A Gateshead company specialising in office ergonomics, which got its name from an animator who worked on the original Paddington Bear programme, has seen a boom in orders for equipment to prevent health problems.
Set up 26 years ago by Les Creen, The Human Office on Metro Riverside Park has won contracts for major firms, NHS Trusts and the government to supply workstations and seating designed to optimise health and productivity.
Their business name came from a video he commissioned from award-winning animator Sheila Graber, on how to stop injuries within the office, with characters such as Terminal Terry.
Les Creen said: “We had historically supplied office supplies and general office furniture, but 20 years ago started to notice an increase in the problems caused by badly-designed chairs and desks. My research led me to look at the Scandinavian market and it was there that I found the best solutions to many of these problems.
Their approach was completely different to that in the UK. Their designs place function before form, so for years we’ve been successfully using these designs to provide the best solutions for our clients.”
Lynsey Fairless, senior relationship manager at the Chamber said: “We are delighted to have The Human Office in our membership. Their advice has helped numerous businesses not only keep their workers in good health, but work in a more productive way through effective space planning.”
One of the most successful product ranges Human Office supply is electrically- adjustable sit-stand desks, which can be set at the correct height for each user, then raised by the flick of a switch to allow the person to stand whilst working. Recent research and news articles have increased awareness of the health problems associated with sitting.
Human Office has been providing solutions to these problems for over 20 years. Les explained the secret to good physical health in the office is to avoid static postures and repetitive functions. Their chairs all allow the user movement, at the same time automatically ensuring healthy posture. “The best position is always the next one, ie keep moving to improve circulation and avoid musculoskeletal strains”. The Scandinavians use these principals to ensure their office staff are efficient and productive, rather than waiting for the health problems to occur.
This rationale allowed Human Office to successfully complete furniture installations at the new Pathology Suite and Emergency Care Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.