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The Secrets of Ergonomics and George Clooney...?

Posted by Megan Lewis on Oct 23, 2014 1:35:00 PM


ErgonomicsandGeorgeOne of the most common questions we get from prospective customers is, “What sets you apart from your competitors?” Aside from our dashing good looks and exceptional personalities, Xybix is the number one dispatch furniture manufacturer in ergonomics. Now, I know this is usually the part where your vision blurs and the voice in your head starts sounding like the teacher from Charlie Brown, but as our lovely Joanna Pease details in her blog, “What Is Ergonomics, and Why Is It Important to You?”, Ergonomics are important—not just to your health, but also to your work-life longevity and productivity.

While Joanna’s blog is a great example of how ergonomics applies to you, I wanted to delve even further into the “meat” of the topic and explore where this study comes from and who decides what works—and maybe use some Hollywood references to keep you interested!

Wait, was that George Clooney?!

Tricked you, didn’t I? While this isn’t a script for Ocean’s 11, 12 or even 13, ergonomics standards were established by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES). HFES is made up of engineering professionals and academics who came up with the standards we know and recognize today. These talented individuals published the original “American National Standard for Human Factors Engineering of Visual Display Terminal Workstations”, also known as ANSI/HFES100-1988. OK, I’ll admit that was a mouthful, but don’t kill the messenger! These original standards have since been updated and adapted to account for changing technologies, and now ANSI/HFES100-2007 represents the highest level of expertise and the most comprehensive and up-to-date ergonomics guidelines worldwide.

The standards include:

  1. Monitor Viewing Angles
  2. Monitor Orientation
  3. Focal Depth Adjustment
  4. Keyboard Surface Height
  5. Keyboard Surface Shape
  6. Knee & Leg Clearances

You may think that it would be fairly simple to achieve each of these standards, but Xybix is and continues to be the only manufacturer that provides solutions to all of the above! Here’s the secret to how we do it:

  1. Monitor Viewing Angles: Monitors should never be too high or too low; they should be just right. HFES dictates that a user’s viewing angle should be at -15 to -20 degrees from the horizon. With a height-adjustable surface, the ability to adjust your monitor’s angle is great for bifocal users, as well as the Wilt Chamberlins of the group, who won’t have to strain in either direction to work efficiently. Xybix’s surfaces meet the 5th percentile of sitting females (approximately someone who is 4-foot-10) to the 95th percentile of standing males (approximately someone who is 6-foot-3 or 6-foot-4).
  2. Monitor Orientation: Sure, sometimes a dispatch center does look like the casino security scene in Ocean’s 11. Managing monitor arms with 6 or 7 monitors is a pain, especially when you have multiple users, multiple shifts and multiple personalities. Xybix’s patented Rollervision feature allows that every single monitor—whether you have 2 or 8—is placed on a single arc or plane. So no more shifty eyes that create those pesky tension headaches!
  3. Focal Depth Adjustment: Monitor orientation and focal depth adjustment pretty much go hand-in-hand. When you see George Clooney get into that elevator, don’t you want to get closer? (We sure do!) Rollervision allows you to literally bring those dimples closer by pulling the knob on the monitor surface. Not feeling the Clooney love? Resist his charms by pushing the monitors away without so much as a blink of your no-longer-strained eyes.
  4. Keyboard Surface Height: This one is almost self-explanatory. A neutral wrist position is key to surviving long hours at a computer. Pads, keyboard tilts, etc., only create unnecessary complications on the keyboard surface. Having a height-adjustable input allows each and every user to obtain appropriate neutral wrist alignment every time they sit or stand.
  5. Keyboard Board Surface Shape: The curved or cockpit-style shape of Xybix’s worksurfaces is key for achieving proper ergonomics. This criteria refers to reach zones, in that the angle of your elbow and reach should be the same from any point on your station. So if you’re watching Ocean’s 11 on the far left, Ocean’s 12 in the center, and Ocean’s 13 on the far right, your degree of depth in reaching out to George, Brad, or Matt, is the same from any position.
  6. Knee & Leg Clearances: 10- to 12-hour shifts are no fun if you can never stand up, stretch out, or take a load off. Multiple users and multiple shifts require that all workers have the ability to get comfortable. With height-adjustable surfaces and our cable management technology, Xybix offers free and clear space under our worksurfaces in an effort to provide every user the comfort and options they deserve!

Just remember, “ergonomics” is not just a fancy-sounding buzzword—it should be impactful and effective. When evaluating potential furniture vendors, make sure you take into account how they will support your center’s goals of creating a happier and healthier work environment for you and your team.

….Wait, George Clooney got MARRIED?!

Ergonomic Design Criteria for 911 Dispatch

Topics: Ergonomics

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