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Ergonomics Review of the Evoluent Vertical Mouse

Ergonomics Review of the Evoluent Vertical Mouse

Ergonomic Mouse Review

By Janet DeLapp, MS, CDMS, CPDM, CPE and Matt Copeland, BS, CEOE
SolutionsNW.com – Your Ergonomics Experts

Ergonomics Consultants | Solutions Northwest Inc.The average American worker spends 7 hours a day on the computer.” – American Eye-Q 2015

There are many different versions of vertical mice. Over my years doing ergonomics assessments for office workstations, the best vertical mouse, in my professional opinion, is the Evoluent Vertical Mouse. We have not been compensated in any way for writing this review. The opinions expressed are our own.

Top 3 Reasons the Evoluent Vertical Mouse stands our as one of the best Vertical Mouse devices on the market:

  1. At Solutions Northwest Inc., we believe the overall feel of a piece of equipment is very important. The Evoluent has a very natural feel and puts the wrist in a very good neutral position.
  2. This mouse comes in left-handed and right-handed versions. Some products are made to do both but they don’t seem to fit the form of the hand as well as a dedicated left/right product.
  3. This vertical mouse comes in different sizes. Have you ever used something that’s too small or big for you? If you have, then you know how uncomfortable that can be. A mouse which is the wrong size for you can cause unnatural posturing of the hand and wrist which are risk factors. So if you must mouse, an Evoluent Vertical Mouse is an option we recommend.

In conclusion

Remember to always consult with your doctor to rule out any possible underlying cause of pain. And be sure to communicate with your staff, co-workers, or office managers/admins to see if they’d like to try any of these products.

Additionally, be sure to perform an ergonomics assessment to ensure office safety. For more guidance on all work related health and safety issues, visit your ergonomics experts at SolutionsNW.com or Contact Us for more information.

Subscribe to our blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics consultants located in Washington State, Northern California, Oregon, Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, and Portland.

3 Ergonomic Gadgets Every Office Should Try

3 Ergonomic Gadgets Every Office Should Try

Post By: Celeste McLaughlin, Ergonomics Manager
Produced by: Solutions Northwest, Inc. (Ergonomics Experts serving Washington, Oregon, and California)

The average American worker spends 7 hours a day on the computer.” – American Eye-Q 2015

If you’re like most American office workers, you likely spend a lot of time on the computer. In fact, “the average American worker spends 7 hours a day on the computer” says a 2015 American Eye-Q study.

Working on the computer for extended periods of time can take a toll on your body, especially if you aren’t proactive about researching what tools work best for your workstation.  

While it is always recommended to perform an ergonomics assessment of your workspace, this ergonomics blog will explore a few computer peripherals designed with computer ergonomics in mind.

Ergonomics Consultants | Solutions Northwest Inc.

Trackball Mouse

While no tools provide complete protection from carpal tunnel syndrome, the trackball requires much less movement and is considered by some to be a carpal tunnel relief gadget.

A trackball mouse, like a traditional mouse, is a pointing device. Unlike a traditional mouse, it remains stationary and has a ball on its top or side. In addition to the ball, a trackball commonly has one or more buttons that work like mouse buttons.

Operating the trackball with the three middle fingers reduces two ergonomics risk factors: static gripping and repetitive wrist movement.

Ergonomics experts recommend ambidextrous trackballs with a ball in the center rather than the side to minimize the risk of thumb tendonitis. Below are examples of a few ambidextrous trackballs:

Take a more in depth look at trackballs in our blog about switching to a trackball mouse.

Split Ergonomic Keyboards

There are many varieties of ergonomic keyboards such as split and contoured, but the split keyboard is a great way to reduce muscle strain and reduce the risk of carpal tunnel or other repetitive strain injuries.

Split keyboards that split into independent pieces are sometimes referred to as adjustable split keyboards. This type of split keyboard will allow you to move the keyboard into a comfortable position, allowing one to easily relax the wrist or entire hand.

When a split ergonomic keyboard is needed, we suggest taking a look at our article on the Kinesis Freestyle Pro.

Computer Glasses

You may have never heard of computer glasses, but with digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome being so common in today’s work place, products like computer glasses have started to gain interest among office workers.

Computer glasses look just like regular glasses and are usually around the $50 to $100 price range. Unlike regular glasses, computer glasses are designed with an anti-reflective coating to reduce screen glare and harsh light. Most of these glasses will also filter the blue light that your computer screen emits.

Filtering blue light should reduce negative symptoms of staring at a screen and make it easier to perform your daily computer work. Feeling headaches, eyestrain, blurred vision, dry eyes, or even neck and shoulder pain can be reduced. In fact, your posture may improve as well because you won’t have to hunch closer to the screen as much.

For an in depth look at computer glasses, check out our blog article on the subject.

In conclusion

Remember to always consult with your doctor to rule out any possible underlying cause of pain. Whether you decide to try computer glasses, split keyboards, or a trackball mouse, be sure to communicate with your staff or co-workers to see if they’d like to try any of these products.

Additionally, be sure to perform an ergonomics assessment to ensure office safety. For more guidance on all work related health and safety issues, visit your ergonomics experts at SolutionsNW.com or Contact Us for more information.

Be sure to subscribe to our blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics consultants located in Washington State, Northern California, Oregon, Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, and Portland.

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Ergonomics Tips: Pros and Cons of Open Offices

Ergonomics Tips: Pros and Cons of Open Offices

Post By: Celeste McLaughlin, Ergonomics Manager
Produced by: Solutions Northwest, Inc. (Ergonomics Experts serving Washington, Oregon, and California)

“70 percent of US offices have some form of an open concept” International Facility Management Association 2018

While there are many issues to consider when designing the perfect workspace (ergonomics, safety issues, sitting vs standing, etc.), the open office space is a trend worth examining. In fact, according to the International Facility Management Association, “70% of US offices have some sort of open concept.” Despite so many offices adopting the open office, there has also been an increasing pushback to the idea. So, just what are the pros and cons of an open office environment?

Ergonomics Consultants | Solutions Northwest Inc.

The Pros

Tech companies like Facebook and Google helped make the open office environment popular and many other companies have followed suit. One of the major selling points of the open office is that it tears down cubicle walls and allows employees to openly communicate and build relationships.

The idea is that, without walls, office workers will be able to brainstorm and bond while working, ultimately becoming a greater team with greater productivity than their cubicle counterparts.

Additionally, open office spaces tend to be more affordable to build than cubicles as well as more attractive to look at in an office setting.

The Cons

While the cubicle wall sounds old fashioned, it was serving a few purposes. Having walls around you allows for you to work in privacy and focus directly on your task, which can be lost when exposed to the noise and distractions of the open office environment. In fact, “75 percent of office workers report frequent noise during the workday and 38 percent would change jobs to have an office door they could shut,” according to Gallup 2017.

While open offices are designed to promote more communication, the lack of privacy may have had a negative impact on communication. YouGov reports that “31 percent have had to go to a closet or hall to make a call and 31 percent have held back thoughts and opinions for fear of co-workers hearing and judging.”

Design the workspace that feels right for your workers

Open office layouts may increase face time, leading to stronger bonds, but it could also lead to negative communication or fear of communication due to the lack of privacy in the forced open space. Knowing there are pros and cons to having an open office, it may make sense to seek out alternatives.
 
The Hub and Spoke office design attempts to extract the best of the open office while maintaining some of the concepts of the private office design. The Hub and Spoke utilizes “a singular entryway into common spaces and hallways that spoke out to different individual offices” as described by ArchDaily. The concept is meant to be a mixture of the open office and the personal office, which allows workers the ability to collaborate, but also work on their own in private.

An important takeaway is that you should balance different concepts and create a custom space that works best for your needs.

In conclusion

Whether your workers work in a home office, open office, cubicle workstation, or other type of workstation, it is important to create a healthy work environment for your workers because it will lead to more productivity in the long run.

We recommend contacting an ergonomics expert to perform an ergonomics assessment on your workspace. For more tips about your workspace, be sure to visit and subscribe to our blog for more office and ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics consultants located in Washington State, Northern California, Oregon, Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, and Portland.

What Makes a Mouse or Trackball Ergonomic

What Makes a Mouse or Trackball Ergonomic

What makes a Mouse Ergonomic?

By Janet DeLapp, MS, CDMS, CPDM, CPE and Matt Copeland, BS, CEOE

Have you been using a computer for a long period of time? Chances are yes in this digital world that we all live in. But how does that mouse treat you after you’ve been working for a while? Do you feel discomfort in the wrist, elbow, or shoulder? Chances are you are not using a device designed with ergonomics in mind. Ergonomics Consultants | Solutions Northwest Inc.

What makes something ergonomic?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ergonomics as, “an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely”. In this case, designing a device to fit a person properly would be ergonomic. So, what makes a device ergonomic? There are two simple points to consider when riddling whether your device is ergonomic or not: proper fit and placement/posture.

Proper fit: If your device is too big or too small for you, it’s not an ergonomic solution. If your device is too big, then you’re likely engaging the muscles of your hands and arm far more than necessary. Likewise, if your device is too small, you’re likely putting yourself into an awkward posture by holding your hand or fingers precariously to get enough hand/finger real estate on the device to use it.

Placement/Posture: Both are very important and both inform the other. Posture can be tricky as most all of us have developed our normal posture and departing from it can be difficult. Proper ergonomic or “neutral” posture goes like this. Your shoulders should be relaxed with your elbows by your side and bent about 90 degrees. Your wrists should be straight and not bent up or down or in or out. If your device is too far left or right, you are likely causing undue work for your shoulder. If it is too far forward or too close, you may start feeling it from the shoulder all the way to the wrist after extended periods of use.

In conclusion

If it doesn’t fit your hand and you can’t use it without straining your arm or shoulder, it’s probably not the right one, it is not in the correct position, or both. Be sure to consult with your Office Admin or Manager to see about ordering the proper tools and perhaps contacting an expert for a workplace ergonomics assessment.

Hopefully these ergonomics tips can help keep your workplace a safe work place. For more guidance on all work related health and safety issues, visit SolutionsNW.com or Contact Us for more information.

Be sure to subscribe to our blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics consultants located in Washington State, Northern California, Oregon, Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, and Portland.

 

The Ergonomic Benefits of Using a Vertical Mouse

The Ergonomic Benefits of Using a Vertical Mouse

Ergonomics Benefits of using Vertical Mouse

By Janet DeLapp, MS, CDMS, CPDM, CPE and Matt Copeland, BS, CEOE

“Evidence suggests that about 3% of women and 2% of men will be diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome during their lifetime…” – The New York Times

Ergonomics Consultants | Solutions Northwest Inc.Using a mouse causes gripping as well as wrist and arm motion which could be detrimental to your body. However, if you do not want to use a trackball, there are other options.

The Vertical Mouse
See the source image
While it may look strange, the vertical mouse is a great alternative for those seeking comfort from an ergonomic mouse. There a number of vertical mice on the market, these are sometimes referred to as a “handshake mouse” because of the way your hand grips the mouse.

Why the Vertical Mouse works

When gripping a vertical mouse, your wrist is rotated more straight up and down as opposed to being flat against the desk. This untwists the bones of the forearm. The gripping and repetitive motions at the wrist, elbow and shoulder still exist. If discontinuing using a mouse is something you don’t want to do, a vertical mouse is a good alternative.

The benefits

  • According to Ergooffice, a vertical mouse will “help your wrist to rest on the ‘bony’ baby finger side, eliminating pressure on the soft tissue of the wrist and engage the larger muscles of the arm rather than leaving all the work to the wrist, which means that the wrist remains in a comfortable and neutral position. Additionally, the forearm to assume an anatomical position of rest that will prevent straining of the muscles.”

In conclusion

Never stop looking for great alternatives to traditional tools. For more ergonomic tips, subscribe, contact one of our Ergonomics Experts today and give us a call at one of our Seattle Washington, Portland, Olympia, or Northern California offices.

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