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Products

The Blue Light Special

​I use my iPhone before bed to research projects and read the news. Who am I kidding, the reality is, I’m on Instagram and playing candy crush! But I can’t sleep. Researchers have indicated that blue light from these devices before bed might be bad for sleep. What is blue light? Blue Light occurs naturally in our environment. In fact, blue light is responsible for the color of the sky. But not all blue light is created equal. Artificial blue light is emitted from iPhones, tablets, computers etc. and has higher concentrations of blue light versus natural light. Researchers have identified the blue light emitted from these devices has an alerting effect and disrupts circadian rhythms.
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Innovative Solutions

Sometimes the most obvious solutions do not work, requiring the ergonomist to use innovative solutions and to think ‘outside the box’. This happened this past week when I went out on a site visit to meet with a receptionist who worked in an open space with a large skylight located overhead. She was reporting symptoms of severe eye strain; red, sore, and painful eyes with blurry vision. This was because from 10:15 to 12:15 large amounts of light entered through the skylight located above her workstation creating large amounts of indirect and direct glare.
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Changing a valve? The ‘Flange Hanger’ will eliminate the need to hold it in place, reducing strain on your body.

At the Alberta Health & Safety Conference (www.hsconference.ca) held this past October in Banff I had the opportunity to meet James Courtenay, President of Flange Hanger. Prior to his current role Mr. Courtenay owned a maintenance and construction company that served the oil field. He has worked in the oil and gas field, specifically providing maintenance and operating equipment for 14 years. Mr. Courtenay explained that over his career, he had injured his back more than once. He found one of the most difficult tasks to be changing a flange or valve. Quite often the valve was heavy, it needed to held in an awkward position (high or low to the ground), and it needed to be held for an extended period of time while the bolts were put in place.

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It is time to check your child’s backpack (and maybe even your own!)

Did you know that 82% of children report back pain related to their backpack?

Now that we’re a couple of months into the school season, it is a good time to check your child’s backpack and what is being carried inside. I’m mainly thinking about your child’s backpack, and if you are a teacher, then also your student’s backpacks. However, if you carry a backpack for work (or other activities) then you should also take a look at your backpack and how it may be affecting your comfort.
Children carry their backpacks to and from school daily. Depending on their grade and homework demands, the backpack could hold a binder or two, a textbook or two, lunch, and a set of gym clothing and shoes. Carrying a heavy backpack is concerning for anyone, but particularly for children during growth spurts.

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How Ergonomists and Product Manufacturers Can Help Each Other

It is common for Ergonomists to work cooperatively with vendors and/or directly with manufacturers to help their clients address their needs. Ergonomists are able to identify ergonomic hazards, as well as criteria for the equipment necessary to address those hazards. Vendors and manufacturers are able to provide the equipment.

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Why choose a Vertical Mouse?

In nearly all occupations computer time makes up a significant portion of the work day. This is especially true for knowledge workers, who generally complete their work in an office environment. With the large proportion of work time dedicated to computer use, much of this relates to interaction with the mouse to perform various actions.

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Reviewing a Compact Split Keyboard

What is the impact of your keyboard choice? A 2010 article outlines a trial of a split, adjustable ergonomic keyboard and separate number pad (the Kinesis Freestyle Solo keyboard with accessory package), and compares outcomes with this keyboard to the use of a traditional “standard” keyboard model (1). The split, adjustable keyboard included “clip-on tenting” accessories that can incline the keyboard 10 to 15 degrees, reducing the amount of pronation in the forearm. The ability to open and completely separate the keyboard to reduce ulnar deviation is also possible with the design.

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Product Review – MotionHeat Rechargeable Heated Glove Liners by Power in Motion

The key to effective intervention for cold-related finger/hand pain may be maintenance of hand and finger temperature during work operations. However, hand actions and the use of specialized safety gloves, which have limited insulation, are likely to result in constant heat loss from the hands. A method to provide heat energy for the hands and fingers might be a more effective intervention.

Heated gloves have been commercially available for a long time, but in most instances these gloves are inappropriate for industrial work. They are often too bulky, or they have wiring that restricts movement and can create performance/safety issues. Furthermore, commercial models have the heating units in the palms of the gloves, and have limited mechanisms to heat or warm the fingers – which is of primary importance to prevention/abatement of symptoms.

Fortunately, there is a locally-available product that has overcome these issues. Power In Motion’s MotionHeat Rechargable Heated Glove Liners.

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Product Review: Lifefrom 6780 Eclipse High Back Chair with Core-Flex technology

Product Review: Lifefrom 6780 Eclipse High Back Chair with Core-Flex technology

I have been using the Lifeform 6780 Eclipse High back chair for approximately three months and I’d like to share my user experience. The key feature I’d like to emphasize is the Core-Flex technology seat pan that I had retrofitted to the chair. This feature entails a split in Lifefrom’s traditional contoured seat pan that, “adds a small range of natural motion to stimulate core muscles, improves comfort and increases circulation.” Lifeform’s motive behind the design is to promote movement while sitting. Core-Flex technology claims certain benefits such as: preventing cramping in legs, promotion of circulation, increases in metabolic rate, and increased pelvic tilting and core muscular engagement. However, these claims require stringent testing with biometric equipment to verify the benefits.

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