A Question from a client; Corner or Straight Surface of a Workstation?

A client of ours asked the following question today and this is worth talking about as a “learning moment” from OPC to you as Facility Manager, Designer or Dealer.

We have a client who is concerned that most of her users prefer corner units because it allows for more depth for monitors. But the designer is recommending moving the monitor to the 30″ deep work surface along the spine of the workstation. The designer would like to have some supporting information to bring back to the client.

Do you have any ergonomic info on:
• corner workstations
• optimal distance from eyes to monitor screen
• or anything else that you think would support this statement?

Optimal Performances Evidence Based Response;
Good afternoon
Thank you for your inquiry about the use of the Corner of the workstation.
In this case the Designer will benefit from reviewing the science of ergonomics as the use of the Corner is indeed preferred by employees for very good ergonomic reasons
1. The use of the corner allows for visual distance to be individualized to each person – ie. having greater depth in the corner allows for a greater range of visual correction distances
2. The use of the corner when filled with the Knoll Surfboard allows the chair to be pushed in further to allow the individual to derive full benefit of back support including the lumbar support
3. The use of the corner when filled with the Knoll Surfboard allows the chair to be pushed in fully to the desk allowing either the armrests of the chair to be used to lower static loads and/or the use of the full corner over a larger surface area of the forearms thus preventing mechanical loads over the soft tissue of the arms
4. Our follow up research with clients as per the job demands and work flow studies finds the use of the Corner allows for other tasks to occur in a distinct section of the workstation in particular where workstation sizes/footprints are becoming smaller over time.

Please feel free to also use and have your designers use the OPC Blog as I outline these evidence based facts on a regular basis at OptimalPerformanceBlog@WordPress.com There are currently 140 articles in the Blog that are aimed at anyone with questions such as this.
Having said the above there is also not an issue in allowing employees to use the straight section of the desk – good design using ergonomic principals should allow the employees to be able to safely work on either surface with ergonomics being at the fore.

Jane and The Ergonomic Team at OPC Inc.

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