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Tag Archives: Ergonomic

The Optimal Posture Office Chair Could Reduce Fatigue

perfect-posture-chair

There are few things worse for the back than to sit in front of a computer screen all day, typing away. Since you’re probably reading this from one such screen at work right now, we imagine you agree. Do you like the chair you’re on? Is it comfortable? Ergonomic? The $500 Optimal Posture Office Chair you see above looks kind of strange, but it just might make your corporate servitude just a little less painful.

Developed with doctors from the Wooridul Spine Hospital, the chair has a chest rest that provides support as you lean in toward a keyboard or desk, preventing back strain caused by hunching over. The rest swivels 180° for use as a backrest that shifts the shoulders back and chest outward, encouraging the curved, proper posture that reduces back strain. The seat’s pelvis support has a gentle forward slope that shifts the pelvis forward and raises the buttocks above the knees, resulting in semi-standing posture that discourages slouching—a major cause of back discomfort.

So the way to go about this is to submit a request to your HR or Facilities Management department. Tell them you’re suffering from lumbago or some such terrible back affliction, and that you’d feel as snug as a bug in a rug if you get to sit in this for a change.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Geekologie ]

Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball Reviewed. Verdict: Perfect Balance Between Ergonomics and Precision

By Paul McCollum

Building a better mouse trap may be a phrase nearly lost to time, but building a better mouse has never been more timely. Spending 8 to 12 hours per day at a computer, you really start to develop an appreciation for the tiniest changes in your controls. Logitech, who has made a name for itself subtly tweaking and perfecting the mouse, has made more radical changes in its line of trackballs. Their latest, the M570 Trackball, has moved the almost comfortably placed trackball out from under our fingers. The bright blue, gumball-sized sphere is now exclusively controlled by your thumb.

With the ball out of the way, the rest of the M570 looks like a perfectly comfortable mouse with four conveniently placed buttons and a scroll wheel. Ergonomics aside, the trackball is exclusively made for right handed users and there’s inherently a steep learning curve, especially for first time users. Additionally, the trackball also comes with Unifying receiver so you can easily share the wireless USB dongle with other compliant input devices. Although much better for your wrists, how hard will it be to switch to using your thumbs to ‘mouse’ around? Does the more natural feel of the rest of trackball make up for having to retrain your clumsy thumb? You can decide for yourself after checking out the review at Everything USB.

[ Full Review @ Everything USB ]

Smartfish PRO:Motion Auto-Adjusting Game Controller

Smartfish PRO:Motion Game Controller (Image courtesy Smartfish)
By Andrew Liszewski

So not only are video games destroying our minds, our physiques and the fabric of moral society, but now it turns out they’re not so great for our wrists either. Well at least the standard game controllers aren’t. That’s why a company called Smartfish, known for their ergonomic peripherals, have developed the PRO:Motion Game Controller.

Since everyone’s hands and wrists aren’t the same, the PRO:Motion gamepad can actually bend and rotate in the middle to create a more comfortable and ergonomically friendly controller for every user. But here’s the really cool part. Using the company’s DPC or ‘Dynamic Positioning Controller’ system, the PRO:Motion will actually study your “usage pattern” and make periodic but nearly imperceptible adjustments to the controller via a set of tiny onboard motors. So in other words, you don’t have to futz around with it to find the perfect angles, it will do it for you automatically.

Unfortunately pricing info doesn’t seem to be readily available at this time, and from what I can tell the PRO:Motion is only designed to work with PC games, and not with any of the major consoles on the market.

[ Smartfish PRO:Motion Game Controller ] VIA [ Everything USB ]

Ergonomic Backpack Vacuum

Ergonomic Backpack Vacuum (Image courtesy Taylor Gifts)
By Andrew Liszewski

They say once you go backpack you never go back, and if you’ve had the pleasure of using the backpack paint roller system I wrote about a few minutes ago, you’ll probably wish you could strap all of your household appliances to your back. Sadly that’s still a pipedream for a lot of us, or maybe just me, except when it comes to vacuuming!

This “ergonomic” backpack vacuum can be carried around the house on your back, which is supposedly easier than rolling it from room to room… And before you get any ideas about roaming the neighborhood at night, serving as some sort of cleaning vigilante, you’ll want to be aware that this thing doesn’t use a rechargeable battery, but instead plugs into the wall via a retractable 26 foot power cord. $169.98 from Taylor Gifts.

[ Ergonomic Backpack Vacuum ] VIA [ Likecool ]

Smartfish Tru:Motion Wigglymouse

smartfish

By Evan Ackerman

Computer mice come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and styles, but generally, they have one characteristic in common: a flat surface on the bottom to keep the mouse stable. I mean, you want your mouse to be stable, right?

Right?

Don’t you?

NO. NO YOU DON’T. IT’S BAD, STABLE IS BAD. Or at least, a stable object that you use repetitively has the potential to maybe cause you some mild discomfort or pain. The Tru:Motion mouse from Smartfish can help alleviate repetitive stress injuries by wiggling around to better conform to your natural hand and arm position. The mouse pivots on its base (a stable base) from side to side and front to back to allow you to keep your wrist more relaxed.

I’m hoping that the mouse in the picture above is just a prototype design, ’cause a mouse like this is targeted at hardcore computer users, most of whom probably expect more than two or three buttons. Personally, I need a minimum of five to be productive.

Smartfish also makes a wiggling keyboard and a wiggling game controller, and they’re somehow working on a PDA, a laptop, a touchscreen keyboard, and power tools that incorporate the same actively ergonomic technology.We’ll see the mouse out at the beginning of August for $60, and the keyboard will follow at the end of August for $150.

[ Smartfish ] VIA [ DVICE ]

OhGizmo! Review – Contour Design RollerMouse Free

RollerMouse Free (Image property of OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

The first time I played with Contour Design’s RollerMouse Free was at CES earlier this year, and I’ll admit that I was initially drawn to the unusual looking device because I was spending my last day at the show specifically hunting down unusual items. But I was already familiar with Contour Design, having used one of their ShuttlePRO edit controllers for the past few years, so I knew the company produced some quality gear and I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

For those not familiar with the RollerMouse Free, or missed my CES post about it, it’s basically another alternative to a mouse/trackball/tablet/touchpad that helps reduce repetitive stress injuries with a unique ‘rolling bar’ design. And even though I was extremely skeptical that the RollerMouse could replace my traditional mouse, it only took a few minutes of use on the show floor to convince and impress me.

I was told by the Contour Design rep at CES that the RollerMouse Free was destined for a March release, and sure enough, last week the company sent me a final production unit to spend some quality time with. So hit the jump for my full review and some more photos.

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[CES 2009] Hands-On With The Contour Design RollerMouse Free

Contour Design RollerMouse Free (Image property of OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

Besides tablets, trackballs and touchpads, there haven’t been many advancements in human-PC interaction since the development of the mouse and keyboard. And while Contour Design’s RollerMouse Free is called a ‘mouse’, using it is a whole different experience. The device comes in the form of a wrist wrest, but just above the left, center and right buttons you’ll find a long spinning dowel (for lack of a better term) that can be shifted left and right by about 3 or 4 inches.

Contour Design RollerMouse Free (Image property of OhGizmo!)

Spinning the dowel causes the cursor to move vertically on-screen, while sliding it from side-to-side takes care of the cursor’s horizontal movement. I have to say that using the device was a little awkward at first, since I’ve been pushing around a traditional mouse for about half my life, but after just a few minutes, controlling the cursor with the RollerMouse becomes second nature. The main benefit to using the RollerMouse Free is to help reduce repetitive stress injuries in your ‘mousing’ arm, but it also helps keep your hands near the ‘home row’ at all times, theoretically increasing your productivity.

According to the Contour Design rep I spoke to, the RollerMouse Free should be available in the first weeks of March for $219.95 from the company’s website.

Lindo Works Like A Desk Attached To Your Hips

Hip Office aka Lindo (Images courtesy hk-ergonomics)
By Andrew Liszewski

I’ll be the first to admit that my years spent sitting behind a computer monitor at a desk has left me with a less than ideal posture, but I’m not so sure if designer Henning Kunow’s Lindo is the best solution to the problem. Made of fiberglass, the Lindo wraps around your waist and provides two sturdy supports that stick out in front of you. These supports can be used to hold a laptop, writing desk and maybe even a food tray allowing you to perform your daily duties while doing other non-sitting activities like walking, kneeling or performing some type of weird leg thrust.

Unfortunately, those of you with a desire to see your laptop come crashing to the ground will have to just push it off your desk manually, since the Lindo is only a concept prototype at this time.

[ Hip Office aka Lindo ] VIA [ Likecool ]

Ahrend 750 Office Furniture With Electronic Height Adjustment

Ahrend 750 Office Furniture (Images courtesy Ahrend & designboom)
By Andrew Liszewski

At one time working in a cubicle meant you weren’t exactly considered the most important employee in your office. But the Ahrend 750 series might make you feel a bit more appreciated since I don’t know too many executives who can adjust the height of their desks at the push of a button. (Unless that button is a hotline to their own private carpenter that is.)

Located in the corner of the 750 series desktops is a small panel with two buttons that can be used to automatically raise or lower the height of the desk. A simple LCD display also provides a numerical read out of the setting, so in the future it’s easy to reset the desk back to a height you prefer if someone else was using it. On top of it all the 750 series also has a pleasing, aesthetic design that just might make you glad you didn’t get that corner office.

[ Ahrend 750 Furniture ] VIA [ designboom ]