Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin March 2018

March 16, 2018

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 14/03/2018. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.


HeaderImage03-2018An enormous amount has happened in the world of workplace ergonomics since we published our first monthly eBulletin in December 2009. We thought this, our 100th newsletter, would be an ideal opportunity to reflect on some of the key products and events in the last 8+ years, and indeed for a little nostalgia further back in time. We finish with an Oldest Product competition. After this month’s reminiscences, next month’s eBulletin will be looking to the future with a new look, an overview of our new brand extension and some pointers for our new web site (due for completion at the beginning of April).


national_tourBefore the nostalgia, please take a peak into the future with details of our national roadshow, bringing our Product Showcase and new training opportunities to venues near you. Leicester, Southampton and London are already in the diary for April and May. Details of dates and locations in Bristol, Glasgow and Leeds will follow shortly. This unique format enables you to compare the latest products with best-sellers and/or update your knowledge about DSE-related processes and products. Download the Roadshow brochure here or check the diary (and book) at ergonomics.events.


LaptopStands03-2018Do you remember the first laptop stands? They were bulky, acrylic, fragile and not really portable! Since that time, we have seen a variety of products  (such as FlexTop and ErgoQ) made of the aluminium laminate, Hylite®. As global volumes increase, a growing number are manufactured from injection-moulded plastic. No doubt 3D-printing will bring opportunities for more bespoke or intricate designs in the near future. We have also just finished assessing a new range of adjustable stands for use with Apple and other laptops where the screens do not open right back. More information soon (or contact us for a preview).


contour_mouse_rangeIt became clear early on that standard computer mice encouraged bad habits and postures. We were early resellers of the Contour range of mice which were originally available in three left-handed and four right-handed sizes. The XL model was more like a rat than a mouse! The majority of today’s ‘ergo’ mouse products evolved from those original designs. Contour then shifted its focus to the RollerMouse concept and we were the UK’s first retailer of the original model. As the RollerMouse went through various incarnations, little happened with the renamed Perfit mouse family until the recent announcement of the Unimouse. A left-handed model is on the way.


sit-stand-oldAlthough we have been selling these (and using them in our own offices) for nearly twenty years, they have only become ‘big news’ since 2014 when the ‘Sitting is the new smoking’ slogan first appeared. Since that time, I have been shouting about the misunderstandings and misrepresentation that comes from grabbing soundbite headlines without reading or understanding the underlying research. My last blog (rant!) on this topic was written just before the most recent research news suggesting standing is not the panacea some represent it to be. There’s a surprise! However, many are also applying the same sort of soundbite misunderstanding to these new headlines, making my blog (written before the research publication) even more apposite!


organiserWe recently encountered a client still using an example of this Organiser – our first ever product! It was a Mk II version so probably 17-18 years old. Can you match that? Or maybe you have something even older. We are looking for the oldest ergonomics product purchased from us and still in daily use. The oldest verified item we can find will win a £150 Red Letter Day voucher. Don’t worry about paperwork: we are not looking for a 20 year old invoice! Just tell us about the product and we can probably verify the details. To take part, send a product photo to me with details of when you think it was purchased.

Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin February 2018

February 19, 2018

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 14/02/2018. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.


HeaderImage02-2018We shall be exhibiting again at the NEC in March. We have changed location this year since we found our position by the entrance was easy to locate but too much of a thoroughfare. Find us at our new location on Stand 75. As well as key new products, we shall be discussing our latest IIRSM-approved training offers and free regional roadshows. We shall also have our new brand extension to discuss and how that fits with our plans for the future.


roadshow_mapThe first three dates and locations – Leicester, Southampton and London (Barbican) – are now in the diary. More will follow in due course. All venues are close to train/motorway connections. On the first day at each venue, we shall be offering a free Product Showcase. This will give visitors the opportunity to handle and compare the latest innovations alongside established best-sellers. To accommodate as many people as possible in each region, the Showcase will be available from 2pm until 8pm. On the second day in each region, we shall provide two half day training sessions. The training will include practical workshop sessions. Discounts are also available for members of various professional bodies. Full details at ergonomics.events.


sit-standMany of you will know that I am both an advocate of sit-stand desks (with proper training) and a critic of some of the publicity surrounding them. Our friends at Cardinus asked me to write an article about this for the Winter/Spring edition of their Connect magazine. This gave me the opportunity to explore the history of the current interest in sit-stand and suggest ways employers can help to improve wellbeing with or without them. The article is now available as a blog.


rebrand250pxThe design of our new website will be central to our future marketing. The development has been a long and demanding process because it has included a strategic review of the current business and our future direction. As a result, we shall be announcing a further extension of our brand over the coming weeks. This is an exciting development for us, encapsulating what we have always done, focussing what we have already started to do and creating a platform for what we plan to do. If you are not attending Health & Wellbeing, expect full details in the next eBulletin – our 100th issue!


subscribe250pxI expect, like me, you are tired of hearing about GDPR. My apologies for raising it yet again but we still have lots of people who have not resubscribed. I know we shall lose some recipients but I hope you will not be one of them! It will only take a couple of minutes to register here and, as an extra inducement, we shall be holding a prize draw for all registrants on April 30th with a 128Gb iPad 9.7 as the prize. There will also be a monthly prize of a Contour Unimouse. (Last month’s Unimouse winner was SP of North London). Don’t worry if you have already resubscribed: you will still be in the draws! The reregistration submission will send you a confirmation email to complete the process. Please check your spam/junk directories if you do not receive it.

Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin January 2018

January 12, 2018

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 10/01/2018. You can view older eBulletins  here and register to receive them monthly.


HeaderImage01-2018As you can see below, we are launching a handful of new services for 2018 and there is plenty more to come. Our long-awaited web site redesign really has been (and continues to be) a monumental task and will finally be launched in the second quarter of the year. It will be much more than a simple shopfront and has involved a lot of strategic thinking about what we shall need to represent the business effectively in the foreseeable future. There will also be some slight branding changes to coincide. Exciting! More soon.


regional_trainingThis year’s regional training tour is now taking shape rapidly. The programme, featuring IIRSM-approved courses, will begin in Southampton in March, followed by London and Leicester. Further venues around the country will be scheduled to follow on promptly from the first three. For this tour, we shall be offering two half day sessions from the portfolio: Options when Considering Reasonable Adjustments and Workstation Postures & Seating. Either course may be booked individually and, for those attending both sessions on the same day, lunch will be included free of charge. Costs will vary slightly depending on the venue. To ensure you are advised as soon as dates and pricing are confirmed, register here (without obligation).


roadshowTo coincide with the training tour, we shall also be offering product roadshows at each of the venues on the previous day. This will enable you to compare all the latest products side-by-side and benchmark them against established best sellers and your existing personal favourites. These free events will run during the afternoon and into the evening to suit self-employed consultants who prefer to visit outside office hours. To express interest in these free roadshows, register here.


reviewersAnother new service to be introduced this year is our programme of end-user product reviews. Participants will be sent a new product for assessment over a four week period. They will then be asked to complete a short online survey. On completion of the questionnaire, they will be invited to keep the product if they like it. Since all products will have already been through our internal WoW-Factor assessment process, this represents an opportunity to get one of the best new products for free in exchange for a few minutes of your time. Click here to volunteer! The first three products for this new process are UltraboardUnimouse and G-Hold.


resubscribe_3Despite my previous entreaties in this newsletter, many recipients have still not reregistered to continue receiving it. We have to ask this to comply with the imminent new data protection regulations. I know we shall lose many subscribers but I am hoping to retain a few more! I really do appreciate your continued interest. It will only take a couple of minutes and, as an extra inducement, we shall be holding a prize draw for all registrants on April 30th with a 128Gb iPad 9.7 as the prize. There will also be a monthly prize of a Contour Unimouse between January and March. Don’t worry if you have already resubscribed: you will still be in the draws!

Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin December 2017

December 15, 2017

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 13/12/2017. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.


HeaderImage12-2017This edition commences our 9th year of monthly newsletters so it is time to send seasonal best wishes to all our readers and express our thanks for your continued support. It is a delight to have so many readers who have been with us for a long time and many more who are more recent subscribers. We know that hardly anybody reads every item of every issue and it is our intention that you should just pick out the items that interest you. We are extraordinarily grateful for the interaction and feedback we receive as well as any suggestions for topics or improvements in the future. If you have not yet resubscribed to join the new database, you can do so here.


g-hold_gripAs you probably know, we have been concerned for some time about  pain and discomfort issues arising from smartphone and tablet use. I found G-Hold at ErgoExpo in Las Vegas in August but it is actually a British product! It provides a simple, highly effective way to hold any tablet comfortably with minimum effort. There is even a version for the Microsoft Surface Pro. You can find more information here. (Watch out for our great promotion in January!).


prices_risingSince the Brexit referendum, the pound has crumbled against both the Euro and the Dollar. This and raw material price rises have impacted the manufacturing industry and we are seeing significant increases planned for 2018. After several years of 0 – 3% increases, a 5% rise appears to be about average for next year, with some products rising as much as 8%! If you have any projects or purchases planned in the next few months, please contact us before the year end so that we can log your interest and ring-fence your costs.


iirsmOur first IIRSM Approved Training Course in 2018 will be Do you want to be an assessor? at our own offices in Ferndown on Friday January 12th. This half day course addresses all the key questions for someone who is considering involvement in the DSE assessment field – or who has already done a couple of assessments and wants to learn more. The good news is that the course is completely free! The bad news is we only have a couple of places left so place allocation will be strictly first come, first served. To find out more, contact our Training Manager.


hopeforfoodlogoLike many companies, we make a donation each year instead of sending Christmas cards. We always focus on local charities to ensure that any contribution benefits our own Dorset community. This year, our mobile phone contract is being renewed in December so we are also contributing additional funds from the sale of mobiles that are being replaced. Our charity choice this year is Hope for Food, a Bournemouth charity run entirely by volunteers, who provide hot meals for the homeless and disadvantaged.

eBulletin – Osmond Ergonomics November 2017

November 10, 2017

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 08/11/2017. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.


HeaderImage11-2017Mental health is a major issue for many of our clients and we have been exploring ways to deliver meaningful, valuable training to meet those needs. I am therefore very pleased to announce that our first Wellbeing in the Workplace Masterclass is now ready for delivery. It has been developed in collaboration with The Colour Works with whom we have been working internally for nearly twenty years. Using the Insights Discovery model, the half-day course incorporates an innovative approach to the key issues and supplies the tools and motivation to trigger immediate action. If you would like to know more about how we can deliver this programme within your organisation, please contact me.


accuratus_curveSince the withdrawal of the Microsoft Arc, we have been searching extensively for a quality wireless (R/F) mini keyboard. The choice of Bluetooth products continues to grow but there seems to be much less manufacturer commitment to the ‘dongle wireless’ format in a small footprint prodcut. The good news is that we have finally found a keyboard that we are very happy to promote. It uses scissor-action keys for excellent tactile feedback and scored very well in our WoW Factor review process. You can find it on our web site here.


resubscribeWith this issue (No. 96), we have completed 8 years of uninterrupted monthly newsletters so I am very keen to carry on! As I have mentioned previously, we are asking all recipients to resubscribe to ensure we comply with the new GDPR regulations in 2018. This is my third and final request for you to subscribe to our new database before we close the old one. To maintain uninterrupted delivery, if you have not already done so, please take a couple of minutes to register for the new database here. The reregistration submission will send you a confirmation email to complete the process. Please check your spam/junk directories if you do not receive it. Many thanks for your continued interest and support.


aplusaLooking back over this year, I have reported from ErgoExpo in Las Vegas, Preventica in Paris and the Furniture & Light Fair in Stockholm, as well as the Physio First and CIEHF conferences and Health & Wellbeing exhibition in the UK. Unfortunately, there is really nothing new to talk about from Dusseldorf! There may have been revolutionary new designs in protective footwear or reflective tabards but these were not areas of interest for me and the office ergonomics displays were uninspiring. Whilst there were several attractive stands and I had time to catch up with a few ‘ergo friends’, there was nothing new on the product front. I did, however, find a brilliant promotional gift for our 2018 events (more info soon)!


training_workshop_250pxWe are still formulating our programme which will now start in the New Year in order to allow enough time for advance advertising and promotion. The plan is to offer half day sessions accompanied by a product showcase at the same venue. The showcase will be available in the afternoon on the same day and will give visitors a hands-on opportunity with a wide variety of products. At the moment, London, Southampton and Bristol are the first definite locations. We are still waiting for further feedback before adding other venues. If you have not already expressed interest (this is not a commitment), please take a couple of minutes to do so here.

Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin October 2017

October 13, 2017

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 11/10/2017. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.


PrintWe are very pleased to announce our IIRSM Approved Organisation Status, together with approval of the first five of our training sessions. These are available to employers for in-house delivery but we are also planning to start scheduling regional workshops around the country over the next few months. Our most popular one hour course is Workstation Postural Awareness whilst our newest half day course, Do you want to be an Assessor?, is aimed at medical professionals and others who are thinking about a full- or part-time career as a DSE assessor. It provides trainees with an overview of the legislative background, assessment process and equipment available, as well as pointing to suitable further training and qualifications. For our full training overview, click here.


office_athletesLast month, I attended the International Partner Event at Office Athletes’ head office in the Netherlands. Office Athletes is the new name for Bakker’s parent company and this now embraces software and research as well as the many ergonomics accessories we know and love. In addition to some exciting new product announcements (more information soon!), we also heard news of their current and future research plans. Introducing the neuropsychology lessons learned from elite sports and applying machine learning, would it be possible to develop software that responds to our mood, activity and performance to help us increase productivity? The current answer is ‘not yet’ – but watch this space!


workshopIf you are interested in the IIRSM Approved Training referred to above, you may be even more interested to know that we are planning to deliver these sessions at key venues around the country. In order to help us identify needs and locations, we welcome your assistance in identifying where the interest lies. Please take a couple of minutes to declare your interest by completing this form. This will not constitute an order or, indeed, any commitment on your part but will help us with our planning. As soon as we have some areas with critical mass, we shall start scheduling events.


resubscribe_2We talked about the new GDPR requirements last month so, if you have already re-registered, I apologise for banging on about it again! To ensure we comply with the imminent General Data Protection Regulation in Europe, we are asking ALL subscribers to reregister to ensure you continue to receive this monthly newsletter. To ensure uninterrupted delivery, please take a couple of minutes to register for the new database hereThe reregistration submission will send you a confirmation email to complete the process. Please check your spam/junk directories if you do not receive it. Many thanks for your continued interest and support.


demo_stockThe decorations are in the stores and the staff party brochures are arriving in the post so it must be nearly Christmas! If you are thinking about buying a comfortable work chair as a present for a loved one, now is the time to consider one of our ex-demonstration models at significant discounts. We have updated our list and there is a wide variety of models available, some at less than our original buying price. When you find what you are looking for, we can even hold it for you for delivery in December. However, this is very much a ‘when it’s gone, it’s gone’ list so don’t delay! You can find the latest list here.

Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin August 2017

August 11, 2017

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 09/08/2017. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.


HeaderImage08-2017It is ironical that perching, the ‘third way’ in the sit-stand conversation, first became topical a few decades ago during discussions about standing too much! Historically, there have been many logical applications for perching in manufacturing environments as a way to reduce the standing time for machine operators and process personnel without the productivity loss which can arise from frequent changes between sitting and standing. You will also see perching stools in galleries and museums so that attendants do not have to stand for their entire shift. [read more]


RollerMouseOfferIn conjunction with Contour Design, we are currently promoting our 30 day free trial offer. With no upfront payment, you can now try any of the Contour RollerMouse products and/or the Balance keyboard for up to thirty days before making your buying decision. The RollerMouse portfolio has been revised and extended again recently and the proven technology just keeps getting better! Simply complete the request form here and we will contact you to discuss the trial programme.


web_designI mentioned in April that we are working on a major redesign of ergonomics.co.uk. This project has grown significantly since we first started our internal discussions and it will now draw together all our existing websites and social media as well as integrating our full portfolio of products and services. Quite an achievement! Although the strategic plan is well advanced, we are still open to design ideas. Please email us any suggestions or hyperlinks to web sites you really like. All responders will receive a PopSocket and one of you will win a Red Letter Day voucher.


ergoexpoAs I write this, it is a short while until I fly to Las Vegas for the annual National Ergonomics Conference & ErgoExpo. For more than ten years, I have come to recognise the quizzical look that greets the statement ‘I have to go to Las Vegas for a conference’, but I really do not like the city much. Despite the excellent restaurants and proximity to the Grand Canyon, the ‘delights’ of 24 hour gambling and drinking hold little appeal. However, I look forward to interesting presentations and meeting old and new friends. The views and approaches will certainly be different from Paris! Expect a blog in September.

%d bloggers like this: