Office Applications

Chair specifications and testing for big and tall seating

by Jerome Congleton 
Congleton will present research on the need for a change in seating standards to address our growing obese population. The heavy office worker is generally least accommodated in the workplace and is not as easily defined as other extreme categories of workers. Current specifications and ANSI/BIFMA 5.1-2002 testing is explained. Since the combined percentage of overweight or obese adults in the U.S. has soared to more than 60 percent in the last few years, recognizing this important need is essential for today's ergonomic programs. View presentation

Distributions of computer users' eye locations based on sitter-selected postures

by Gretchen Gscheidle, Matthew P. Reed
The adjustment ranges needed for chairs and workstation components have traditionally been derived from anthropometric dimensions obtained in a standardized seated posture with the thighs horizontal, legs vertical, and the torso maximally erect. Various adjustments are made to account for the discrepancy between the measurement posture and typical work postures. A better approach is to use measurements obtained during computer use as these dimensions reflect the effects of both body dimensions and postural behavior. However, the effects of workstation design on posture must be taken into account. The current analysis describes the distribution of computer user eye locations based on an analysis of data obtained from sitters using a highly adjustable workstation. The minimal constraints imposed by this configuration mean that the results are a good representation of how users position their eyes when sitting in the postures that they prefer. View presentation

The effect of Tablet PC display attributes, tilt angles, and ambient lighting on glare and user's performance, postures, and perceptions

by Tom Albin, Hugh McLoone
Viewing conditions and tilt angles on tablet PCs affect glare on the display. We examined the effect of tilting tablets between as much as 60 degrees and allowing users to self-select tilt angle based on their performance, postures, and preferences. Performance was evaluated based on reading and target tapping time. Posture measured head/neck, flexion/extension, wrist flexion/extension and lateral deviation, and forearm rotation. Preferences were based on likert scales, ranking, and open-ended comments. The 60 degree tilt angle resulted in less neck flexion. No other postural differences were observed. Tilt effects on performance were slight, if any. Participants' comments suggested that intermediate tilt angles were easier to read. The 60 degree tilt angle was described as uncomfortable for tapping. The average self-chosen tilt angle was 33 degrees. We also investigated the effects of display attributes and lighting conditions on users' preferences, postures, and performance. Although there were no differences in regard to posture or performance, participants preferred low ambient light and displays with a wide field of view and low reflectivity. View presentation

Effects of workspace design on call center agent performance

by Michael O'Neill, Patty Bergquist, Jim Dolislager
The purpose of this study was twofold. First, we wanted to compare the effectiveness of two different workspace design models on agent performance; one using a frame-and-tile workstation furniture system, and the other using a pole-based furniture system. Second, we wanted to use the data to investigate the general relationships between workspace design features and business performance outcomes. We found that workplace design features have a small but consistent, statistically significant, and real influence over many of the agent health and performance measures examined. Research results were used to support decisions in design and management of call center facilities and workspaces within the telecommunications company. This presentation includes research-based recommendations to improve the design of call centers in general. View presentation

Environmental factors can influence comfort or discomfort

by Scott Openshaw, Kevin Costello, Erin Taylor
An ergonomic assessment of 325 individuals at 15 different companies across the U.S. was done to observe ergonomic issues among office workers. Measurements were taken of subject anthropometry, tools used in the office, and environmental conditions. Correlations and relationships were found between some of the environmental conditions in the office and the comfort and discomfort of office workers. This session will explain how relationships were determined and what environmental conditions and tools can affect worker comfort or discomfort. Suggestions will also be made on how to improve the comfort of office workers. View presentation

Reducing pain in the office: Can training achieve this goal?

by David Brodie
If you make a list of some of the top manufacturers of ergonomics furniture, names like Steelcase, Herman Miller, and Knoll come to mind. If you make a list of some of the best ergonomics chairs available they might include models such as Aeron, Leap, and RPM. What would you say if you walked into an office of over 1000 employees who all had these great chairs from these great manufacturers and 69 percent of your employees were experiencing discomfort? Is there something wrong with the design of the chairs? Should you wonder if furniture and accessories are the key to a healthy office workplace? This presentation will provide insight into the impact of training and furniture use, and guide the attendee on important decisions to ensure a good return on investment in the office environment. View presentation

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