If this Versus Month of ours has taught us anything, it’s that offices are at their best when they’re custom fit to suit the individual. After all, one-size-fits-all offices are really one-size-fits-no-one. It is folly to expect two people with radically different body types to thrive unless they are given custom tailored office ergonomics solutions.
To illustrate this point, today we’ll propose a few solutions for offices designed with two radically different body types in mind. Think Danny Devito and Nicole Kidman. Sure, maybe these two are more concerned about ergonomics on set, but they’ve got to do their accounting somewhere, right? Let’s see just what individual fit means to these two very different celebrities.
Round 1: Chair and Desk Height
Not surprisingly, the proper chair and desk setup for Nicole Kidman and Danny Devito would look very different. For both celebrities, the goal would be to create a workstation that keeps their feet flat on the floor, their knees bent at a natural 45-degree angle, their backs straight, their arms well-supported and their computer screens at eye level. Kidman in particular would benefit from an adjustable sit/stand desk, which would allow her to move throughout the day; with her longer torso and legs, being able to make big changes to her furniture height as her position shifts would be crucial. When it comes to picking out a chair, Kidman would do well with a deep seat. It will help ensure her knees extend far beyond its edge.
Adjustability is also key for Danny Devito, but at 5’0”, we’d be a little bit more concerned about providing more robust support and being very precise in the furniture we buy. For better or worse, our world is built with larger people in mind. As such, we’d go for a seat that can go down to 15 inches in height and that provides 15 to 16 inches in depth.
For both celebs, chairs that provide elbow and lumbar support are also crucial if we want to prevent back and joint pain. And since we like their movies, let’s assume we do.
Round 2: Handedness
Though she successfully depicted the right-handed Virginia Woolf in the movie The Hours, doing so was a matter of training and discipline for Nicole Kidman, who is naturally left-handed. When it comes to office ergonomics, few matters are as pressing as handedness. This is because ergonomic solutions for right-handed people can cause more harm than good in left-handed people if not customized.
The mouse is a particular area of concern. The primary risk being that left-handed people will reach over their keyboards or will struggle in less than optimal positions with their right. For that reason, a left-handed mouse would be key for someone like Kidman, as would a left-attached keyboard tray if there is no room on the desk. A detachable or separate numerical keypad is also a must, so that Kidman can quickly type in numbers on her left side without straining her muscles and joints to reach for the right.
Round 3: Portability
Given the celebrity lifestyle, we think it’s safe to assume that both Devito and Kidman are often on the go. This means they probably love slim, lightweight portable devices like laptops and tablets. That’s all well and good, except for the fact that attached screens and tiny keyboards that lack tactile feedback are an ergonomic nightmare. But this is easily fixed with a laptop and tablet stand and a portable adjustable ergonomic keyboard. Both of these slip easily into a laptop bag for those long flights between New York, LA and Sydney. Together, these peripherals will create an on-the-go workspace that’s just as ergonomic as an at-home desktop. The keyboard will gently guide their wrists into a customized angled position, while the laptop and tablet stand will place the screen at an ideal level.
Round 4: Eye and Neck Strain
On a related note, we want to be particularly wary of eye strain, given that both of our celebs have less than perfect eyesight. Whether relying on a laptop or on a desktop, it’s important to ensure those screens are located a full arm’s length away. Anti-glare screens and apps like f.lux, which tint the screen based on the time of day, can also help reduce eye strain. Also, be sure to simply take more breaks to focus on other objects.
A related problem is neck and shoulder strain. It’s impossible for us to know whether the glasses each wear are bifocals. But if they are, they may very well tilt their heads back to see the screen. This in turn results in tension in the upper body. As such, these two might benefit from a slightly lower than normal screen. This is something that can again be accomplished with an adjustable tablet and laptop stand. Or, simply by moving their computer screen.
For these two talented celebs, working from an ergonomic office on their off days is sure to keep them healthy and ready to jet to set in no-time. Who’s your favorite celeb, and what do you think their home office looks like? Let us know in the comments below.