Inclusive Ergonomic Design for Left-Handed People

Workplace wellness is an important consideration for keeping employees healthy and productive with ergonomic workspaces, but it needs to include everyone, even lefties.

If you are left-handed, or know someone who is, you’re probably well aware that most of the world is biased towards right handed people simply because there are significantly more right-handed people than left-handed people. Approximately 12% of people are left-handed. Everything is generally designed for right-handed people, including desks, keyboards and mice, notebooks and writing utensils, kitchen utensils, and even office chairs.  

Most lefties have learned to adapt to a right-handed world because that is reality. Luckily, in the last few decades more products are being manufactured for lefties, from scissors and computer mice to pencil sharpeners and vegetable peelers. It is becoming easier to make sure a leftie can set up a functional left-oriented ergonomic workspace.

Fun Fact: Did you know that 60% of Canadian hockey players hold their hockey stick left-handed (with the left hand at the top of the stick), regardless of their dominant hand.

Excellent Ergonomics for Left-Handed People

image2When it comes to ergonomics in the office, it's important to consider whether someone is left or right handed. A set up that works for a right-handed person probably won’t work as well for a left-handed person. In order to support a fully inclusive culture of workplace wellness, it’s important to set furniture and equipment up specific to the person. For a leftie this might mean changing the orientation of everything.

Many of the standard concepts of ergonomics still apply, they just need to be flipped. For example, the computer monitor should still be about an arms length away from the user. Mouse and keyboard should be placed so that arms are level when typing, but the mouse should be on the left, and preferably the person should have access to keyboards and mice that are designed for left-handed use. Notepads and pens should probably be kept on the left as well.

There is a wide variety of companies producing left-handed office accessories today. There are plenty of options available to source ergonomic furniture and accessories that accomodate all needs. A workplace wellness mandate should include all staff. 

The High Cost Of Workplace Illness And Injury

Saving your clients money is always a positive bonus. Ergonomic furniture and workstation setups not only help employees work more comfortably, they also improve productivity, and reduce the number of workplace related injuries and illnesses. $22 billion is the estimate for the annual cost of dealing with work related musculoskeletal injuries in Canada. The return on investment for ergonomic equipment and safer workplaces is often recovered in a very short time due to the drop in injury and sickness claims.

Providing or upgrading to ergonomic options doesn’t have to break the bank for your facilities. Envirotech refurbishes and remanufactures high end office furniture, and sells it for a significant discount. Fixing, repairing, and updating office furniture costs way less than producing brand new furniture. Envirotech’s vast network of sources and warehouse of inventory also means that they can deliver faster. Envirotech can get what you need on time, for a hefty discount, and it's all good for the environment, too. 

Want to Know More About the Importance Of Ergonomics? 

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References:

https://leftyfretz.com/how-many-people-are-left-handed/ 

https://www.cbc.ca/sports/2.722/it-s-not-political-but-more-canadians-are-lefties-1.908439 

https://www.whsc.on.ca/Files/Resources/Ergonomic-Resources/RSI-Day-2016_MSD-Case-Study_The-economics-of-ergon.aspx#targetText=the%20workplace%20is%3A%20%E2%80%9CIt's%20too,be%20further%20from%20the%20truth.