Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Goldilocks & the 3 Chairs - An Ergonomic Fairytale

An office ergonomics fairytale ...

"With the holiday season officially upon us, it is time to get a bit more light-hearted about serious topics. Enjoy this version of The Three Bears fairytale with an ergonomic twist!

Once upon a time, in an up-an-coming business far, far away, Goldilocks was working over-time, trying to finish a report for the important board meeting the following morning. As she wandered down the hall, in search of critical information from her contributing associates, she came upon the cubicle of Mr. Biggs. Since he had already gone home for the day, Goldilocks entered the cubicle and sat down at his desk.

My, oh, my, but Mr. Biggs chair was too large. When she sat, Goldilocks feet dangled, cutting off circulation to her legs. My, oh, my, but the monitor screen was too far away, causing Goldilocks to lean forward in the chair and crane her neck to see the monitor. My, oh, my but the keyboard was too high. Goldilocks had to reach forward for the mouse causing her elbow to ache. By the time Goldilocks had retrieved the information she needed from Mr. Biggs cubicle, she was ready to take Tylenol.

Continuing on her information retrieval mission, Goldilocks came upon the cubicle of Ms. Petite. Since she had already gone home for the day, Goldilocks entered the cubicle and sat down at her desk.

My, oh, my, but Ms. Petite's chair was too low, pushing up Goldilocks knees, causing her back to ache and her shoulders to hunch. My, oh, my but the laptop computer Ms. Petite used had such a small keyboard that Goldilocks wrists were angled oddly and her fingers went numb. My, oh, my, but when Goldilocks raised the laptop onto a higher desk so that her neck was comfortable, she had trouble using the keyboard, and when she lowered the laptop so her elbows and wrists were comfortable, Goldilocks neck hurt from bending forward. By the time Goldilocks had the information she needed from Ms. Petite's cubicle, she needed a cold pack.

Continuing on her information retrieval mission, Goldilocks came upon the cubicle of Ms. Average. Since Ms. Average had already gone home for the day, Goldilocks entered the cubicle and sat down at her desk.

Fortunately for Goldilocks, she was average, too! When Goldilocks sat down at the chair to find that last piece of vital information for her report, she discovered that her feet were able to rest comfortably on the floor, her lower back was supported nicely with the lumbar support, and her shoulders were relaxed when she placed her arms on the arm rests. Goldilocks found that when she looked at the monitor, the distance of the screen was perfect (about and arm's length away), the letters were large enough to see clearly, and the screen was dust-free with the color and contrast set so that the letters were crisp, eliminating any eye-strain. And the under-the-table keyboard drawer positioned the keyboard and the mouse perfectly so that Goldilocks ears, shoulders and elbows were in alignment and relaxed, her wrists were neutral on the ergonomic keyboard and there was no reaching forward to activate the keys or click the mouse."    (Continued via BellaOnline, Marji Hajic)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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