Odds are you and your employees spend quite a bit of time at a computer, whether at work or at home. And while you may not think of computer work as something that is physically demanding, the truth is, an improperly designed workspace can cause neck, shoulder and back pain, eye strain, headaches, poor circulation in the arms and legs, fatigue, and in many cases even debilitating Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs).
Costs associated with workplace injuries can be high. Altogether, RSIs represent 62 percent of all North American workers’ compensation claims and result in nearly $15 to $20 billion in lost work time and medical claims each year, as reported by OSHA. One study found that 50% of participants reported RSIs during the first year of their new job; 68% of the reported RSI symptoms were deemed to be severe enough to be classified as a musculoskeletal disorder.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent or mediate the discomfort and injuries that can be associated with computer use, such as using computer peripherals that are ergonomically designed.
Ergonomics is the science of designing products and systems to optimize human well-being and performance. Ergonomists draw on many disciplines from physiology to biomechanics and industrial engineering to design products that are safe, comfortable, easy to use, and help improve perform while still look aesthetically pleasing.
Working on your computer with the wrong products and posture can result in pain, fatigue, and sometimes even debilitating injuries.
Products designed to fit naturally
When you consider the fact that the average user has their hands on a mouse or keyboard for more than six hours a day, properly designed products are more important than ever.
Microsoft designs tools such as ergonomic mice and keyboards to help you spend time at the computer comfortably, for long periods of time. The company’s products undergo rigorous design and testing processes conducted by an on staff Certified Ergonomist. Using state-of-the-art tools such as pressure sensor gloves and infrared thermography imaging that records the various amounts of heat given off by the body, we are able to create products that work seamlessly with your body’s natural posture and functions.
Only those products that have a clinically proven ergonomic benefit are granted a distinguished “Ergonomist Approved” stamp. This might seem like a lot of trouble to go to for something as utilitarian as a keyboard or mouse, but Microsoft is passionate about building products that make your life easier, safer, and more comfortable.
Designing input devices that allow users to comfortably and effectively scroll, point, click, and select requires a great deal of precision and expertise. Microsoft goes to great lengths to ensure that its mice not only provides efficient, precise control, but also feels good doing it, whether in light use or for long stretches at a time. Microsoft has combined some breakthrough ideas in mouse comfort with some of the concepts that have made the Natural® line of keyboards so successful. One key benefit is that it helps to get the sensitive area of the hand out of contact with the desktop.
1Gerr, F., M. Marcus, C. Ensor, D. Kleinbaum, S. Cohen, A. Edwards, E. Gentry, D. Ortiz and C. Monteilh,, “A Prospective Study of
Computer Users: I. Study Design and Incidence of Musculoskeletal Symptoms and Disorders,” AJIM April 2002, 41(4):221-35.