Discomfort Awareness

Usually, if you ask a group of office workers who are working at non- or semi-adjustable furniture whether they are having any problems, it is unlikely that many will complain.

However, if you ask those same employees, as we have done, if they are experiencing lower back pain, muscle tightness, in the shoulders or neck, headaches, eyestrain, eye fatigue, arm fatigue, tension, stress or fatigue in general, it is unlikely that anyone will not admit to one or more of these various discomforts.

They do experience these discomforts, though they are generally attributed to some individual physical problem of their own.

Statements such as "I have a bad back", "I suffer from migraines", "I have bad eyes", or generalized as "there is something wrong with me" have been heard all too frequently. But the actual reason is simple. People are different.

We vary in height, in quality of sight, in physical strength, in tolerance levels and in preference to left or right handedness. Some of these differences will change substantially with age.

A working position that causes no discomfort for one individual, may seriously limit the productivity of another, even if they're similar in height. This situation is more likely to exist where there is a difference in age.

On this site we will be placing special emphasis on the requirements of computer terminal operators' but it is important to note that many of the recommendations apply to anyone who sits at a typewriter, terminal, or behind a desk, no matter what their function. It is this important consideration that has largely been ignored by most 'experts' of ergonomics in North America.