The Benefits of Micro Breaks

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What are micro breaks? Rather than take a long lunch or 15 minutes during the day, imagine a short five-minute rest from work that could involve a variety of activities. It’s like the joke: “I told my doctor it hurts when I do this. My doctor said, then don’t do that.” It’s actually that simple. Stopping what ails you helps your body bounce back. You can also apply micro breaks to specific deskwork related issues.

A Break from Wrist Pain Relief

Typing and data entry tasks 8 hours a day can inflict long-term pain on wrists, including the lasting effects of carpal tunnel. Take 5-second micro breaks every 30 minutes. If you use extra padded wrist supports for your keyboard and mouse, you may extend your typing periods to 45 minutes before taking a micro break.

Simply Stand Up

Sitting glued to your computer terminal eventually leads to back pain and leg pain. Standing up for 5 to 10 seconds every 30 minutes keeps your muscles from becoming frozen in their sitting positions. If you feel that 5-10 seconds is an absolute loss of productivity, incorporate a standing desk into your routine. Recent Smooth Lift standing desk technology makes it easy to rise and sit easily throughout your day, making micro breaks effortless.

Take a Break and Stare

Long periods staring at your computer monitor means your eyes are probably adjusting too much to the screen’s illumination and possible glare. Most likely you will feel eye strain and headaches later and not relate it to your long day engaged with your flat screen.  Take micro breaks to literally stare off into space for 5-10 seconds every 30 minutes to help your eyes adjust to something more than digital two-dimensional space. Do you notice dry eye? Working at a computer actually reduces how much we blink, which can lead to eye dryness.  Your eye refresh micro break will do wonders.

Need More Micro Break Ideas?

WHY MSD’s are Costing Companies Billions in Worker’s Comp

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While safety and health managers do their best to eliminate accident risks in the workplace, from minimizing the potential for falls and other mishaps, the less conspicuous costs incurred from MDS’s, or muscular-skeletal disorders, are causing a significant impact—and employees may not even realize it. Many workers may assume that pains in their shoulder, wrists, neck, back and elbows may be “part of the job” until the increasing severity of these conditions leads to debilitating results. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA,  MDS’s account for more $15 billion a year in worker’s compensation costs.

Training Managers to Become Ergonomic Watchdogs

Identifying pending MSD situations, even when an employee isn’t complaining, can avoid costly consequences for the business and painful consequences for the employee.  Look out for these red flags:

  • Employees holding their backs or straining when they get up out of their office chairs
  • Employees stopping work to massage or shake their wrists
  •  Employees rubbing their neck or shoulders frequently
  • Look for vulture neck-the drooping of the head and neck forward due to improper monitor height

Recommended Solutions to MSD’s

Ergonomic office chair back rests are specifically designed for use with desk chairs and provide the added support to the lumbar, minimizing back strain.

Wrist supports position the hands properly and protect the wrists to prevent strain from repetitive motions like mousing.

Ergonomic keyboard trays position the arms and wrists at the proper angle and distance to prevent strain from the repetitious actions from daily typing.

Monitor risers elevate the computer screen to the proper height to prevent “vulture neck.”  Vulture neck may eventually lead to chronic neck and shoulder pain.

Get more information on implementing ergonomic practices that reduce MSD’s and keep employees happy and your office productive.  Workplace Well-Being Guidelines.

What Office Managers May Need to Get for Open Space Offices

 

NY-DC079_OFFICE_P_20140706171723.jpgOpen office plans may not only change our work patterns, but also the office products we use everyday. Less reliance on the cubicle means workers are no longer tied to the desktop computer.  This new found freedom however, also introduces issues for office managers. How do you equip office staff who may have smaller work stations, or even no workstations at all?

While the average worker had 225 square feet of space in 2010, by 2017 that figure will fall 33 percent, to 151 square feet, according to data from CoreNet Global.

 

Laptops: Mobility vs. Discomfort

Laptops are designed to be slim and portable, but not necessarily comfortable. Flat keyboards and touchpads reintroduce ergonomic issues that were resolved with the proper desktop computer accessories.

To help reduce wrist strain, or laptopitis, the laptop lap desk creates proper elevation of the laptop as well as providing a secure cushioned platform on which to rest it while working.

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Overdependence on Digital: Does Anybody Have a Pen?

Sometimes moving freely throughout an open office plan with your electronic devices can mean having the entire internet at your disposal, yet not having quick access to something as simple and necessary as a pen and paper. After all, there are  occasions when with tablet in one hand and phone in the other, you may desperately need to simply write down a phone number.

With the new MobilePro Series, tablet accessory, you can integrate your iPad with office basics like pen, paper and business cards. So no matter where you are brainstorming in the latest upscale open office space, you can jot down notes and check your email.

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No Walls: Collaboration vs. Intrusion

One of the most discussed issues of open office plans is the reduction of personal space. Though cubicle walls seem to create isolation, they also provide some personal privacy. Though the idea that open floor plans would encourage collaboration and engagement between workers seems interesting, in some cases that loss of boundaries feels like intrusion, especially when working with mobile electronic devices. Casual glances at what is on your laptop or tablet screen, or even your smartphone ,may not seem like a serious offense, but could end up making everyone a bit more guarded.

Maintaining personal privacy with privacy screens can help reduce that sense of intrusion. With PrivaScreen blackout privacy filters you create peripheral blind sides that prevent prying eyes from viewing your screen. Not only for laptops, you can also get privacy filters for tablets and phones.

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Three Must Have Comfort Products for Your Home Office for the New Year

If you are thinking about upgrading your home office, here are some products to help improve comfort, productivity and just make your workspace a nicer place to be.

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Adding personal comfort touches

Yes, we can work in our pajamas, but no we shouldn’t slouch. Often the home office space leads to poor posture and all the discomforts we would normally associate with working at the corporate office. Here are some personal comfort touches that can help keep you happy at your home workstation.

Attach a back support to your desk chair. More than just a cushion for your lower back, back rests can encourage correct posture so you can sit properly and won’t feel that sudden tinge of pain when you get up from your desk. You can also find some back rests with heating and cooling properties.

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Back rest that cools and warms while you sit.

Use a foot rest to help with overall comfort. We may be bending or placing or feet in uncomfortable positions as we work, unconsciously of course, which can lead to leg and ankle pain later on. A foot rest ensures the correct positioning of your feet while you are at your home office workstation. Some foot rests rock to circulate blood flow. Also you can choose foot rests with heating and cooling features, especially useful for home office spaces with wild temperature swings throughout the year.

 

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Climate Control Foot Rest Review: “I always have cold feet, it’s so bad sometimes that I have to sit on my feet to warm them up. But then I get leg cramps. This foot rest keeps my feet and calves nice and toasty warm!!!”

 

Keeping it Plush

We may not realize that the pain we feel in our elbow is directly related to our mouse usage. Replacing your standard mouse pad with a mouse pad with wrist support can help reduce the stress and the pain for every day mousing.

Using an innovative FoamFusion Technology, the Plush Touch Wrist Support delivers superior comfort and softness while relieving wrist pressure.

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Plush Touch with Foam Fusion

The Plush Touch design is also available for keyboards, offering the same softness and comfort to prevent wrist pains caused by continuous typing.

A great feature for both the Plush Touch pad for mouse and keyboard is the Microban protection that helps keep the surface cleaner. The Plush Touch pad is also laser mouse friendly.

Tis the Season for Practicality: Five Unique Gifts That Stay Useful All Year Long.

For Those Who Love to Laminate

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It may seem odd, but laminating can be an obsession. Just talk to any teacher or crafter. The new laminators from Fellowes feature two unique features. InstaHeat warms up the laminator in a minute or less—a very important feature for those who can’t wait two minutes to get started laminating.  The second feature is AutoSense, which automatically adjusts to pouch thickness. This feature is important if you are changing pouches and forget to readjust your machine. If you know someone who loves laminating, check out these options: Laminator Gifts.

 

 

 

For Tablet Users

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This essential gift for tablet fans uses suction to create a strong hands-free stand for a tablet. Tablets can be used in landscape or portrait viewing and the special design of the SuctionStand enhances the audio of the tablet.

 

 

 

Lounging with Your Laptop

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An inexpensive and useful gift is the Laptop LapDesk. Laptops are convenient, but using them on the couch or with your feet propped up on a desk can get uncomfortable. The Laptop LapDesk gives you a comfortable way to use your laptop without cramping your style.

 

 

 

No More Cold Feet

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We know foot rests are helpful, but wouldn’t it be great if they could also keep your toes toasty? This climate control footrest can provide soothing warmth on cold days, especially after you just tramped through a snowy parking lot. This handy device can also cool your feet on hot days. Either way, your gift recipient will thank you all season long!

 

 

 

The Heavy Handed Mouser

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Need an office stocking stuffer? The Plush Touch Wrist Support gives comforting pillow-like support to anyone who has to use a mouse all day. Compared to simple mouse pads, you will feel the difference in the superior softness of the FoamFusion Technology. Upgrade an associate with the gift of mousing comfort.

Santa’s Workshop Increases Productivity for 2012 Holiday

As the Christmas season grows more demanding each year, Santa’s Workshop strives to continually improve efficiency and productivity. New products have been introduced to minimize fatigue and injury in the workshop, as well as streamline the operation overall.

Elves suffer from ailments and lost productivity associated with long hours spent at a computer workstation.

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“With a lot of toys, comes a lot of data,” says Santa. “All that information has to be processed.”  In the administrative offices of the workshop, elves complained of back and wrist pain, and neck strain, leading to lost productivity and days out of the workshop recovering.  Santa implemented company-wide back supports for all admin elves along with keyboard managers to reduce incidents of wrist pain.  New monitor risers put screens at the proper height to prevent neck strain.

 

Archiving Past Holidays-Storing Records On-Site at North Pole

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As a global one-night only distributor, Santa found reviewing past performance crucial for future productivity. Storing all past archives off-site lead to long delays in records retrieval, “especially when you are headquartered at the North Pole,” indicates Santa. “It got to the point where we were just stuffing records in stockings and toy chests. That’s no good.” Converting to on-site archiving reduced costs and made records readily available for review.

 

 

Naughty List Record Destruction

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Santa’s Naughty & Nice spreadsheet is an ever-changing dynamic.  “Those who were once naughty and now are nice don’t deserve that bad record following them around.” Santa explains.  “We keep cross-cut shredders at every list review station for maximum identity theft protection. They are jam proof, so time is not lost dealing with paper jams, which increases productivity.”