You’ve all heard about ergonomic chairs, ergonomic keyboards, ergonomic mice, ergonomic peripherals – the word ergonomic itself has become somewhat a gimmick, to imply that certain tools, or to be more precise, certain office tools (which is where most of the ergonomic-[insert product] market focuses on these days) are to be placed on a whole separate category compared to their counterparts. However that isn’t always the case. Ergonomics is actually everywhere in our day-to-day life, most of us have just accepted that norm and hidden the word itself. In this article I will explain the misconceptions about ergonomics as well as the history behind it.
In my previous article I’ve mentioned plenty about it, but in the off chance that my article has not gone viral and reached your eyes, I will re-introduce the definition again.
Ergonomics comes from two Greek words ERGOS (work) and NOMOS (natural law). Loosely translated, it means the rules of work. Essentially, it is the science of integrating efficiency, comfort and safety to create a better workspace – designing the job to fit the worker, rather than forcing the worker to fit the job, which would ruin work efficiency as well as risk overspending for training and insurance covers. It emphasis the physical relationship between people and tools, ensure the proper use of computer and alleviate injuries – however that’s not the end all be all as most people like to think. Ergonomic principles can be applied to any task that puts your body to work, from doing your household chores to the daily routines of your job, and parts in relation to computers are just extensions.
When one thinks of ergonomic products, the average person doesn’t think of actual ergonomic products and what benefits they provide – they look at the grotesque, curious, uncomfortable looking tools that should not and need not be designed to appear the way they do. It’s similar to placebo effect, you let expectations place strong holds upon your experience of a certain something and get disappointed afterwards. And sure, it’s not easy to distinguish good and bad ergonomic products or the stylistic ones from each other, as overpopulated a market as this. However, you can still selectively point out the tops, bottoms and unique ones of the bunch, as in most categories.
First of all, one needs to know what ergonomics is and what exactly an ergonomic contains. Unless you’ve been living under a rock and not read my hard-worked pointless discourses, you’d not realize that I’ve never once defined the term Ergonomics in all of it’s glory.
Let’s start with deciphering the word by breaking it down. Many English words are combinations of 2 or 3 or more, and this is not a rarity. The word ergonomics comes from two Greek words: Ergo stands for work and Nomos stands for laws. The two combining into the literal meaning of work laws. This is not necessarily work laws as in corporate laws or office rules, not exactly. The “laws” here is used loosely, to be used also in phrases like “nature’s laws” the same way it will be used here. It refers to how a working environment should look like.
In essence, ergonomics is the process of designing or fitting a workplace to the user’s needs, as it aims to produce and increase efficiency and reduce discomfort of the products and systems put in place so that they fit the people who use them more. In short, it’s a science focused on the study of human fit, and decreased fatigue and discomfort through product design. A product designer who want ergonomics applied into their objects must take into consideration how the products they design fit the people that are using them. No matter the environment, a good product increased comfort, productivity and ease off stress off of it’s users.
Hello, fellow 2017-ers! Alright, that’s it for the welcome. Now, straight to business, after thousands of words of ramblings and well-disguised rants from a certain very handsome Japanese person, I’m still not too sure that standing desks are really on people’s mind yet. So, it turns out good looks is not enough...
...Well, that also mainly because not many have had the pleasure to read my articles yet, but, alas, that’s besides the point, since indeed working while standing is still a relatively new concept to home office workers or white collar workers in general. Adding to that, what can one man really do but keep on putting out propagandistic blocks of text to inform you about the good effects of products that he deems of great importance to an average human’s health consistency and work efficiency? Albeit, this article takes a more unusual route. In essence, a short guide to help you maximize ergonomics as a standing desk owner or a soon-to-be one, and in that way, help you realize the benefits of it all.
If you come here and are intending to actually read what’s below, congratulations, your 2017 version of new year’s solution is either getting rich enough to have a larger place to live for yourself or make full use of the tiny cubicle you’re holed up in, which is usually referred to fancily as studio apartments, or studio flats for Her Majesty the Queen’s servants. Or people, I don’t know.
First thing first, before falling down the rabbit hole into Wonderland, you need to understand this: a studio apartment is a small apartment, but not all small apartments are studio apartments. A small apartment can just be a single apartment, a type of low-end living quarter similar to the aforementioned studios.
As previously pointed out in my first article “10 Best Ergonomic Chairs for Neck Pain”, sitting on your butts for long periods of time invites significant health issues, especially if you’re sitting on a bad chair. However, switching chairs isn’t gonna solve all your problems, no matter how nice that new chair is and how ergonomically potent it may be. At the end of the day, you’re just sitting way too much, racing against deadlines and forgetting the fact that stretching out your legs or standing up, moving around every few hours of work are actually pretty necessary things in order to preserve both a good spine alignment, posture and a healthy body. That’s where standing desks come in.
Standing desks are basically like what it says on the tin, they are desks designed to give you a place to rest your wrists while standing, to let your work with the utmost flexibility to stand and move around freely. Sounds good huh? However, they aren’t all magic, some are definitely better than others and some are presumably worse, and even if they do meet the requirements of quality and functionality, they still have to pass the final eye test. Not all desks are created equal, and even more so when we get to specific subcategories like standing desks.
To the tens of thousands of subscribers that I gained last month (*cough*) for Think Home Office with my one and only article so far “10 Best Ergonomic Chairs for Neck Pain”, here’s a little something else to refresh the place a bit. And your office, obviously.
From smart pens to exercise pedals, I will give you some brief overall introductions to 9 gadgets, items and tools that I consider to be cool and useful enough to have in your battle against bad Mondays, your boss’ animalistic noises and against having an android-like aching body that longs for tickets out of repetition. Your magic wands.
These gadgets, they are not judged by their looks, or designs - although some of them are pretty unique in those aspects - but rather implementability, how handy and useful they are in fulfilling the needs most of us serial seaters didn’t know we had. In other words, the ergonomics of it all. Some of them you already know about, some you don’t, but let’s dig in nonetheless, because afterall, what’s the point of coming here without having a look?
I’m just kidding. Please don’t troll my site.