Tips for National Bike to Work Day


When’s the last time you dusted off that old bike in your garage? May 19 is National Bike to Work Day and to celebrate, we think you should give your two-wheeler a tune-up and take it on a field trip… to work. It might seem intimidating at first, but we’re here to boost your confidence and give you all the tools you need to get to and from work safely.

National Bike to Work Day

How to bike to work safely

No matter where you live, bike safety is a big issue. The idea of competing with hoards of rush hour traffic can be intimidating, even for seasoned cyclists.

To begin, visit Google Maps to find route recommendations, including designated bike paths that you can follow.

Next, brush up on the rules of the road. Just like motorists, cyclists must stop at red lights, yield to pedestrians and signal their turns. But unlike cars, bicycles are often excepted on one-way streets. Check your municipal bike code for local rules. For example, in Toronto, you must have a working bell and bike light. And though not mandatory, we can’t stress the importance of a helmet enough.

The benefits of biking to work

Decrease your travel time. Really. For those living in bumper-to-bumper driving areas, this is especially true.

Get fit. This part is a no-brainer. By cycling for just three hours a week — or less than 20-minutes each way to work — you can decrease your risk of heart disease by 50%.

Boost brain power. Not only has daily exercise been proven to prevent cognitive decline and memory loss, but in a study, two-thirds of employers said that the cyclists in their office were more productive than non-cyclists. Biking to work is just one of many ways we encourage our employees to work well.

Decrease your ecological footprint. Transportation — cars, trucks and buses — accounts for nearly 30% of North America’s greenhouse gas emissions. Taking two wheels to work instead of four is an easy way to do your part in slashing that statistic.

Workstation Ergonomics: How to Set Up a Healthy Desk


By now, you know that poor office posture can lead to repetitive stress injuries and overall health issues. But you might still be wondering how exactly to correct the problem. Here, you’ll find a handy guide to help you adjust your way to workplace health.

Bends

When adjusting your monitor, chair and desk, the right angle in your best friend. For example, your knees should be bent at ninety degrees, with your thighs resting comfortably and your feet planted on the floor.

The right angle is also what you’re aiming for with mouse and keyboard adjustment. Your upper arms should rest comfortably at your sides, with your elbows bending at ninety degrees. From there, your forearms rest on the desk, never over-reaching for the mouse or keyboard. If in order to reach your keyboard, you need to move your upper arm away from your side, it’s too far. Bring the keyboard and mouse closer.

hand-wrist-posture

The final right angle to look for is in your torso. When you sit, do your hips stack directly under your shoulders and neck? If you’re slouching or leaning forward, the chair could be to blame. Look for something that supports your low and upper back. That way, you can lean comfortably into your chair while maintaining an upright posture.

Heights

To get started, your chair height should be equal to the length of your calves, allowing your knees to bend at ninety degrees.

The height of your desk should allow your arms to access the mouse and keyboard at a ninety degree angle whether sitting or standing, so what does that look like?

For a sitting desk, look for something with a height around your pelvic region.

sitting-posture

For a standing desk, you’ll want something that tops out around your naval.

sit-stand-setup

Monitor height is a crucial part of our muscular well-being, but so many people get it wrong. The top of your screen should align with your mouth area, and angle upward at about 30 to 40 degrees. This will allow your neck to stay upright, with your chin slightly tucked.

A proper monitor can be especially tricky to visualize, since it’s such a far-cry from how most of us use our computers. For a great visual aid and measurements customized to your body type, check out Computing Comfort.

Complete Guide to Office Chair Features


There is no question that if you’re most likely spending a good chunk of your day sitting on one – it should be the right one for you. Choosing the right office chair is critical for many reasons including comfort and health, but it isn’t always easy. With the many different features available you want to make sure you’re getting everything you need in a chair. That’s why we are here to help outline the different features in office chairs so that you can make the right choice!

First, start by noting your specific chair needs and any areas of concern you may have. This could be certain tilt motions if you need you chair to move in specific directions, or health concerns such as lower back pains. Take note of these needs and it will help you filter through the features below to find your perfect chair.

Seat Height

Most ergonomic chairs have the ability to adjust the height of the seat. You want to make sure your feet are flat on the ground when your knees are bent in a ninety degree angle. In order to do so, make sure you chair offers a seated height range that corresponds with your own height. Seated heights from 15″ to 22″ will accommodate users from 5’0″ tall to 6’4″ tall. Not all chairs offer such a large range of seating height, so make sure you pay close attention of the height range of the chair you are considering.

Image result for office chair seat height

Seat Size

When you sit back in your chair, the back of your knees should not make contact with the seat. The gap between the back of your knees and the chair seat should be approximately 3 fingers wide. If the gap is too small and the seat is too long, there is a risk of experiencing an increase in pressure on the back and knees, which can lead to blood flow issues. If the gap is too big and the seat is too short, there is a risk of getting too little support from the chair and therefore increasing pressure on the back of the mid-thigh.

Adjust your seat depth so there is a two to four fingers width between the front of the seat and back of your knees

Back Height

There are three different back height options for chairs: low-back, mid-back and high-back.

Low-Back Chair: This height usually ends at the users shoulder blades. This type of chair is great for one who needs lower back support or is active at their desks and constantly leaning forward.

Medium-Back Chair: This height focuses on the support of the mid-lower back. The back of the chair will come up to the user’s shoulders or slightly below. The medium-back chair is great for someone who needs a good deal of back support and is usually at a computer for most of the day.

High-Back Chair: This option offers more support for the shoulder blades. The seat will come up over the shoulders and may feature a headrest. This option is great for those who suffer from shoulder problems and need additional support.

seatheight

Armrest Modifications

First you need to choose if you want armrests on your chair or not. Those who need assistance getting in or out of their chair, or need arm support for certain tasks, such as reading, should make sure their chair has armrests. These armrests can be height and width adjustable, allowing you to lock the armrests in certain positions.

arm-height-width

Chair Tilt Mechanisms

A chair mechanism is what helps control how the seat and back move. There are two mechanisms that are the most popular among office seating:

Synchro-Tilt Mechanism: This option connects the seat and back in order to tilt simultaneously as you lean back. The synchro-tilt offers a few less adjustability settings than the multi-function mechanism, and does not allow the seat and back to tilt independently of each other. However, this option is suitable for someone who is comfortable in fewer positions or lesser movements.

Synchro-tilt ergonomic mechanism

Multi-Function Mechanism: This option is the preferred option due to the wide range of adjustability it offers. The back and seat tilts can adjust independently of each other or together and you are able to lock the chair in many different positions.

Multi-tilt mechanisms offer maximum adjustment flexibility

Task: This is the most basic mechanism to choose and is usually limited to just the adjustability of the seat height and/or seat depth. Task chairs do not feature a tilt option and therefore discourages movement, making this chair best suited for a more simplistic use such as in a home office or conference room.

Fabric

Mesh: Mesh office chairs are quite popular and also very modern looking. The mesh fabric allows for maximum ventilation along the users back. This fabric keeps you cool while you work and is also very durable due to the strong weaves of fabric it takes to create the mesh.

Leather: The leather office chair gives off a prestige, executive image. It may not be the most affordable of the chair fabrics, but the durability makes it worth it. Leather can last a very long time and is very easy to clean. Spilled coffee or tea? Nothing a simple wipe can’t fix.

Wool: This is one of the more popular choices of chair fabric due to the endless amount of colours, designs and textures that are available. Wool also tends to be much more affordable, especially compared to leather. However, the fabric is not as easy to clean and therefore requires regular maintenance to keep it looking good as new.

chairswatches

As you can see, there are many different features and options when considering a new office chair. After noting all your chair needs, it will be easy to identify which chair has the right features for you.