workplace. I’ve got an accreditation in Ergonomic Assessment as well.
CFI: How have ergonomic concerns changed with the changes of technology over the last decade?
BC: Technology impacts everything, from footprint size of the workstation/office to what accoutrements are inherent in design plan. PCs are still used by approximately 65% of the workforce but, smart phones & tablets are becoming more prevalent by users, growing rapidly.
CFI: How do you see the reception to ergonomic concerns in the A&D world? With end-users?
BC: Really, it depends on the geography & culture of those in each category. A&D firms in the San Francisco Bay area, from which my company’s roots began, were very early adopters of these ergonomic worktools. The end-users that were clients of these firms were also quick to embrace the ergonomic dynamics. Specifically, sit-stand workcenters have been gaining popularity over the last 5-10 years. We are fairly traditional on the East Coast but even here we see a definitive uptick on the specifying & use of these items.
CFI: What little changes can people make to improve their work day, ergonomically speaking?
BC: Great question. Simply place your monitor to a more sight friendly position. Try to keep your arms at 90 degrees when using a keyboard platform, resting your arms & shoulders on your chair arms. If you has the ability to retrofit your workspace to have a sit-stand desk, use it. The white paper studies on human factors that have been written over the past 10+ years all indicate there are a litany of health reasons to incorporate movement within the office. If your still have a static desk, make an effort to get up from your chair once an hour for at least 5 minutes to move/stretch.
CFI note: Workrite has videos and diagrams on their site that show you the best positions to use, whether you’re seated or standing. You can access them here. The photo above is theirs.