Alba Ergonomics / Ergonomics

Ergonomics for children:  Our top six (6)!

Children are naturally active and wiggly. As adults, there is a lot we can learn from them! They know what we have long forgotten – THE BODY IS DESIGNED TO MOVE!!! Children change their posture regularly, moving from desk, to floor, to beanbag, then hanging upside down, all driven naturally by the demands of what they are doing. Whilst it is most important to embrace and encourage these healthy, active postures, we must not forget to provide them with the right workstation set up when they do need to complete more intensive, sedentary tasks. The ever-increasing requirements for tablet and laptop use inhibit and restrict children’s' ability to move around. Often the desks that they are using are designed for adults! We need to enable them to...


Sit-stand desk vs height adjustable workstation: Is there a difference?

They may sound the same, however the nuance lies in the language! A “sit-stand” desk implies a limited ability to adjust only to 2 “fixed” postures. As Certified Professional Ergonomists (CPE's), we prefer to use “height adjustable workstation”. This more accurate description immediately implies more features! Height adjustable workstations allow the user to adjust the height of the work surface, not only to allow for regular variation of working postures but also to adapt to the demands of different tasks. Sit, stand, perch, stretch, recline, collaborate, your equipment should readily adjust to work for you! A height adjustable workstation also allows for the height of the work surface to be adjusted to the individual requirements that meets the physical dimensions of the individual user. Some of us are tall...


Emotional fatigue from the constant change during COVID-19

Many people are currently working from home due to the social distancing requirements of COVID-19. There has been a need to be proactive and creative in managing the challenges this presents. As the initial response phase of COVID-19 moves forward to the next phase, we are faced with the reality of a “new normal”. There is the potential that we can experience an emotional fatigue that can come with the stress of a constant response to the change. Communication is essential for early intervention and effective solutions to the negative affects of stress on our mental health. Consider the following to keep yourself on track: Keep a routine, whatever works for you. Wake at your regular time (and finish work at a regular time) Shower and get...


Ergonomics – Design it out

Those who are not familiar with the term ergonomics, typically give us 1 of 2 reactions. The first being a head nod followed immediately by the question… “and what you do you think of the current economic state of our country?” – no we are not EConomists, we are ERgonomists. The second being a slightly confused and awkward look because they have no idea what you just said. So, Ergonomics, what exactly is it? It is the science of improving employee performance and wellbeing in relation to job tasks equipment and the environment. Unfortunately, over the last few years, ergonomics has come under the health and safety bracket in organisations which can often take a very reactive approach. When someone is suffering with lower back pain, for example, an...


Attract & Retain Talent

In the era of millennials and upcoming Gen Z, businesses are striving to attract and retain the best of the best. Millennials are the generation that care most about helping society whether that’s preventing diseases, helping to abolish hunger, or campaigning to save our environment by reducing plastic etc. Millennials are looking for leaders, not managers. They want people to guide them and listen to their ideas and not micromanage them which is why it is important to design offices that allow for this type of communication. Millennials don't want to be given meaningless work, they want to do work that matters. A workplace that fosters communication, feedback, and flexibility will certainly attract the best talent. One way to do this is to create a workplace with a...


Is a back that bounces allowed?

This was a real question that we recently got from a client. To put the question in context, she means that if a chair moves whilst you are seated, is that a good thing? Our answer – a residing ‘yes’! of course it is! We as humans were not designed to be static, we were designed to move! So, a chair that offers features that encourages movement is only a good thing. If you sit in a chair that doesn’t move, there is only one direction that you can move and that is forward which often means slouched. This posture (trunk flexion) is the leading cause of lower back discomfort in the world! If you have a chair that moves, it enables you to move back and forth whilst...


Is your desk the right height?

A question we often get asked is what should your desk heights be in a sitting and standing position. According to the Australian Standards your desk height should be as below. Work surface height(AS/NZS 4443:1997) ·       Adjustable including a range from 610 to 760mm ·       Fixed height, 700-720 preferred but can be as low as 680mm Try telling that to a person who just wants to sit at their desk comfortably. How does anyone know what 700mm-720mm means in relation to their own height? Well here is a quick guide for those who want to set themselves up properly. As you can see in the below table the standard desk height of 720mm correlates to the seated elbow height of a 6ft (182cm) person. In most offices the desk height is 720m....


Looking After Your Eyes

When we talk about ergonomics, most people automatically think chair, keyboard and mouse; peripherals of a computer workstation. What a lot of people don’t realise is that lighting also comes under ergonomics. Ever been sat in an office with really bright lighting and you’re going home with headaches and a back neck? Ever been in an office with really dim lighting and you’re going home with back pain because you’re leaning forward to view your documents because you can’t see very well? Poor lighting can force our posture in different ways and can also affect our eyes. First things first, you need to get your eyes tested regularly. Every 2 years is a good start and if you notice anything different with your eyes within that period...