Bowl-shaped chair concept offers geometric beauty at the expense of ergonomics

Just like a table, the most basic requirements for a chair are quite simple. It needs to be strong and stable enough to actually sit on, but comfort and convenience seem to be more open to interpretation than any other design element. Some brutalist designs look a little painful to sit on, meeting only the bare minimum of a chair, while others let your body literally sink inside its plushy cushions and make it difficult to pull yourself out quickly. And then there are designs like this concept that espouse simplicity and minimalism to convey a sense of beauty, but the end result, while visually successful, also raises concerns about its actual usefulness and comfort.

Designer: Mauricio Coelho

A chair isn’t a simple form that can be expressed in a single shape. After all, there are a few interconnecting planes needed to give it legs and an actual seat. A backrest is common but not obligatory, and armrests are even more optional. The Oco chair concept comes close to that simplicity of form while still providing a visually interesting piece, and it accomplishes that by employing a shape you wouldn’t always associate with a chair.

Bowl-shaped chairs are uncommon probably for a reason. A hollow half-sphere might not be the most comfortable thing to sit in unless you fill that space with cushions like what the Oco chair does. With extremely thin planes for legs, the bowl almost looks like it’s floating in mid-air. Made using carbon steel and fiberglass, the chair brings structural stability while also providing some subtle material details, like the wood-like grains of the spherical body.

But while it is indeed a sight to behold, closer inspection might make you rethink the comfort it promises. The thick cushions do look plus, but they might not provide enough support for the person’s back. Or at the very least the back cushion doesn’t have enough height to support someone leaning back, forcing them to sit upright without proper support, straining their body over time.

The bowl’s edges are also left exposed, which could scratch, cut, or press on a person’s skin, especially on the back of the legs and forearms. A few slight modifications, like lining the edges with soft fabric or changing the angle of the bowl could help improve the ergonomics of the design without ruining the simple geometric beauty that this concept wishes to convey.

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Ergonomic mouse concept oddly looks like a familiar home appliance

Computer mice have been around for decades, and despite their form making no objective sense, they remain the most basic and most common pointing device that we now use intuitively. The core design of the mouse hasn’t changed significantly since its inception, which unfortunately means they’re still one of the biggest causes of repetitive strain injury or RSI for many people. Ergonomic mice are starting to gain traction, particularly the vertically oriented designs that promise a more natural and comfortable grip for your hand. This device concept builds on that same premise, but the execution is a bit puzzling considering how it looks less like a mouse and more like a miniature clothes iron.

Designer: Pranav Kuber

The rationale behind vertical mice is that the normal orientation of human hands has the palms facing inward rather than downward. With a regular mouse, users are forced to keep their hands at an unnatural angle, whether or not they’re moving the mouse at that moment. Of course, a vertical mouse would still need to provide the basic functions of a conventional mouse, which includes left and right buttons as well as a scroll wheel.

At first glance, the Ergo ergonomic mouse concept is just like any other vertical mouse now available for purchase, but examining its form and silhouette generates a slightly different image. The top plane’s wide surface tapers sharply toward the front, while the wide middle section looks rectangular when viewed from above. If not for the actual bottom of the mouse, which merges two vertical sides like the keel of a ship, the Ergo looks almost like a clothes iron, albeit one without a handle to grip.

Aside from the peculiar shape, the mouse design also raises a few other questions. The buttons on the outer or right side are clearly marked, but they don’t look like buttons you can physically click at first glance. The position of the mouse wheel on the opposite side is even more puzzling, as it will require a lot of swinging movement from the thumb that could actually put more strain on its joint. The rather wide rear might also make it harder to grasp the mouse, potentially resulting in more discomfort in the long run.

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Ergonomic mouse concept gives left-handed users the comfort they deserve

The vast majority of computer products are designed to favor the biggest groups of users, sometimes to the exclusion of the minority. We’re not speaking about accessibility for persons with physical disabilities, but that is especially true for them as well. Even just the common keyboard and mouse are designed with the presumption that they will be used by right-handed people. And while ambidextrous mice do exist, those tend to sacrifice comfort for the sake of a symmetrical design. That doesn’t have to be the case, as this concept design tries to prove, promising both comfort as well as proficiency, regardless of which hand you hold it with.

Designer: Sameeraj Dronamraju

There has been an increasing awareness and demand for ergonomic mice, sadly due to the equally rising cases of computer-related injuries. But while there are plenty of ergonomic designs now available, most of them only cater to right-handed users. You’d be lucky if the manufacturer produced a left-handed design, but most don’t because of the costs involved in another product with only a few minor differences.

The proper solution would be to mix ergonomics and symmetry to create a mouse that is comfortable to hold for both kinds of people. Vertrous, a portmanteau of “vertical” and “ambidextrous,” takes its cue primarily from the plethora of ergonomic mice now in existence, most of which adopt a vertical design that attempts to reduce the strain placed on the wrist by offering a more natural grip. But rather than have your hand holding it sideways, you almost grip it like a claw, with your index and middle fingers still resting on top.

At the same time, the mouse’s shape is more or less equally balanced on both sides. Great care is taken to ensure that textured areas are found on both sides, so no one hand has the advantage over the other. That said, there are some features that can really be found in only one place, like the power button, but that’s really a minor detail that has no significant impact on the use of the mouse itself.

While Vertrous does present an interesting solution, there are still some considerations left unanswered by the design. For example, gripping the mouse like a claw could actually end up being more uncomfortable and strenuous than a regular mouse. The symmetrical design also leaves out features like extra buttons that would normally be found only on one side, an absence that many power users will feel acutely. These aren’t flaws per se but more like points for further improvement, paving the road for the day that we finally land on a standard ergonomic mouse design that will really leave no one out, whichever hand they prefer to use.

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Apple Vision Pro Air Typing experience takes a small step toward usability

It’s truly mind-blowing to see virtual objects floating before our eyes, but the magic and illusion start to break down once we try to manipulate those objects. Input has always been a tricky subject in mixed reality, either because we can’t see our actual hands or we can’t feel what we’re supposed to be touching, which is physically nothing. Until the perfect haptic feedback gloves become a reality, we have to make do with tricks and workarounds to make input less awkward and more convenient. That’s especially true with typing on air, and Apple is apparently using some special techniques to offer a more usable experience on the Vision Pro mixed reality headset.

Designer: Apple (via Brian Tong)

Apple’s first teaser for the Vision Pro headset and visionOS platform didn’t show typing of any sort. It focused, instead, on icons, windows, and menus, virtual 3D objects that are easier to interact with using hand gestures. Of course, sooner or later you will be faced with the need to input text, and the usual method of voice recognition won’t always cut it. visionOS, fortunately, does include a virtual floating keyboard like other VR systems, but the way you use it is quite special and, to some extent, ingenious.

For one, you can interact with the keyboard like you would any part of the Vision Pro’s interface, which is to look at the UI element to focus on it and then use hand gestures. In this case, pinching a letter is the equivalent of selecting it, just like what you’d do for menu items or icons in visionOS. It makes the gesture grammar consistent, but it’s also an awkward way to type.

You can also “peck” at the keys with your fingers, making you feel like you’re typing on air. The difference that the Vision Pro makes, however, is that it tricks your eyes into believing you’re actually pressing down on those keys. Thanks to Apple’s flavor of spatial computing, hovering your real-world finger on a virtual key makes that key glow, and tapping on it results in an animation that looks like the key is actually moving down, just like on a real keyboard. There’s also a haptic sound, similar to the clicking sound effect you’d normally hear on an iOS virtual keyboard, to complete that audiovisual illusion.

Of course, your fingers aren’t actually hitting anything physical, so there’s still a disconnect that will probably confuse your brain. The visual effect, which is really only possible thanks to spatial computing, is still an important step forward in helping our minds believe that there’s a “real” three-dimensional object, in this case, a keyboard, right in front of us. It’s not going to be the most efficient way to input text, but fortunately, you can connect a wireless keyboard to the Vision Pro and you’ll be able to see your actual hands typing away on it.

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Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra flat screen design will improve the S Pen experience

Samsung has quite a large number of smartphone models in the market, but few have reached notable fame more than the Galaxy Note series. And yes, that includes the one that burst into flames. Although that brand of stylus-bearing smartphones has officially been retired, its spirit lives on in the “Ultra” model of Samsung’s Galaxy S flagship. Call it by any other name, these devices were designed with one unique feature that very few phones have to date: an active stylus for scribbling notes and even making art. That said, there is perhaps some irony that these phones’ screens aren’t designed to take full advantage of that feature, at least in some edge cases, literally. That might finally change with the Galaxy S24 Ultra next year which will be ditching a rather old design convention to hopefully give the S Pen an edge, pun intended.

Designer: Samsung (via David Martin)

Once upon a time, smartphone screens whose edges curved to the side were regarded as a sign of premium and stylish design. There was indeed a hint of elegance, not to mention manufacturing excellence, at seeing the screen disappear to edges, not unlike an infinity pool. It was also a visual trick to make at least the side bezels disappear, though in reality they’ve just been pushed down nearer to the frame. Today, however, that design seems to be showing its age and the trend is leaning more towards completely flat screens and edges.

On stylus-enabled smartphones like the Galaxy Note line and the more recent Galaxy S Ultra models, those curved edges are more liabilities than assets. Technically, a part of the screen “falls off” the edges and can’t be reached by the S Pen without sliding off. Depending on the app, that might be precious screen real estate wasted, and there have been awkward moments when the tip just slips off and ruins your momentum.

According to recently leaked photos, the Galaxy S24 Ultra next year will finally address one of the pain points of avid S Pen users. The screen seems to be completely flat on all sides this time around, which means that owners will have access to the full width of the screen. This design actually benefits all types of content since there will be no interface elements or images that will look distorted at the edges.

The rest of the phone, however, will retain the design from this year’s Galaxy S23 Ultra, at least based on those same photos. That meant it would still have curved left and right edges, while the top and bottom are completely flat. There’s also no change in the camera design, though the hardware is, of course, expected to see some upgrades. This goes in line with leaks last month that the Galaxy S24 series will take a more iterative approach to its design, largely keeping the same aesthetic while slapping flatter screens on top.

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How this multifunctional under desk footrest keeps you comfortable and healthy even after hours of sitting

There’s no escaping the fact that most of us spend hours every day sitting, whether we’re working at a desk, playing on a couch, or even just relaxing after a tiring day. It might sound ironic since we’re sitting most of the time, but our bodies tend to feel sore even after just a few hours of that sedentary position. Our backs feel a bit painful and even our legs start to experience some tension. These are usually several factors, including bad posture and poor blood circulation, which means that single-purpose products can’t really address all these issues. Fortunately, this innovative modular footrest checks all the right boxes, bringing relief to your body, promoting good posture, and even helping save the environment, all in a single, elegant, and portable package.

Designers: Danylo & Nazar Ozhho

Click Here to Buy Now: $89 $149 (40% off). Less than 72 hours left! Raised over $160,000.

It may have “footrest” in its name, but the VILNO FootRester™ is definitely more than just that. In fact, it’s a 3-in-1 product that combines the best of a footstool, a foot massager, and, of course, a footrest, in a modular design that also looks incredible in any setting, whether it’s in the office or at home. It checks all the right boxes, all at the same time to provide a pain-free sitting experience whether you’re working, gaming, or just spending hours in front of a computer or at a desk.

Workday Pain Relief – FootRester™ lifts your legs so hips and knees are aligned, for less pressure on the lower body.

Eliminate Foot Tension – FootRester™ provides a supportive and comfortable resting surface for your feet. An elevated position helps to relieve pressure and reduce strain on the muscles and tendons in your feet.

Activate your Muscles During Sitting – Small movements activate the muscles in your legs and feet, preventing them from becoming static and stiff.

Force yourself to Sit Upright – FootRester™ elevates your legs. It creates a more natural spine, hips, and legs alignment. This positioning with stretching helps to prevent slouching or leaning forward.

The cylindrical footrest, for example, not only provides a soft and comfortable place to rest your legs, it also elevates your legs in order to get you into a better posture that forces your spine, hips, and legs into a more ergonomic alignment, reducing the pain-inducing strain on your back. The adjustable bottom platform holds a memory pillow that will feel like heaven for your feet on one side, and foot massage rollers on the other side stimulate your feet to reduce tension and help you relax. It doesn’t stop there, however, because that same panel can rock back and forth, creating small movements that activate the muscles in your legs and feet to help promote blood flow and prevent them from getting stiff.

Given these features, you might be surprised at the VILNO FootRester’s elegant simplicity that belies its capabilities. Crafted from bamboo, the 3-in-1 footrest not only looks beautiful but is also durable as well. The covers for the foams are also easy to remove and machine washable, ensuring that they stay clean and hygienic for a long, long time. And with built-in handles, the footrest is easy to carry around the house or the office so you won’t have to sacrifice your health and comfort just because you have to sit somewhere else.

Sitting for hours is an unfortunate but inescapable fact of modern life, but that doesn’t mean you just have to grit your teeth and bear with the body pain that it creates. Designed by passionate innovators from Ukraine, the VILNO FootRester™ finally offers a solution that promotes good posture and relieves pain in your legs and feet, wrapped in a handsome wooden design that will make you the envy of the office.

Click Here to Buy Now: $89 $149 (40% off). Less than 72 hours left! Raised over $160,000.

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How to stay healthy while working with this automatic sit-stand desk

We are very dependent on our computers for both work and personal activities, but these computers were never designed with proper ergonomics from the very start. Keyboards and mice are the primary causes of hand and wrist injuries, while laptops force us to strain our necks. That’s not to mention how a sedentary lifestyle can also be the cause of many health issues ranging from obesity to diabetes. Buying ergonomic computer equipment and accessories is a luxury only a few can afford, especially those who can only use what their work provides. Working from home offers more flexibility, but desk space is sometimes even more constrained. Fortunately, it’s not that difficult or expensive to start practicing proper posture at work, thanks to this minimalist yet powerful laptop stand that lets you quickly switch between sitting and standing at the push of a button.

Designer: Creatio Design

Click Here to Buy Now: $179 $219 ($40 off). Hurry, for a limited time only!

There is plenty of advice to stand while you work, but in reality, it’s impossible to keep that up for long periods of time. In the end, most of us will often switch between standing and sitting positions multiple times, which also means adjusting computers and tools for one or the other arrangement. That means wasted time and energy that could even discourage people from making the effort. That’s where the Maxtand E-Power sit-stand desk comes into play, offering smooth switching in just 6 seconds.

At its lowest point, the Maxtand E-Power, or MTEP, for short, raises your laptop to a comfortable level and frees you to use a more ergonomic keyboard and mouse while sitting down. With a push of a button, its innovative controlled seamlessly and quietly raises your laptop up to anywhere between 11.81 and 15.75 inches so you can work standing up at the height you’re most comfortable with. Distinct buttons for up, stop, and down make the Maxtand E-Power so easy to use that you spend less time fiddling with it and more time doing work.

More than just its automatic sit-stand capability, the MTEP offers the utmost flexibility so you decide how you want to work. The top panel measures 12.6×9.84 inches and can hold loads of up to 33lbs, more than enough to hold any laptop. It can even be made to lie flat, so you can use it as a keyboard stand while you have your monitor raised using a different stand or arm. You can also replace the panel with a VESA-compatible adapter plate to mount your screen and have the Maxtand E-Power lift it to a height that won’t strain your neck.

Best of all, the MTEP’s simple yet elegant appearance makes it blend well with any desk, and its minimalist design means it won’t take up much space either. And because of that small size, you can even bring it with you and set up an office anywhere, and you only need to plug it in if you want to adjust the height. At the same time, its high-quality aluminum material and sturdy construction give you the confidence to work the way you want with the tools that you have. This is especially important when working at home, where you have even more freedom to design your workspace in a more ergonomic fashion. So say goodbye to body pains and health problems with the Maxtand E-Power sit-stand desk, going for only $159 right now on Kickstarter.

Click Here to Buy Now: $179 $219 ($40 off). Hurry, for a limited time only!

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5 Ways the Spacetop AR Laptop Makes Work Better and 5 Ways It Makes It Worse

For people whose lives and livelihoods depend on computers, having more than one or even two monitors is both a necessity and a luxury. You can only have so many screens on your desk, and you won’t be able to carry them around to bring your preferred workflow anywhere else. That’s why there has been a sudden increase of “multi-monitor laptops” on crowdfunding platforms, most of which are just short-term fixes to a lingering problem. Unfortunately, the ideal solution of having virtual screens floating before our very eyes is still a distant dream, but engineers and designers have been working on stop-gap options in the meantime. A new contender has just loudly announced its arrival, and while it looks a bit less ambitious than other AR solutions we’ve seen so far, it could also become the most usable and approachable of them all.

Designer: Sightful

In a nutshell, Spacetop is a laptop without a screen, whose lone monitor is replaced by AR glasses similar to those marketed by companies such as Nreal. Similar to those AR platforms, it promises a nearly infinite screen space where you can have as many windows open as your eyes can see. A key difference, however, is that you still have the usual keyboard and touchpad that sits on top of the computing guts, exactly like a laptop, making it sound more realistic compared to “air typing” in VR or AR. But while Spacetop sounds like a dream come true, it might also become a disaster for the well-being of already taxed and strained computer users. To see the forest for the trees, here are five ways Spacetop can be a boon to computer users and five ways it can be a bane instead.

5 Reasons Space is Great for Business

Infinite Monitor

Let’s face it, most of us would probably like to have as much screen space as possible if it were only physically possible. Although you will most likely just focus on one to three windows at a time, having easy access to other information without having to click around is still a great time saver. Monitoring the home security camera off to the side, keeping an eye on social media trends, and just having entertaining or inspiring content within your view are a lot better than seeing the clutter on your desk all the time.

Since that’s not possible in the physical realm, Spacetop’s solution resides purely in the virtual one. It’s not exactly the first to make that proposition, but it could turn out to be the most accessible one. AR glasses that don’t weigh your head down, a normal physical keyboard and touchpad, and a potentially more approachable price tag could finally make that infinite screen space dream come true.

Total Privacy

One reason why you wouldn’t want to have too many physical monitors is that you can’t really block off other people from nosing around your business. That’s also why those multi-monitor laptop accessories aren’t ideal in public places because it only increases the risk of people seeing what should be private and secret information. There are laptops and monitors that now implement a sort of privacy screen, but that only works on a single monitor.

Spacetop solves this by removing monitors altogether. In your own virtual bubble, you’re the only one that can see the contents of your screen unless you start sharing it with others virtually. But while this does address the problem of unauthorized eyes peeking at your non-existent monitors, it also means those next to you who need to see them won’t be able to unless you hand over your glasses.

Better Posture

While laptops are great at being portable, they’re terrible at being comfortable. The fact that the screen is permanently attached to the keyboard means you’ll always be craning down your neck, even if you have a gigantic laptop screen. That’s why even laptop owners would attach a desktop monitor at the office or at home to relieve some of the pain coming from that improper posture. Spacetop doesn’t have a screen, of course, so you’re free to raise your head to a more natural and comfortable height. There’s no need for ergonomic monitor stands or arms because there’s no monitor to speak of in the first place.

Laser Focus

Given Spacetop’s design, it supports a very specific use case, one that revolves around productively using computer programs for work and a bit of personal time. It puts everything you need in front of you and around you, effectively blocking out visual distractions coming from the outside world. Whether you let virtual distractions get to you is something you get to decide on your own rather than having other people decide for you.

At the same time, Spacetop is a bit restricted in the applications you’ll be able to use. Its Android-based operating system and mobile hardware dictate what apps you’ll have access to, which won’t include every software under the sun, especially those that require Windows or macOS (unless you have access to a remote desktop of some sort). It also means little to no gaming, which might sound ironic for an AR platform. There will probably be some ways to get past these limitations, but it won’t be as convenient an experience as on a normal computer.

Complete Freedom

With basically just the lower half of a laptop, Spacetop removes almost all physical restrictions of computing. The world effectively becomes your office, and you can set up your workstation anywhere you want or need to. You might not even need a table if you can comfortably balance Spacetop on your lap, just like what a laptop should be able to do.

This practically means you don’t have to worry about not being productive just because you’re away from home or the office or that you won’t be able to respond to emergencies without your trusty desktop monitor. In a nutshell, Spacetop frees you to be able to do your work or hobbies anywhere, but is that really a good thing?

5 Reasons Spacetop is a Bad Idea

Diminished Awareness

Augmented reality technologies have progressed significantly over the past years, but they still retain one significant flaw. Most implementations still cover a large part of your vision, and Spacetop pretty much makes it worse by having dozens of windows blocking the full range of your vision. Yes, you can limit the number of windows to just a handful, but that wouldn’t be getting the best out of its capabilities.

This, in turn, could affect your spatial awareness, effectively making you blind to what’s happening around you. Yes, there will be parts of your vision that won’t be covered by windows or the glasses, but these will just be in your periphery. This will be especially dangerous in public places where you should be more attentive to your surroundings than when you’re at home or in the office.

Social Isolation

Being able to focus on work in the middle of a bustling cafe is a good thing, but doing that among family, friends, and peers might be in poor taste. Sure, we’ll find people who are always glued to their phones, even in a circle of friends, but Spacetop takes that a step further by actually advertising your detachment from present company.

Even if socially acceptable, such isolation can also have practical downsides in a workgroup setting. Spacetop is a very personal and private experience, which also means you can’t quickly show your work to others unless it’s being shown on an external display. Even then, you won’t be able to see their natural reactions to your presentation unless all of them are on a virtual call anyway. Then again, that lack of natural response has been a recurring problem with Zooms and Meets, and those happen even on a normal screen.

Ergonomic Concerns

The lack of a laptop monitor does give our neck a bit of relief, but Spacetop doesn’t exactly solve everything else. You won’t need to lean to look at the monitor, but this virtual space won’t stop you from slouching instead. Neck strain can also come from a different source this time, like when you have to constantly turn sideways to view the nearly infinite amount of screens at your disposal. You’ll also have to wear the AR glasses the whole time, which can become uncomfortable for long periods, even for those used to wearing eyeglasses. Lastly, having displays or lenses so physically close to the eyes might have even worse ramifications compared to regular monitors.

Spacetop makes the dream of an AR laptop a bit more approachable by reusing the familiar keyboard and touchpad combo. Unfortunately, this combo is also one of the big sources of repetitive strain injuries, and this screenless laptop doesn’t exactly address that. In fact, it could make things worse by encouraging a mindset that thinks working anytime, anywhere is actually a good thing.

Limited Utility

The Spacetop’s laser-focus advantage could also be one of its weaknesses. Most of the examples shown off so far revolve around what would be considered “regular” office work, like making presentations, analyzing charts, responding to emails, and the like. This definitely covers a large part of what people use laptops for, but it’s hardly the most important one, especially for those who need unlimited screen space and the freedom to work anywhere inspiration strikes.

Designers and creatives, in particular, would benefit from having a larger canvas to put their digital content and tools on, and Spacetop can definitely help with that. These users, however, also often need specialized peripherals to do their work, like pens, MIDI instruments, and the like. You can probably attach these to the Spacetop as you would with a normal laptop, but it will be difficult to use them because of the visual occlusion. Suffice it to say, Spacetop’s design and focus seem to be biased towards office and knowledge workers that toil for hours on documents and data, which they can now do anywhere with fewer excuses.

Unbalanced Lifestyle

Spacetop is an interesting application of AR technology that makes this dream of an infinite number of monitors more relatable and approachable, not to mention a little bit more affordable. It lets people carry the equivalent of a gigantic screen that no one else can see, enabling them to truly work anywhere. It’s kind of liberating but also a bit worrying because it pretty much empowers a workaholic mentality.

People’s computers are often overloaded with desktop icons, files, and browser tabs, reflecting their own mental overload and often unbalanced lifestyles. Instead of helping them gain control over these and learn how to properly manage these things, this screenless AR laptop pretty much just gives them more room to stack more tabs and windows and do more work. And this time, their bosses can probably expect or even demand work to be done anytime, anywhere since they’d have all the space they need. At the end of the day, healthy well-being is the most important factor in productivity, and that’s not something you can gain just by having more screen space.

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How to design an ergonomic kitchen

Kitchen ergonomics is the science of designing a comfortable environment that adapts to the user and ensures smooth workflow with the least waste of time and energy. Ergonomics originates from the Greek word ‘ergon,’ which means work, and ‘nomos,’ which means laws. An ergonomic kitchen focuses on people, and it is the science of designing a comfortable environment for stress-free cooking. A kitchen is one of the home’s most functional areas where one needs to multitask and get involved in parallel activities like washing dishes, cooking, fetching ingredients from the refrigerator, operating appliances, and so on. Kitchen ergonomics aims to minimize body movements, enables one to maintain correct posture, and makes everyday cooking effortless so that it does not cause chronic pain or fatigue.

What are the advantages of an ergonomic design?

In recent years, ergonomics has become an essential feature in product design which is vital in determining the comfort of various products like a chair, tables, sofas, scissors, different types of accessories, and so on. In short, ergonomics or work laws are the optimizations of product design so that it works efficiently for human use. Similarly, an ergonomic space saves time and effort and ensures all kitchen activities function smoothly.

Designer: Unique Kitchen

What is an ergonomic kitchen?

These kitchens are designed as per the end user’s height, comfort, and working style. Note that kitchen activities like cooking, cleaning, dining, and entertaining might force us to stretch, and reach out for things, resulting in unnecessary bending and twisting or turning of the body that may result in stress. Hence, an ergonomic kitchen is designed to be easy on the back. It reduces the body movements and fatigue that one might go through while cooking and cleaning up.

Discover the science of some ergonomic principles that can make everyday cooking effortless. Factors like the height of various surfaces, distances, and placement of various items can improve the functionality and efficiency of the space.

Zone the Kitchen

The first step is to divide the kitchen into five zones: the cooking area (hob), washing area (sink), food preparation, and storage of perishable as well as non-perishable items. A good kitchen design understands the workflow of the user. The distance between these areas is considered so that one can shuffle between one activity and the other without crisscrossing or getting in each other’s way. For example, there should be ample space on both sides of the hob so that work people can simultaneously cook together if required.

Designer: Azzurri Kitchens

The Kitchen Triangle

An ergonomic kitchen triangle is a rule of thumb that has been used for decades and is fundamental to a good kitchen design. The three important areas of the kitchen include the refrigerator, the sink, and the hob; one can connect these areas with an imaginary line called the kitchen work triangle. There should be a clear, unimpeded path between these three points, and the distance between each of these areas should be minimized and unobstructed. This allows one to efficiently multitask between each of these areas for cooking, cleaning, and food preparation. Note that the length of each side of the triangle should range between 4 to 9 feet, and the length of all three sides, when added together, should range between 13 to 26 feet.

Designer: Elham Elezzi Design

Designer: British Standard by Plain English

Working height in the kitchen

The user does not have to adapt to the standard height of the countertop as it is tailor-made and customized according to the height of the actual user. The height of the countertop, storage, sinks, and oven head cabinets are customized to make it easy to work without exertion on the back. Also, one should easily access the overhead cabinets, so they should not be very high on the wall. Furthermore, all the utensils should be within the reachable height, and one should be able to operate the appliances easily without straining the back. The optimal working height of the countertop ranges between 85 to 95 cm. To be more specific, the elbow’s height determines the functional countertop’s height. The elbow should form a right angle 10 cm above the countertop when standing. Note that if there are disability and mobility issues, the countertop should be of lower height as per the user’s comfort.

The depth of the overhead kitchen cabinets should be around 38 cm so that one does not bump their head into these cabinets while cooking. Plus, the clearance between the countertop and the overhead cabinets should be at least 60 cm.

Organization

A well-organized kitchen boosts productivity and has everything in the right place. A combination of well-organized cabinets, kitchen tools within hand reach, and cleverly designed pullouts create a clutter-free space. Introduce organizers in differently-sized drawers so that they can be used for storing different objects and creating a neat environment. All the spices, oils, and pans should be near the stove. The liquid soap, dish sponge, and dishcloth should be near the sink. The waste disposal should be near the sink so leftovers from plates can be disposed of.

Designer: Sheerin Bespoke

Make optimum use of the corners of U-shaped or L-shaped cabinets inaccessible with corner modular accessories. Place cooking supplies and edibles in a single layer of drawers and segregate them as per their sizes to be visible in one go. A pullout pantry can ensure efficient storage and should be placed in one countertop corner. Place the plates, glass, cutlery cabinet, and dishwasher near the sink and store them neatly in the place where it is first used. Pullouts should open entirely to get a view of all the contents. Group all electric items, and it is recommended to go for awning-style top-hung cabinets and make them safe to use, considering they have the tendency to hit the head.

Designer: Novex Kitchen

Note: If you are a left-hander or a right-hander, organize the kitchen as per your comfort and how you intend to use it.

Good Lighting

Lighting forms an essential component of an ergonomic kitchen design. There should be ample general lighting where ceiling and pendant lights should be centrally placed. Since the overhead cabinets are projected, they cast shadows on the countertop, and this dark spot makes it difficult to see. Make provision for concentrated lighting above the cooktop so that the surfaces are well-illuminated with LED strip lights. It makes food preparation and cleaning much easier, reduces shadows, and creates a bright countertop. Overhead lighting will provide the necessary ambient lighting. There should be a window in the kitchen that can bring in maximum natural light during the day. Ensure the cabinets do not obstruct the sunlight entering the kitchen.

Designer: Berla Mundi

Flooring

Hard flooring surfaces like tile and marble can take a toll on you. Softer flooring materials like cork and bamboo are accessible on the body, providing enhanced comfort and easing the joints. If the flooring is hard, opt for kitchen mats in front of frequently used areas like the sink and hob to add a little bounce to the step.

Designer: German Kitchens London

Their ergonomic solutions are bound to improve the interaction between men and the entire kitchen. Embrace the science of ergonomics in your kitchen design, as a good organization is an excellent method of minimizing unnecessary body movements while working in the kitchen.

The post How to design an ergonomic kitchen first appeared on Yanko Design.

This mouse pad with wrist support adds durability and hygiene by removing parts

Computers might be powerful machines that help improve our lives, but it’s almost a bit ironic that their extended use can actually cause us harm instead. Keyboards and mice are critical in being able to properly use these computers, especially desktop computers, but their designs are innately uncomfortable and even harmful to use for long periods of time. There are, of course, newer and more ergonomic designs for these devices, but those often require changing familiar habits and retraining muscle memory. For the rest of us, we have to settle for non-ergonomic mice, but fortunately, there are still ways to mitigate potential injury. This mouse pad, for example, comes with wrist support, but it changes the design quite a bit to improve the product’s value, both in functionality as well as aesthetics.

Designer: Wonjun Jo

Rendered on KeyShot: Click Here to Download Your Free Trial Now!

Mouse pads with wrist support aren’t exactly uncommon these days, and they even come in all sorts of designs and appearances. Although there are some people that doubt the effectiveness of these accessories, it’s still better than keeping our mouse hands unsupported all the time. The problem with the typical design of these wrist supports, however, is that the materials they use aren’t exactly made for longevity. Foams deform and become dirty, while gels burst and become useless. Mouse pads are cheap, of course, but this only means they contribute to unnecessary waste.

The Curble Mouse Pad is a unique design that sort of does away with the middle man in providing necessary elevation and support for the wrist. Instead of some material like foam or gel underneath some fabric, it uses a sort of foamy material that is hollow inside and divided into strips. The result is a more resilient type of material that can retain its form regardless of the pressure exerted on it while still remaining comfortable.

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The end result is a mouse pad with a distinct design that’s not only built for durability but also for hygiene. The mouse pad itself is designed to be easily cleaned, and the wrist support can be detached for easier washing. In fact, the detachable design of the wrist support makes it possible to use it without the mouse pad part, something that could be more convenient on cramped desks or public spaces.

The modular design of the mouse pad is also useful in mixing and matching different colors and designs, which opens the door to potential branding and collaborations. Curble is definitely an interesting twist to the common and bland mouse pad design that achieves a distinct appearance while also improving its usability and longevity.

The post This mouse pad with wrist support adds durability and hygiene by removing parts first appeared on Yanko Design.