Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin June 2017

June 16, 2017

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 14/06/2017. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.


HeaderImage06-2017In comments about Clerkenwell Design Week 2015, I noted that ergonomics is an essential subject for some, a relevant topic for others and a misunderstood and inconsequential distraction for the rest! In this short article, I shall be expressing my subjective observations about how this is evolving in wider workplace attitudes as reflected during CDW2017. [more]


DSE_training2We still have some space on our 2 day DSE Assessor Course in London on Wednesday and Thursday June 28-29, 2017. Once again, this will be delivered for us by Human Applications and the content has recently been reviewed and extensively updated. The location is the boardroom of the Pledge/Edge Design showroom in Clerkenwell – an ideal venue close to Farringdon station. To find out more and/or register your interest, visit our booking page at ergonomics.events.


online_resourcesAs well as working on significant plans to update our website, we have been reviewing and updating our literature and resources recently. There have also been some additions to the collection. You probably know most of our ‘purple pages’. These all relate to our traditional activities in the ergonomics, occupational health and safety market. ‘Blue’ materials are targeted at broader workplace requirements and project needs. The whole portfolio is freely available to download here.


internet_of_things_smart_buildings250pxAt the recent ThinkFM conference, there were some thought-provoking presentations about how technology continues to influence workplace design and management. Whilst Agile Working is still the ‘hottest topic’ at the moment, future technologies and some very clever products that already exist will change the way we occupy buildings and, more significantly, the way our buildings respond to our occupancy. Most dramatic of all was the keynote presentation by Ben Waber of Humanyze who gave us some stunning insights into behavioural analytics.


Tech_contact_lensRegular readers will know that I love technology! As well as ThinkFM, I have attended a number of recent presentations about new developments that impact our behaviour and, indeed, our lives. However, I frequently find myself torn between thinking ‘this is brilliant and really useful’ and ‘do I really want to surrender so much information about myself?’. I know there is nothing I can do about it but my privacy seems to be constantly eroded and I have no control. However, there is one technology this Grumpy Old Man is really looking forward to: Smart Contact Lenses! Wouldn’t it save a lot of embarrassment to see a person’s name appear beside them in augmented reality as they walk towards you?

Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin May 2017

May 12, 2017

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 10/05/2017. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.


HeaderImage05-2017To meet the needs of new and existing client contracts, we require more workplace assessors throughout the UK. We are happy to consider full- or part-time employment applications as well as self-employed assessors looking for ad hoc work. In the first instance, please email me (in absolute confidence) with details of your previous experience, geographical region covered and area(s) of expertise (DSE, dyslexia, vision or hearing impairment, etc.). We will even consider you if you have limited experience (or none at all) but would like to be trained for such a position. As Investors in People Gold, we have an excellent training programme for new personnel so just tell us why you think you are culturally aligned with Osmond Ergonomics and what skills you could bring to the role.


dseWe have scheduled another 2 day DSE Assessor Course in London on Wednesday and Thursday June 28-29, 2017. Once again, this will be delivered for us by Human Applications and the content has recently been reviewed and extensively updated. We are grateful to Pledge/Edge Design for providing the boardroom of their Clerkenwell showroom – an ideal venue close to Farringdon station. To find out more and/or register your interest, visit our booking page at ergonomics.events.


chairSalesWith the end of our financial year imminent, we have a small number of ex-demo and sample chairs available for disposal. To create warehouse space and reduce time during our annual stock-take, we are offering some highly competitive prices as long as we can clear them before the end of May. All chairs are in very good condition and will be offered with a warranty of at least two years. Some of these are being offered at less than half the original retail price and will be ideal for your home office or even as a gift. The stock list is quite short and all enquiries will be dealt with on a first-come, first-served basis. Just email us to request a copy.


webinars2017You probably already know that we run regular public webinars on a core range of topics. You may be less aware that we also run bespoke, closed webinars for corporate clients and associations. These events can be tailored to your specific needs and provide an excellent medium to address a geographically dispersed audience in a focussed way. They save significant travel and hosting costs and can be scheduled, prepared and delivered remarkably quickly. To find more about the benefits of this form of communication and explore ideas, contact Stuart Entwistle, our Training Manager.


ciehf_2017My favourite presentation of the recent CIEHF 2017 Conference (which we also sponsored) was the plenary by David Watts, entitled ‘The spreading influence of human factors in design … it’s just called something else’. David’s company, CCD Design & Ergonomics, employs both designers and human factors specialists in a variety of significant projects worldwide and it was fascinating to hear how these two functions collaborate (not always eagerly!) to produce amazing outcomes. Much of what they do is what I call ‘stealth ergonomics’, a concept we have deployed for many years. Sometimes the best way to deliver good ergonomics is not to mention that it’s ergonomics!


ergoexpoAfter much deliberation, I shall be a delegate again this year. I have missed the last two events for family reasons but was unsure about how well I might cope with Las Vegas in August since daytime temperatures can reach around 40C! Having made the commitment, I have also been granted a discount code to share. If, therefore, you are thinking of booking a full conference package, use code GUY17 for a $75 discount. If you do not plan to attend, I shall provide a report in due course. I am always fascinated by the differences between US and European approaches to ergonomics and, if there is a conversation hiatus, we can just discuss international politics!

Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin April 2017

April 13, 2017

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 12/04/2017. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.


HeaderImage04-2017Following my recent ‘Lies, damned lies and statistics’ comments, I am grateful to Jay Kuo (@nycjayjay) for a Tweet that helped me focus on one of the key issues about misinformation. Why is April 1st the only day of the year that we question the reliability of what we read online?

Whilst we are all particularly cautious about news stories on April 1st, many  (perhaps even most?) of us are guilty during the rest of the year of seeing something online and taking it at face value without much thought about its origin or legitimacy. Then, having passively accepted its reliability, we share it with friends and colleagues! [more]


web_designWe know that ergonomics.co.uk is in need of a major design overhaul. We make frequent detail changes and updates but we are now planning a complete makeover. We shall be working on this over the next few months. We already have many ideas for its appearance, navigability and content but we welcome further suggestions. Is there a particular feature you would like us to include? Or have you seen a specific web site (not necessarily in our industry) that ‘ticks all the boxes’ for you? Please email us any ideas or hyperlinks. All responders will receive a small gift and one of you will win a Red Letter Day voucher.


ciehfConferenceThe next event in my conference calendar is CIEHF’s Ergonomics & Human Factors 2017 in Daventry.  We do not exhibit at this event but I attend as a delegate and it is a great opportunity to learn about the latest thinking and catch up with the leading (UK and worldwide) individuals in the profession. We are also sponsoring the first day’s plenary lecture by David Watts of CCD. In recent years, the conference has gone from strength to strength and I have been delighted to see the continuing high academic standards balanced with an increasing mix of more practical case study presentations.


PhysioFirstSymposiumFor me, the most inspiring element of the recent annual Physio First conference was the Friday ‘Groundbreaking Goal 9 Symposium’ which explored the scope for creating a co-operative of private practice UK physiotherapists. Under the chairmanship of Pam Simpson, the executive has some exciting plans for the organisation to address the commercial and cultural demands of its members. At the AGM, I was appointed a Vice-President of Physio First. This is a significant honour and privilege and we look forward to working even more closely with the organisation and its members. More news soon.


tvWell, hardly! However, my LinkedIn posting of the interview I recorded at the Health & Wellbeing exhibition has been liked and commented on by people as far afield as New Zealand and the USA. I learned a lot from this, most notably the conspicuous fact that I have no future in television! Many thanks to Employment Innovation TV for creating this: is it obvious it was completely unscripted? At least it was not too full of ‘ums’ and ‘errs’ – was that me or very professional editing? If you are not a LinkedIn user, you can also find the video here.

Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin March 2017

March 10, 2017

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 08/03/2017. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.


HeaderImage03-2017The expression popularised by Mark Twain (and found elsewhere in publications dating back to the late nineteenth century) is as relevant today as it ever was. Since the start of the year, I have learned that ‘post-truth’ was the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2016, the ‘10,000 steps a day’ mantra has little or no research basis (and may actually be harmful for some people), diesel cars are an environmental disaster and *X% of #Twitter/Facebook users treat social media as their primary news source. I shall completely avoid any references to ‘fake news’ and the use of Twitter in politics! Focussing just on the world of ergonomics and human factors, it has been troubling me for some time that it is very hard to be ‘an informed individual’ in a world of sound bites, unsubstantiated ‘facts’, misrepresented or inadequate research and marketing gloss. The whole sit-stand debate is a classic example of this. Does this confusion bother you too? Have you found a way to filter the nonsense? Should I just get a life and move on? I shall be blogging about this in the near future and welcome any thoughts or observations.
* insert any number between 28% and 62% – # insert social media channel of your choice


physio_firstAs we return to this event for the first time in a few years, we have been thinking about what services we can offer private practice physiotherapists, especially those who are unfamiliar with the Occupational Health demands of the workplace. We are therefore working on a series of workshops to provide a more contextual understanding of workplace musculo-skeletal issues and ways to support and improve the working conditions of those who suffer. If you are attending the conference, please come and talk to us on Stands 36 and 37.


sit-stand-plethoraAt least once a week, I receive notification from yet another Chinese manufacturer that they have introduced a new sit-stand adaptor. This usually prompts me to play ‘spot the clone’ in marketing literature and web sites! Amongst this array of (quite similar) choices, we still believe the Ergotron Workfit-T is the most elegant and stable option in most cases but products from the Far East are improving all the time and we now offer the Motus 1000 as a budget alternative. If a full sit-stand desk is not practical (due, perhaps, to bench furniture), these are certainly worth considering.


stockholmIf you have not already seen it, you can read my full report from the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair here. In a country where human factors are an integral contributor to product development, it is fascinating to observe how design and ergonomics merge. If you just want to look at the pictures, you can do that here. Frustratingly, the most exciting product I saw during my visit was a computer mouse that was not on display and I am unable to tell you about (yet)! Watch this space for full details in a few months’ time.


PostureGuidanceWhen we announced the 20th Anniversary of our Posture Guidance in the January eBulletin, we invited existing users to send samples of old editions. There have been many incarnations of this document and I am delighted to report that Amanda Jones of Lothian Occupational Health and Safety Services sent me a copy of the 2004 version! In those days, we were still using representations of CRT monitors and there were no mini-keyboards, laptops stands or sit-stand desk images. However, the underlying guidance remains unchanged after all this time.

Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin February 2017

February 10, 2017

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 08/02/2017. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.


headerimage02-2017Our free evening seminar in London on February 23rd provides an opportunity to see the new app-enabled Axia Smart Active chair and hear the latest thinking about sitting, standing and movement. Confused about mixed messages and bewildering reports in the press and social media? Here is your opportunity to hear an impartial overview of the latest research from Stephen Bowden of Morgan Maxwell. You can find the full programme, invitation and online booking facilities here.


healthandwellbeing2017If you are attending the Health & Wellbeing Exhibition & Conference at the NEC, Birmingham next month, be sure to come and visit us on Stand 113 (just inside the main entrance). New products have been arriving since the start of the year so you can be sure to find solutions you have not seen before. Sit-stand devices on display will include our Motus 1000, 2000 & 3000 ranges and we shall also have new accessories and seating. Whether you are coming with specific issues to address or just want to update your knowledge, let us know you are coming and we shall have your free gift ready when you arrive!


physio-firstIt is a while since we last exhibited at the annual Physio First conference. Since that time, there have been dramatic changes in the drive and vision of its executive and members. In conversations over the last few years, it has become clear to me that the ‘business’ of private practice physiotherapy in the UK is changing rapidly and Physio First is leading that change through the 9 Goals of its five year business plan. We want to support the development and growth of the organisation and its members and we shall therefore be back as exhibitors and participants this year!


input_devices_latestWe are constantly being approached by manufacturers offering us new products. We reject some of these just by viewing their web site, others are reviewed in our monthly WoW Factor process, most are rejected and a small selection survives to join our portfolio. Whilst some of our competitors keep adding new products, regardless of ergonomics merit, we prefer to restrict our selection so that customers can be confident that what we offer has been pre-qualified before introduction. This month we have already rejected a handful of Chinese sit-stand adaptors but we are delighted to see new input devices from Contour and Bakker Elkhuizen. Expect to see them on our web site soon!


osergresourcesAs you probably know, we regularly update and add to our range of downloadable pdfs and online information. There are many ways to access this but we have recently created a single point of reference. Whether you are looking for our social media pages, Posture Guidance, handheld devices advice, training information or links to lots more valuable information, bit.ly/OsErgResources takes you straight to it.

Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin January 2017

January 13, 2017

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 11/01/2017. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.


headerimage01-2017Back in October, I highlighted the expected arrival of this comprehensive assembly of articles and insights from some of Europe’s most knowledgeable and highly respected ergonomists (oh yes, and me!). It is now available. Edited by Steve Shorrock and Claire Williams, it contains about 30 chapters covering offices, healthcare, aviation, construction, agriculture, military, nuclear operations and much more. The editors have achieved their declared objective to create a wide-ranging publication about human factors and ergonomics as actually applied by practitioners in the real world. What I did not fully expect was the diversity of topics it covers and how much you can learn from these. Even if you have been involved in HF/E for many years (more than 20 in my case), there are many other areas of activity that you probably know little about and these are brought to life by specialists. These chapters provide real insights into the profession, its practitioners and the enormous contribution that HF/E can make to our everyday lives. It is also an excellent book if you are thinking about HF/E for a career and want to explore what fields of activity are most likely to appeal to you. For more insights, visit the book’s web site.


postureguidanceNow in its umpteenth iteration, our Posture Guidance has been available since 1997 and the latest update is now available. Countless thousands of copies have been handed out as printed documents or downloaded as pdfs over the years and updated versions have introduced mini keyboards, flat screens, laptop stands and, of course, sit-stand desks. Do you have the oldest copy still in use? Just send me a photo and let us see what we find! Every participant will receive a small gift. Please respond by January 31, 2017.


healthandwellbeing2017We shall be exhibiting in the same location at this year’s event on March 7-8, 2017: Stand 113 just inside the hall entrance. As always, we shall have a range of new products and services to discuss and we look forward to seeing old and new friends. As in previous years, we also have a small number of FREE conference delegate passes to give away in advance. To take part in the draw for one of these, simply email us your contact details by January 31, 2017. For more information about the event, see the web site.


stockholmfurniturefairSweden kicks off the international exhibition season with an event that is primarily about aesthetics but, being Scandinavian, includes plenty of ergonomics as well. Stockholm Furniture Fair on February 7-11, 2017 is part of Stockholm Design Week and the home exhibition for many of the ergonomics brands we know in the UK. I look forward to witnessing the new launches. I shall be providing live information from the event through our various Social Media channels and will blog my observations in mid-February.

Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin December 2016

December 16, 2016

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 14/12/2016. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.


headerimage12-2016As the end of the year approaches, we welcome the festive season and celebrate 7 years of uninterrupted monthly eBulletins. If you are a customer, it is the time for us to thank you once again for your continued support. In a highly competitive market, we thank you for valuing our commitment to customer service and quality products. We really appreciate your business. We also know that many of our regular readers are not customers but do specify and recommend us to clients and others. This is another valued source of business and, if you are not doing so already, we invite you to explore other ways to keep in touch such as social media or our many webinars and training events. Whether this time of year is important to you for religious or family reasons – or just the chance to eat and drink too much and fall asleep in front of the TV! – we wish you a very happy time and look forward to speaking to you in 2017.


axia_smart_activeIs this the future of seated wellbeing? BMA have addressed the ‘sit less, move more’ conundrum with the latest version of their Smart Chair technology. We believe the Axia Smart Active chair is unique worldwide in delivering Bluetooth connectivity to a smartphone app, creating a personal, multi-functional posture coach. Sensors in the chair seatpan enable the app to track movement, sitting time and posture changes (or lack of them) and it prompts to encourage dynamic chair use. It also gives personalised tips and practical advice according to the individual’s behaviour. For further information, view the video or contact us.


dorsetairambulanceIt is many years since we last sent Christmas cards but we still associate this seasonal donation loosely with giving up the practice and spending the money more effectively. Our personnel are invited to nominate their chosen charity and then we all vote to decide on the recipient. For 2016, our Christmas donation goes to Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. With an average cost of £2,500 per mission and no funding except charitable donations, we all believe this is a very worthy cause.


appsThis is a little off-piste compared to my usual items but I use a wide variety of tablet/smartphone apps (more than 150 at the last count) and I thought it might be of interest to share those I use most often or find most useful. This is not intended to be one of those ‘ten things that changed my life’ lists. If that is what you are looking for, try GQ’s 100 Best Things in the World Right Now. By contrast, I hope my short list contains at least one or two that you do not already know about that might potentially save you time or money or make your life a little easier.  [more]


price_risesIt is common for manufacturers to propose price rises at this time of year. You will be aware (and I have mentioned before) that Sterling/Dollar and Sterling/Euro fluctuations have impacted everyone and we expect price rises from all our suppliers. Some increases are significant (although all look trivial compared to Microsoft and Apple!). To minimise increases, most manufacturers are looking at product-by-product reviews rather than a systemic increase. Price updates will be published once we have consolidated the information we have, but I would strongly recommend that you contact us as soon as possible if you are planning or budgeting for significant purchases in 2017. The sooner we know, the more we can do to help.

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