How to Mix Wood Finishes

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Maybe you are looking to create an eclectic work space or perhaps you’re unable to find just the right color to match your desk or your bookcase. In any case, it is worth noting that different wood color finishes can still complement each other even if they aren’t part of a matching set and that you can use wood finishes that aren’t the exact same as your wood floor. Here are some tips on how to successfully and beautifully mix wood finishes.

DeWitt Collection

Consider the Grain & Undertone of the Wood

See if there are any color undertones that match the furniture or wood floors of your space. For example, if a piece is primarily oak, but has a dark grain/undertone, it is sure to work wonderfully when paired with dark furniture. This is a great way to create visual interest as you can avoid being too “matchy-matchy” with pieces that still work well together. This is also true when dealing with a wood floor. As you can see above, the desk and complementing storage pieces match the warm undertones and wood grains in the flooring almost perfectly, creating a beautifully put together office design.

Look for Balance

If you are mixing wood finish colors, it’s best to do so in a way where the different finishes are equally represented in a space. That is, no one wood color finish should outdo or overpower the other.

Think Stylistically

Are you trying to convey a certain style? If so, mixing certain colors and wood finishes can help you do just that. While white and black offer a more modern feel, using black furniture pieces with weathered oak finishes conveys an industrial modern feel, changing the design elements of the room substantially. A good way to consider your next furniture purchase is how the wood color will impact the type of style currently in your office.

DeWitt Collection

Use Another Color to Bring it Together

Different wood colors can be united by other colors and other textures. Be sure to choose a color that complements both wood finishes nicely. This color can then be used to pull the look together harmoniously. As you can see from the picture above, the shade of green on the wall works on an individual level with both the industrial gray finish of the desk and the light wood color of the floor, thus bringing the two together in an eye-pleasing way.

By Rachel Bindl on Friday, October 31, 2014

http://www.officefurniture.com/blog/how-to-mix-wood-finishes-in-office

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Office Interiors Denver New Showroom Coming 2016

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IMG_1398From Left: Hal Matthews, Nate Jorgensen, Jeramey Reed, Chad Kollar, Andrea Ackerman, Mike Butler

Office Interiors Denver is making it’s mark in the heart of downtown Denver. On Monday November 23 we officially acquired our new showroom at the Colorado Plaza Building Tower 2 which is located at 621 17th Street Denver, CO 80202.

 

Mike Butler (President, CEO) started Office Interiors Denver in 2010 and we’ve contiued to grow over the past 5 years by bringing on great talent like Nate Jorgensen (Account Manager) and Jeramey Reed (Project Manager). Now we are taking the next big step by opening our showroom which will showcase many of our favorite casegood, workstation, conference and seating options. Our grand opening is planned for the first part of 2016 and we would like to thank Andrea Ackerman (Toma West) and Chad Kollar (Cresa) for making our dream a reality.

 

We are proud to announce our partnership with Riviera in conjunction with our new showroom. Hal Matthews (Coleccion Riviera) recently relocated to Denver to partner with Office Interiors Denver and introduce the Coleccion Riviera line to the Colorado market. Riviera’s US Headquaters is located in New York and the one-million sqaure foot manufacturing plant is located in Mexico City. They specialize in a 7-step hand rubbed catalyzed wood/veneer excecutive furniture, innovative systems furnishings, and architectural wall systems.

 

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The Pain of Clicking

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If you’re like most people, you probably spend a good deal of time every day on a computer, and much of that time interacting with a mouse. The problem is that a traditional mouse leaves your hand in a non-ergonomic position, which can lead to pain and discomfort. Ergonomic mice are designed to put you in a more neutral position, allowing you to work comfortably, reducing strain, and helping prevent and alleviate long-term repetitive stress injuries. For improved hand, wrist and arm comfort, an ergonomic mouse makes a huge difference.

Many hand and wrist injuries can be attributed to long-term mouse use. Ergonomic mice use the latest ergonomics research to minimize health risks associated with long-term mouse use by offering an integrated palm support to prevent wrist anchoring.

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The Switch Mouse is designed for maximum user comfort. The peripheral device, including a V-shaped based and four-way scrolling dish, reduces injury risks among computer users. Plus, it is the only mousing solution that accommodates both left and right handed users while being adjustable in size.

http://www.thehumansolution.com/ergonomic-mouse.html

https://www.humanscale.com/products/product.cfm?group=SwitchMouse

Laptops At Work Don’t Have to be a Pain

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Laptop computers are a part of many people’s lives today. While they improve work efficiency and increase recreational possibilities, laptops are creating havoc for our upper bodies. Laptops were originally designed for portability and short-duration use. Now, however, laptops are not being used as they were designed due to improved speed and storage capabilities. They are being used in place of desktops on surfaces not designed for typing. The situations in which laptops are used have extended to writing dissertations, taking notes at meetings, creating and presenting reports, browsing the web, and even watching sports and movies. Laptops can be used anywhere. Therefore, more people are spending more time at a computer.

 

If laptops are so great, what is the beef with them? Even laptop manufacturers provide warnings and information concerning the ergonomic issues associated with laptop use. The main problem with laptops is that, since laptops do not have a detachable display and keyboard, there is no posture that is correct while using them.

So how can you be portable and confortable at the same time? Laptop stands have become a necessity of any portable working situation, in conjuction with a separate keyboard and mouse. Using these two together allows your screen to be raised to the proper height and places the keyboard in a more comfotable location.

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Humanscale’s L6

The L6 Notebook Manager dramatically improves user comfort and reduces the risk of long-term injury by promoting good ergonomic posture while using a laptop computer. Ideal for full-time workstations, home offices, hospitality applications, and any other workspace in which a laptop computer is regularly used, the versatile L6 offers a number of practical features: Cable management, heat ventilation, security features, and an optional removable USB hub.
About L6
Humanscale created the L6 notebook manager to discourage users working in poor postures, such as “laptop hunch”. Working in conjunction with an external keyboard or keyboard system, the L6 secures the laptop in place, with the screen positioned at a comfortable height, ensuring the best (and most ergonomic) way to work on a laptop.

Posture Throughout the Workday

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Posture is very important both at home and on the job. Back-friendly posture is a valuable component of preventing or managing back pain while performing any activity. Incorrect posture while standing for long periods of time, sitting in an office chair, and driving are all common causes of back pain.

Standing Posture

Maintaining the natural curve of the spine when standing promotes “good posture”. So what does that mean? The human spine looks a little bit like an S from the side, and maintaining those two curves is important.

  • Keep your head directly over the shoulders (i.e. “chest out, head back”)
  • Keep the shoulders directly over the pelvis
  • Tighten the core abdominal muscles
  • Tuck in the buttocks
  • Place the feet slightly apart, with one foot positioned slightly in front of the other and knees bent just a little bit (i.e., not locked).

If this posture is new it may feel strange at first, but after a while it will feel natural. If it feels too weak or tiring, use light weights or elastic bands to work the muscles between the shoulder blades (e.g. rhomboids and middle trapezius). It will quickly get easier.

If standing on a concrete floor is required at work, it is best to wear shoes with good support and cushioning. A rubber mat placed on the concrete floor will ease pressure on the back and enhance the favorable ergonomic conditions. Use a railing or box to prop one foot up while standing to help take pressure off the back. This standing position takes some practice. Remember to change feet and positions every 20 minutes.

Office Chair Sitting Posture

Posture is important for sitting in office chairs and at a workstation. Many of us spend hours in front of the computer, resulting in back pain or neck pain. Much of this pain may be avoided by a combination of:

  • Adopting a user-friendly workstation by adjusting the office chair, computer and desk positioning
  • Modifying sitting posture in an office chair. Many people sit towards the front of their chair and end up hunching forward to look at their computer screen. The better seated posture is to sit back in the office chair and utilize the chair’s lumbar support to keep the head and neck erect.
  • Taking stretch breaks and walking breaks if sitting in an office chair for long periods of time.

A consistent, comfortable workstation depends on where the computer screen is situated, where the hands and feet are placed, and the kind of office chair. This provides a common sense, easily remembered approach to fitting a seated workstation to the individual worker. To make it work, begin by selecting or adjusting the position or the work surface, then adjust the office chair.

  • Choose the surface height for the desk (standing, sitting or semi-seated) best for the task to be performed. Architects and draftsman may want a higher surface for drawing while computer entry work could be seated or standing, depending on the need to use other tools or references. The specific height of the work surface will also need to vary based on the height of the individual worker.
  • Adjust the seat of the office chair so that the work surface is “elbow high.” A fist should be able to pass easily behind the calf and in front of the seat edge to keep the back of the legs from being pressed too hard and the feet from swelling. Two fingers should slip easily under each thigh. If not, use a couple of telephone books or a footrest to raise the knees level with the hips. The backrest of the office chair should push the low back forward slightly. If these adjustments cannot be adequately made with the existing office chair, a different make or type of chair may be considered.
  • Fit the height of the computer screen. Sit comfortably in the newly adjusted office chair. Close both eyes and relax. Then, slowly reopen them. Where the gaze initially focuses should be when the eyes open is the place to put the center of the computer screen. The screen can be raised using books or a stand if needed.

Driving Posture To and From Work

Regardless of travel time to and from work, one’s seated posture while driving can either contribute to or alleviate back discomfort. Similar to those that sit in an office chair for hours, those with extensive commutes (an hour or more each way) can have an adverse impact on their back.

First and foremost, it is important to sit with the knees level with the hips. Either a rolled up towel or a commercial back support placed between the lower back and the back of the seat for more comfort and support of the natural inward curve of the low back.

Drivers are advised to sit at a comfortable distance from the steering wheel. Reaching increases the pressure on the lumbar spine and can stress the neck, shoulder, and wrist, so sitting too far away can aggravate back pain. However, sitting too close can increase risk of injury from the car’s airbag. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers (and front-seat passengers) should buckle their seat belts and keep about 10 inches between the center of the air bag cover and their breastbone to reduce the risk of air bag injury yet still be protected by the air bag in the event of a collision.

Good posture combined with body mechanics (the way activities are performed throughout the day can substantially improve the way one’s back and neck feels at the end of the workday.

http://www.spine-health.com/wellness/ergonomics/office-chair-posture-and-driving-ergonomics

A Guide to Ergonomic Lighting

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vision_gallary2Element Vision – Humanscale

When you say the term “office ergonomics,” often the first things that comes to mind are desks, chairs and keyboards. While office ergonomics as it pertains to these items is crucial, ergonomic lighting is also key, as it can help prevent the development of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), a condition that counts blurred vision, headaches, neck pain, itchy eyes, and trouble sleeping among its symptoms. In addition, poor lighting can also contribute to general malaise, low productivity and high error rates, plummeting morale and a marked reduction in mental alertness. Strangely, ergonomic lighting is often overlooked in the office, and it’s not uncommon to see someone typing away on an ergonomic keyboard at a standing desk beneath harsh, fluorescent lighting or in a room that’s far too dim. Here are a few quick ergonomic lighting interventions to keep those eyes health and those heads free of pain.

1. Don’t Go Too Dim or Too Bright
Office lighting that’s too dim will cause your employees to squint and strain to see the screen. Not only is this inefficient, but it could also lead to a deterioration in vision over time. Bright lights cause similar problems, especially as they wash out images on computer screens. Ideally, you want employees to be able to read what’s on their screens without any straining at all. For dim rooms, add supplemental table lighting to increase the brightness. For bright rooms, especially those that use fluorescent lighting, consider taking out a row or two of bulbs to take the brightness down a notch.

2. Go for a Soft Yellow Light
Lights with more yellow tones are easier on the eyes, and they also tend to mess a little less with Circadian rhythms. They’re also just more psychologically pleasing, especially as they lack the awful buzz of a fluorescent light on the fritz. Of course, there’s a reason many workplaces go fluorescent: energy savings. To address this issue, go for the newest generation incandescent. While they won’t be quite as efficient as fluorescents, they’ll certainly get you close.

3. Watch the Placement of Your Lighting
No matter what kind of light you choose, glare is always a big area of concern, especially when it comes to computer screens. That’s why it’s best to go for indirect lighting; never, ever position lights so that their light bounces off of the screen. You might also consider a glare filter for all computer screens, and glare shields for any immovable lights that are too bright.

4. Don’t Position Monitors Near Windows
Of course, screens that are near windows are also at high risk for glare. What’s more, if there is a window placed directly behind a screen, it can create a situation in which there is too high of a contrast between the brightness of the screen and that of the window, making it extremely difficult for employees to see what’s on the screen. If you can’t place screens in any other position, blinds and drapes are an essential mitigation strategy, as can be window tinting.

5. Adjust Lighting With the Time of Day
Staring at a bright screen all day can wreak serious havoc on circadian rhythms and interrupt sleep. To prevent this, install an app like f.lux on all computers to automatically brighten and dim screens throughout the day.
While all of these measures will help enormously in increasing the light ergonomics of your workplace, it’s also important to have employees adhere to the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes spent staring at the screen, stop and look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds to help the eye refocus and prevent eye strain.

Goldtouch.com

The Ergonomics of Keyboard Trays

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The reasons for buying and installing a computer keyboard tray are numerous. Anyone who uses a computer on a daily basis can benefit from using this piece of ergonomic furniture. Computers are everywhere and almost everyone uses them, either at the office or in their own homes. Thinking about your body and your health makes you a responsible and intelligent computer user, and your long-term safety and comfort should be a priority. An adjustable keyboard tray system is one of the many “ergonomic” devices you can utilize that can help prevent common injuries and conditions resulting from daily computer use. Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is the most common and most often diagnosed computer-related condition people face. One of the more well known repetitive stress injuries is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which effects your hands, wrists and forearms. Frequently repeated tasks, like typing on a keyboard or using a mouse, are the root cause of these types of ailments, and installing a high quality tray is a surefire way to reduce tension in your shoulders and arms. — Keyboardtray.org

The angle of a keyboard tray should be set between 0 and -15. You should position the angle so that, when you’re sitting back in your chair, there’s a straight line from your elbow down to your fingers. The negative slope of the keyboard keeps your wrists straight, free from extra pressure and in a neutral posture. It’s among the safest postures your wrists can engage in.

“A decade of ergonomic research shows that using a negative sloped adjustable keyboard tray maximizes the time spent working in a neutral hand, wrist and upper body postures.  These postural benefits can’t be achieved by just using a keyboard on a height-adjustable work surface.”

Dr. Alan Hedge, Cornell University

-information, quotes & pictures from: Humanscale

Office Filing Organization Tips

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Keeping office files organized may seem like a tedious job; but with a little bit of planning, coupled with the right tools, you can organize your files easily and keep them organized. The basic requirement for office filing is that everyday working files must be easily accessible. Simplicity should be your mantra. The simpler the filing system is, the higher the chances the entire office will use the system efficiently and help keep it neat and orderly.

Know How You Work

Determine your work habits so you can devise a filing system that fits with the way you operate. Ask yourself if you feel more comfortable searching for files numerically or alphabetically. Do you conduct your searches according to your clients’ names or according to category? Organization is all about having a filing system that will suit your habits best. This should be your first stage in planning out your filing system.

Color Coding

Color-coding files and documents is a great tool for organizing a filing system. Assign a specific color for each department or segment of your company. For instance, you can assign the color red to all accounts payable-related files and yellow to accounts receivable-related documents. Use colored folders for easy identification of categories. However you assign your colors, make them consistent and applicable throughout the entire business so as to avoid any confusion. Be sure to share the color coding scheme with all employees. You can also purchase colored hanging folders with plastic label tags that will help you locate documents. Apart from its utility, a multi-colored system is pleasing to the eye and can add some liveliness to the workroom as well.

Know Your Storage Needs

You also have to determine what your storage needs are. How many files do you have? How large are they? How often do you need to access them? Your answers to these questions will determine what storage pieces you need: two-drawer filing cabinets, desktop file folders, four-drawer lateral filing cabinets and so on. There are many storage options available. Anticipate increase in the size of files when selecting storage equipment. Purchase units that can accommodate twice the bulk of the files you currently have. This will reduce the number of times you will have to reorganize.

by Alexis Writing, Demand Media http://smallbusiness.chron.com/office-filing-organization-tips-539.html

Benefits Of Using A Monitor Arm Mount

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More people are moving to monitor arms for their computer systems – and for good reason. Monitors can take up valuable space on a desk while a well designed monitor arm (that is typically clamped to the back of the desk) will save desk space and help reduce clutter. Most importantly, monitor arms allow monitors to be positioned at the ergonomically correct height for the individual.

How do you position your monitor correctly? As a rule of thumb, the top of the viewing area of your monitor should be at eye level and the distance between you and the monitor should be approximately arm’s length. However, the monitor set-up needs to be adjustable, to allow for individual need, lighting conditions and tasks. The bottom line is that a monitor arm is the only easy way to allow for this level of adjustment, making them a good investment for most people.

Also the addition of a monitor arm instantly increases the amount of usable desk space available to the user and allows work materials to be arranged within the Neutral Reach Zone. As a result, the workstation not only becomes more functional, it makes a much more efficient use of desk space.

Benefits Of Using A Monitor Arm Mount

Picture:http://en.loctek.com/a/product/Desk%20mount/Multi%20screen%20mounts/

Choosing the Right Ergonomic Office Chair

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Working in an office typically involves spending a great deal of time sitting in an office chair – a position that adds stress to the structures in the spine. Therefore, to avoid developing or compounding back problems, it’s important to have an office chair that’s ergonomic and that supports the lower back and promotes good posture.

What Kind of Ergonomic Office Chair is Best?

There are many types of ergonomic chairs available for use in the office. No one type of office chair is necessarily the best, but there are some things that are very important to look for in a good ergonomic office chair. These things will allow the individual user to make the chair work well for his or her specific needs.

This article will examine the traditional office chair, as well as alternatives that can be used as an office chair that may be preferable for some people with back problems.

What Features Should a Good Ergonomic Office Chair Possess?

In first considering the “conventional” style of office chair, there are a number of things an ergonomic chair should have, including:

  • Seat height. Office chair seat height should be easily adjustable. A pneumatic adjustment lever is the easiest way to do this. A seat height that ranges from about 16 to 21 inches off the floor should work for most people. This allows the user to have his or her feet flat on the floor, with thighs horizontal and arms even with the height of the desk.
  • Seat width and depth. The seat should have enough width and depth to support any user comfortably. Usually 17-20 inches wide is the standard. The depth (from front to back of the seat) needs to be enough so that the user can sit with his or her back against the backrest of the ergonomic office chair while leaving approximately 2 to 4 inches between the back of the knees and the seat of the chair. The forward or backward tilt of the seat should be adjustable.
  • Lumbar support. Lower back support in an ergonomic chair is very important. The lumbar spine has an inward curve, and sitting for long periods without support for this curve tends to lead to slouching (which flattens the natural curve) and strains the structures in the lower spine. An ergonomic chair should have a lumbar adjustment (both height and depth) so each user can get the proper fit to support the inward curve of the lower back.
  • Backrest. The backrest of an ergonomic office chair should be 12 to 19 inches wide. If the backrest is separate from the seat, it should be adjustable in height and angle. It should be able to support the natural curve of the spine, again with special attention paid to proper support of the lumbar region. If the office chair has the seat and backrest together as one piece, the backrest should be adjustable in forward and back angles, with a locking mechanism to secure it from going too far backward once the user has determined the appropriate angle.
  • Seat material. The material on the office chair seat and back should have enough padding to be comfortable to sit on for extended periods of time. Having a cloth fabric that breathes is preferable to a harder surface.
  • Armrests. Office chair armrests should be adjustable. They should allow the user’s arms to rest comfortably and shoulders to be relaxed. The elbows and lower arms should rest lightly, and the forearm should not be on the armrest while typing.
  • Swivel. Any conventional style or ergonomic chair should easily rotate so the user can reach different areas of his or her desk without straining.

http://www.spine-health.com/wellness/ergonomics/office-chair-choosing-right-ergonomic-office-chair