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10 TIPS TO CREATING A QUALITY HOME OFFICE

 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Following are 10 tips to creating a quality home office, by Paul Allie, Ergonomics Research, Steelcase Inc.:
 With more people doing more work than ever at home, there is a growing need to understand the elements of an effective, comfortable home office.
 Office workers who have joined the ranks of telecommuters -- or who are sole proprietors of home-based businesses -- will benefit from considering the physical factors that affect professional work life in the home. These include: posture, pacing the workload, lighting and the adaptability of furniture.
 The following 10 suggestions may be helpful when setting up or renovating a home office:
 1. If an entire room is not available, a specific space should be dedicated to work purposes. Here, a workspace can be designed with adequate privacy to accommodate a workstation tailored to the job.
 2. Since comfort and efficiency are compromised by inadequate workspace, a work surface must be large enough for computer components as well as reference materials and files.
 3. Furniture that supports good posture enhances work effectiveness. Seating should be height-adjustable and provide sufficient lower back support. Kitchen and dining room chairs do not provide that support. For computer work, the user's arms should be parallel to the floor; wrists should be straight when keyboarding or using a mouse.
 4. Telecommuters can gauge furniture heights by referencing furnishings in the company office. Some employers have developed a work-at-home policy describing the proper workstation set-up.
 5. Home office workers should learn to adjust their furniture, experimenting to find the maximum comfort level. Space should be allocated for easy sitting, standing and leaning back in the chair without hitting the wall or other furniture.
 6. Eyestrain and glare can be avoided by positioning the monitor properly. Outdoor light can be minimized by placing the side of the monitor toward the window. Glare spots on the screen can be eliminated by tilting the monitor or adding a cardboard shield to block the source of the glare. It is important to avoid working with bare bulbs; they cause intense screen glare.
 7. The optimal viewing distance and angle for a monitor is between 20 and 24 inches from the user's eyes, with the screen's top edge level with the tip of the nose. The monitor and the keyboard should be directly aligned with the user's body.
 8. Electronic components need sufficient air space and protection from direct heat or sunlight. Also, grounded electrical service is recommended for electronic equipment.
 9. Anyone who does extended computer work should pace the work load, taking regular breaks. To rest eye muscles, it helps to glance away from the screen every half hour and to focus on something about 12 feet away. It is advisable to do stretching exercises every hour -- or to get up from the computer and walk about for a few minutes. Office workers who forget to take breaks can purchase software that reminds them to exercise or change their activity.
 10. In the home, as in a traditional office, good work takes good tools. In addition to appropriate furniture and a computer, home-office workers may need a printer and modem, as well as telephone and fax equipment. Filing and storage also need to be considered.
 Steelcase Inc. has a wide range of research reports on home office- related issues such as lighting, ergonomics, work process, repetitive strain injuries and office health and comfort. This information is available from Steelcase at 1-800-333-9939.
 -0- 9/1/93 R
 /CONTACT: Peter Jeff of Steelcase, 616-247-2277/


CO: Steelcase Inc. ST: Michigan IN: SU:

LV -- NYOFNS7 -- 7743 09/01/93 06:53 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 1, 1993
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