Computer ergonomics is the discipline of matching the task to the worker using the most appropriate equipment to optimise human well being and overall performance. This can be simplified to “Modify the workplace, not the individual “. In order to provide the best working environment for your staff you must first have an understanding of the products and solutions that are now available in Australia and their applications in the workplace. Companies like AUZspec provide this service.  

Mouses and ergonomics  

Mouse selection is about combining the individual’s hand size and task with their preferred method of mousing. With the range of styles now available it is important to have an understanding of the ergonomics behind them.

Vertical mouses like the 3M Ergo and Sky Vertical are used to eliminate rotation of the wrist. The Perific is a combination mouse and trackball that can be operated using both hands and resting in your lap. This makes it very popular with heavy mouse users as instead of reaching for the mouse it now comes to them. Trackballs like the Marble Mouse operate by moving the ball as opposed to physically moving the mouse. 

The Nomus is a centralised bilateral mouse that can address multiple computer related injuries at the same time.  This is because it is so conceptually different from a conventional mouse. It eliminates the reach and grip issues associated with mousing, and also encourages the individual to use both hands, thus sharing the workload. The Whale Mouse has a low profile and is excellent for those who prefer full wrist support. It is the only mouse that expands to fit the size of the hand which makes it an ideal solution for large hands.  

Keyboards and ergonomics  

There is a wide range of task specific keyboards available. The Duraflex Roll Up is a flexible, dustproof, waterproof keyboard made from silicone, making it ideal for hospitals, laboratories and manufacturing environments. Due to its portability it is also ideal for laptop use. The Freestyle allows the user greater access through its separate and splay adjustments, making it a popular choice for those who have trouble reaching a standard keyboard. For those who don’t use the numeric section of their keyboard a Mini Keyboard allows the mouse to be positioned closer for a more neutral mousing position.

A Wireless Keyboard with a built in Touchpad Mouse provides a lightweight mobile solution in conjunction with a portable Laptop Stand. The Evoluent provides a solution for those who prefer their numeric pad on the left hand side of the keyboard. One of the main design faults with conventional keyboards is our hands turn outwards or deviate to access the keys at the optimum angle. The A-Shape Keyboard is a cost effective alternative that maintains a straight wrist position for safer typing.    

Ergonomics and the Future  

The human body was not meant to sit or stand for extended periods of time so ideally we should alternate between the two positions during the course of the working day. This variation in movement helps to reduce the amount of stress put on the back and promotes stretching and blood circulation throughout the body. This is achieved by using an Electric Sit/Stand Desk. As the height is adjusted by the touch of a button, the operator can easily adjust the desk height between different tasks like typing and writing as well as moving between sitting and standing. Ergonomists have been proving the benefits of this technology for the last decade but until recently it has been cost prohibitive.

Electric Sit/Stand desks have halved in price over the last eighteen months. Sit/Stand Desks are the ideal solution for any shared workstation be it a call centre or reception and also for any individual with back problems. Based on current trends we believe over the next five years this technology will become a standard recommendation throughout the international ergonomic community.All the above products are available from AUZspec Enterprises Pty. Ltd.