The conference, produced by LRP Publications, is in its 18th year. Attendees included professional ergonomists along with health, safety, productivity and risk management professionals from corporations, governments, institutions and advisory firms.
Among the 2012 winners were Focal Upright Furniture and Contour Designs, for its RollerMouse Re:d.
Focal Upright Furniture. Creating an "entire upright lifestyle" is the vision of Martin Keen. The founder of Focal Upright Furniture and previous founder of Keen Footwear, had used standing desks in his own studio. When that position became tiring, he began leaning while working and realized he was more energized and focused on his creative work.
"There is a place between standing and sitting where our body wants to be," Keen said. "It's a natural, neutral posture and it just feels right."
The company offers the Locus upright seats and Locus upright desks to create an upright workstation. Rather than sitting or standing, it allows the user to lean against it and adjust it as needed.
"Sitting disease is epidemic," according to the company. "You spend a third of your life at work, behind your desk and on your butt. Studies have proven that many small movements throughout the day lead to better health -- upright is better for you."
The Locus workstation is "designed to move with you," encouraging the user to be actively engaged and allowing the "creative juices to flow." As the company explains on its website, a pivoting leg adjusts instinctively to every move the user makes, allowing the device to support the natural balancing point, thereby keeping the body active and the brain engaged. "It's about achieving a mental clarity rarely felt while sitting, activating the body to keep up with the mind. Kenetic yet balanced."
In creating the company and its products, Keen is "reimagining our interface with the environment, combining an intuitive sense of what is needed with a designer's instinct for utility, material and form," according to the company. The result is a "major improvement over the office cubicle."
For his next product, Keen has developed a stand-alone leaning seat on an adjustable pole. The end of the pole has two options; one for rough surfaces such as turf that can be used outside, and the other for a carpeted surface or flooring. The concept is "like the sling-type seats that hunters use," he explains. "They allow you to take some weight off of your feet/back but you can get up easily and they can be used just about anywhere."
"Sixty-eight percent of the people working between four and seven hours in front of the computer daily are coping with pains related to using the mouse," according to a Danish study conducted in 2010. Counter Designs developed its RollerMouse to alleviate the ailments.
Its introduction of the RollerMouse Re:d at the Ergo Expo Show earned it an attendees' award. As the company explains it, "the traditional mouse forces you to use your arms, back, shoulders, neck, hands and wrists to perform a simple task -- moving the cursor on a computer screen. This is the root of many potential problems, from repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel to tendonitis or simply causing pain."
The company "exchanged the mechanical mouse click with a virtual, digital click, providing the same feel and sound of standard clicking, with no mechanical click percussion."
RollerMouse sits directly in front of the keyboard and allows the user to move the cursor by touching the rollerbar lightly with the fingertips. "RollerMouse eliminates harmful movements and helps form safer working habits," the company says. "By combining ergonomic design with innovative technology, we have created a new standard in the performance of central pointing devices."
In addition to reduced joint stress, the RollerMouse Re:d promises unparalleled precision. New tracking technology is inside the roller bar.
Among the features of the device is the ease with which new users can adapt from standard mousing. It adjusts to each individual's use.
The company says its products are designed to:
- Eliminate unnecessary movements.
- Make required movements as precise, comfortable, and effortless as possible.
- Allow every movement to be made from a central position.
The RollerMouse Re:d will be officially available for purchase in 2013.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
January 14, 2013
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