YOUR BODY. OUR CONCERN.

You have only one body. And we care about it.

SMALL STEPS TO MAJOR DEVELOPMENT

EVER SINCE THE START IN 1942, ERGONOMICS has been close to Kinnarps' heart, and has permeated everything we do, from user-friendly design to precisely-targeted holistic solutions. It was Jarl Andersson, one of our founders, who took up the cause of ergonomic thinking. Being the inventor he was, he was always looking for small details that made a big difference. He made sure that Kinnarps, as one of the early mass furniture production innovators, began to cooperate with ergonomists in the early 1950s. Here, we list some of the most important years in Kinnarps' development of ergonomic solutions.

In recent years, the development and the range of ergonomic solutions has exploded. Today, with Kinnarps' help, you can find sustainable alternatives for most working environments. Both current and future work presents many challenges, but we know that design and ergonomics increasingly go hand in hand. This makes it easier to choose ergonomic products which promote well-being at work. We also know that Jarl Andersson's legacy and his search for functionality and user-friendliness live on in the Kinnarps of today and tomorrow.

SMALL STEPS TO MAJOR DEVELOPMENT
PRACTISING WHAT WE PREACH

ERGONOMICS IS ABOUT THE WHOLE PERSON – AND THE WHOLE COMPANY. AT LEAST, THIS IS TRUE FOR KINNARPS. AT THE SAME TIME AS THE COMPANY DEVELOPS, PRODUCES AND SELLS INTERIOR DESIGNS TO CUSTOMERS, WE OURSELVES ARE A LARGE WORKPLACE. WITH THE SAME HIGH ERGONOMIC DEMANDS AS ANY OTHER, OR EVEN HIGHER.

HOLISTIC ERGONOMICS

HOLISTIC ERGONOMICS

Nowadays, Kinnarps' ergonomic work is concerned with well-being and health rather than with furniture. With individually customised working environments we put the focus on people.

Ergonomics is so much more than standing, carrying and sitting correctly. For us at Kinnarps, ergonomics means primarily feeling good at work – in the head, body and soul. We know from experience that there are as many needs as there are employees in a workplace. So our starting point is everyone's individuality.

We are experts in creating environments which foster well-being from every point of view. By using flexible solutions, innovative technology and intelligent combinations of chairs, tables, lighting, colour schemes and sound insulation, we create holistic ergonomic solutions which are tailor-made for their users. Flexibility, mobility and variation are our keywords for what is most important for us: to fill our customers' workspace with good health!

PRACTISING WHAT WE PREACH

ERGONOMICS IS ABOUT THE WHOLE PERSON – AND THE WHOLE COMPANY. KINNARPS DEVELOPS, PRODUCES AND SELLS INTERIOR DESIGNS, BUT IS ALSO A LARGE WORKPLACE. WITH HIGHER ERGONOMIC DEMANDS THAN MOST.

"YES, I DO THINK WE HAVE HIGHER AMBITIONS than most companies when it comes to ergonomics," says production manager Anders Hermansson. "We, if anyone, know how important ergonomics is in enabling people to feel good and perform well."   This high level of ambition permeates the whole process – from production to delivery. At Kinnarps' Jönköping factory, a new line for assembling chair underframes has just been put into operation.  The underframes are automatically put at the correct angle for assembly, so the employees avoid having to work in awkward, backbreaking positions. A typical example of Kinnarps' systematic work in which ergonomics permeates everything.

CONTINUING TO DEVELOP
Parts of Kinnarps' factories have height-adjustable flooring to give the correct working height regardless of how tall the employee is. Employees can choose whether to sit or stand at their work station. The light is planned so that it neither casts a shadow nor dazzles, the noise level is such that you can talk in a normal conversational tone, and the tools are easily accessible and customised for the work. Double commands prevent crushing injuries and all heavy manual lifts have been replaced by machine solutions.

Anders Lundahl is satisfied."Yes, I'm satisfied in the sense that the production environment has turned out really well, but there are things that can be improved even further. We're continuing to develop our ergonomic solutions and practise what we preach."

COLOURWISE

THE TREND BAROMETER IS POINTING VERTICALLY UPWARDS FOR INDIVIDUALLY DESIGNED OFFICES. THIS BENEFITS, AMONG OTHER THINGS, OUR CREATIVITY AND EFFICIENCY, AND INCREASES OUR WELL-BEING AT WORK. THE SCOPE FOR MORE INDIVIDUAL WORKPLACES IS ENDLESS – THE ONLY LIMITATIONS ARE NEEDS AND IMAGINATION. WITH AN OPEN MIND AND COLOURCOORDINATED INTERIORS, CONSTRUCTED FROM THE KINNARP GROUP BRANDS KINNARPS, DRABERT, MARTINSTOLL, MATERIA, SKANDIFORM AND NC NORDIC CARE OFFER A WIDE SELECTION OF ERGONOMIC DESIGNER FURNITURE THAT INSPIRES CHANGE.

FUNCTIONAL FOOD

Interest in functional food – food which optimises the body's functions – is growing by leaps and bounds. We got in touch with Anneli Hallberg, cook, health coach and personal trainer, who tells us more about how we can feel better.

The term 'FUNCTIONAL FOOD' was coined in Japan during the 1980s. In a word, it means eating food that really gives the body what it needs.

"We don't always remember that what we eat should help all the body's cells, muscles, heart and brain to work at their best, without complications," says Hallberg. "We want to be healthy and to function properly, but we eat food that doesn't give our body what it needs."

Well-known functional foods include dairy products with beneficial bacterial cultures, high-fibre bread and pasta products and margarines with beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. But "adding functionality" is also a good way of selling more products. Beans, nuts and vegetables are outstanding examples of natural functional food.

PLAN YOUR FOOD
The cornerstones of a good diet are: eat regularly, eat breakfast, eat lots of vegetables and drink water. Limit sugar, semi-finished products and alcohol. Eat more vegetables and cut down on meat and fast carbohydrates.

"A good diet is a question of planning. If you take 30 seconds to think through what you're going to eat tomorrow, it will be easier to stick to your plan."

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
You can find out about functional food on the internet or from a dietician or nutritional advisor. Hallberg also encourages everyone to listen to the body's signals.

"As an individual, you often know best which food is good for you – if you learn to feel. Keep a check on how your insides feel and which food keeps you in a good mood, and think about your eating habits. Then you'll be on the right track."

TRAINING FOR FITNESS

Your body needs more than ergonomic furniture for better well-being. Physiotherapist and fitness enthusiast Angelica Bauer has her finger on the pulse of the everyday exercise that makes a difference.

The small changes we make in our everyday lives make a big difference, says Bauer. Such as introducing new routines in our lives which, thanks to continuity and planning, make an active choice for better health. Effective as in ”big effect, little effort”, but also cost-effective in terms of time. Because everyday exercise is, and should be, simple – both to do and to find time for.

"Cycle to work, get off the bus one stop sooner or take a quick walk in your lunch break. Swap your coffee break for a breath of fresh air, and use the stairs instead of the lift. If you have a sedentary job, stand up at regular intervals." If you want to clear your head during your lunch break, Bauer recommends interval or circle training.

"It's short and intensive but nevertheless gives you good all-round exercise. Interval training kick-starts the body and gives quick results, as long as you really tire yourself out. If you're a beginner, start gently but never be afraid to challenge yourself. That's the way to become stronger, have better endurance and get visible results. The other benefits of a more active everyday life will be tangible much sooner."

With the body as the most important tool
FUNCTIONAL FOOD
“WE DON’T ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT WE ARE WHAT WE EAT.”
TRAINING FOR FITNESS
FROM DESK TO BEAN BAG

With the body as the most important tool

Ergonomics is at its best when we can customise our working environment so that it yields optimal results both for us and for the tasks we are to carry out. In order to do this, we need to understand something about our incomparable body. Lena Lehmann, ergonomist and qualified physiotherapist, tells us what.

MOVEMENT
Human beings are in every respect created for movement, and our functions – from the nervous system to digestion – depend on the fact that we move. We therefore need to create ergonomic environments with flexible and customisable work tools and furniture which provide scope for physical activity.

RECUPERATION
Recuperation is as important as activity. It is not enough to take a few weeks off per year – we need to regularly consider active rest From tension comes relaxation, and vice versa. A good working environment creates the necessary conditions for recuperation during work shifts.

THE BACK
The anatomical configuration of the backbone has an S-like shape, which we should try to maintain as far as possible when we sit. We can do this, for example, with the aid of ergonomically-shaped chairs, and by varying our working position between sitting and standing.

NECK AND SHOULDERS
Good ergonomics for the neck and shoulders means creating environments where we can work with relaxed neck and shoulders, take regular breaks and vary our working posture to stimulate the flow of blood, as well as offering a good indoor environment with adequate lighting. The design of the furniture and individual customisation make a beneficial distribution of weight possible.

HANDS AND ARMS
Office work is generally not heavy work, but it involves the frequent repetition of the same small movements in the hands and forearms during the working day. This kind of excessive strain can be prevented with the aid of good work tools and by changing our working posture from time to time.

FROM DESK TO BEAN BAG

TODAY, THERE ARE AS MANY WAYS OF WORKING AS THERE ARE EMPLOYEES, AND DIFFERENT GENERATIONS HAVE DIFFERENT DEMANDS ON THEIR WORKING ENVIRONMENT. THE IDEAL WORKPLACE NEEDS TO STIMULATE BOTH CREATIVITY AND FLEXIBILITY – WITHOUT STINTING ON ERGONOMICS.

ONCE UPON A TIME, DESKS, sturdy task chairs and oval conference tables were the obvious way to furnish an office. This is still how many workplaces look, but today many of us work just as well on a sofa or bean bag. Most people agree that a varied office environment works wonders for creativity. Some of the world's biggest and fastest-growing companies, such as Google, Microsoft and Spotify, are acclaimed for their crazy offices with hammocks, TV games and ping-pong tables.

Jane Ahlin, ergonomist at Ergo@Work and chair of the Swedish Ergonomics & Human Factors Association, does not recommend scrapping all desks in favour of cushion rooms and ball pits. According to a survey carried out by Kinnarps and United Minds, four out of five office workers want to have access to ergonomic work furniture. Four out of ten work standing up every week, and every other one seeks help from an ergonomist. Views on the working environment differ between generations, with the oldest generation being most traditional and focused on ergonomics and peace and quiet. 76 per cent of office workers in the 51-69 age group consider it important to have their own office, while fewer than half in the 15-35 age group think this is an important issue.

But awareness is increasing here, too, Ahlin believes:"I think there used to be a bigger difference. Young people used to be "immortal" but now they're more aware. Many of them have had touches of muscle fatigue themselves or know other people who experience it, and so they become more attentive to how they feel when they're working."

”The secret is to always keep people, our lives and what we do in mind."

FOCUS ON THE HUMAN BEING OF THE FUTURE

What role does the design of the workplace play for our creativity? One thing behavioural scientist and ergonomics researcher Rob Stuthridge knows for sure is how important it is to put the focus on people.

We are moving from a predictable and controlled working life to one characterised by change. To cope with this new, unpredictable and freer working life, individuals, organisations and the whole of society have to be on their toes.

”Human beings are creative and innovative by nature, but our work offers us greater or lesser opportunities to find an outlet for these qualities. The least opportunities are to be found in workplaces characterised by control, routine and fear of change," says Stuthridge.

UNCERTAINTY IS GOOD FOR DEVELOPMENT
He believes that the physical environment is often a mirror of the workplace culture. It can impede or stimulate creativity, and help or obstruct the organisation in developing its full potential. The most successful organisations accept change, encourage new thinking and use design to stimulate discussions, inventiveness and development.

FOR HEART AND HEAD
The entrepreneurs of the future have to understand that ergonomics isn't just about how we sit, stand and carry things, but about a holistic way of thinking about organisations, technology and people. The physical design of the workplace is an important tool for fulfilling the potential of the individual.

"A working environment should appeal to both heart and head. Without compromising on function, workplaces must take actual people as their starting point – who they are and what they are capable of, both individually and collectively. We have to create person-centred workplaces where work is customised to suit the individual, rather than vice versa."

OFFICE TYPE, HEALTH AND PERFORMANCE
FOCUS ON THE HUMAN BEING OF THE FUTURE
FUNCTION, BEAUTY AND SUSTAINABILITY

THE LINK BETWEEN OFFICE TYPE, HEALTH AND PERFORMANCE

We all know how our working environment affects our mood, our well-being and the quality of the work we do. In his dissertation, Aram Seddigh investigates how office type, health and performance are linked.

MORE AND MORE OF US spend our days in office environments, which means that more and more of us have experience and views about different office types. It's one thing to think and guess, and another to measure in which environments we actually do feel best and work best. This is what Aram Seddigh did in his doctoral dissertation 'Office type, performance and well-being', submitted to the Department of Psychology of Stockholm University. In his comprehensive dissertation he investigates, among other things, whether office types affect employees' health and performance  – and, if so, how.

THE MYTH THAT HAVING YOUR OWN ROOM IS BEST
"Many people believe that having their own room is always best for them, but if you measure the reality, the difference compared with other office types isn't big. Cognitive tests of memory show that employees who sit in cubicle offices are most affected by distractions, while people in small or medium-sized office landscapes manage better. Perhaps this is because they have learned to concentrate despite being distracted, or because individual offices are not being used correctly."

INVESTIGATING GREATER FLEXIBILITY
Nowadays, office design is less to do with furnishing and more to do with a holistic perspective on the processes and working methods in an organisation. Aram Seddigh's continuing research focuses on how we are affected by flexible and activity-based offices. The large-scale historical trends have been moving for a long time in the direction of more flexible ways of living and working, and this development is going to continue.

"The freedom of choice that the activity-based office creates can be positive for employees. It gives a sense of control, which leads to better well-being and more effective work. But increased freedom of choice also puts new demands on self-leadership in the organisation. In the transition from individual rooms to an activity-based office, for example, management must create a good transformation process where the employees are involved and can participate. It's a sure way of contributing to both health and performance."

FUNCTION, BEAUTY AND SUSTAINABILITY

Architects often see ergonomics as a necessary evil rather than a creative opportunity, according to architect Giuseppe Boscherini. He wants architecture to be more in tune with people's everyday lives and to allow the ergonomic perspective to permeate the designer's vision.

Architecture is defined as the interaction between function, beauty and sustainability. The discussion on what the focal points should be is at least 2,000 years old, but is still of relevance. When the issue of ergonomics is added to the equation, the question is turned on its head. Should architecture succumb to ergonomics, should architecture be steered by ergonomics – or can the various elements interact, even draw strength from each other?

"For me, there is no contradiction between 'good architecture' and 'good ergonomics'. On the contrary, I would say they are closely linked, and both take the human being as their starting point. So basically, architecture and ergonomics are about the same thing," says Boscherini.

KEEP PEOPLE IN MIND
Giuseppe Boscherini wants buildings and interiors to have a clear link with how people actually live their lives, move about and work. Architecture, just like ergonomics, must in other words help people to feel well, both in mind and body.

"The secret is to always keep people, our lives and what we do in mind. I usually describe design as a process that has to be open and receptive to the senses. It is only through understanding our five senses that we as architects and designers can create environments that are attentive to the needs of people. And such environments will also automatically be good from an ergonomic perspective."

ENVIRONMENTAL TRENDS
”MINI-BREAKS AND SHORT RECOVERY PERIODS DURING THE DAY ARE IMPORTANT FOR HOW YOU FEEL.”

ENVIRONMENTAL TRENDS

STEFAN NILSSON – ONE OF SWEDEN'S LEADING TREND EXPERTS – ALWAYS HAS HIS FINGER ON THE PULSE. THIS IS HIS VIEW OF DEVELOPMENTS IN ERGONOMICS.

Trends and ergonomics perhaps don't seem to be an obvious combination. We tend to think of trends as short-term solutions, and of ergonomics as efficiency and well-being in the office. But of course ergonomics also follows the spirit of the times.

Historically speaking, the office has changed. After the first world war came the first solutions for relations between humans and machines. In the 1970s came ergonomic chairs. In the 1990s it was computers, and around the turn of the millennium, the scope for mobile work exploded.

There are a number of major trends at the moment. The first is the health trend, which really exploded during 2015. All of a sudden, everyone had to go for a run at lunchtime, and bosses talked about the importance of exercising. Offices were redesigned to encourage more movement and environments were filled with furniture upholstered with materials resembling sports clothing.

2015 was the breakthrough year for anti-consumption and environmental thinking. One of the most influential people globally in the world of design, Daniel Charny, thinks we are moving towards a world where we will be more involved in the production of products. To give us a feeling of participating more – and especially by recycling. He calls the movement 'makers & fixers', where everything is self-made, and the opposite of mass-produced and 'quick fix'.

It's a direction that can be linked to the trend towards personalisation, where everything should be personal and environmentally friendly. When you have participated in creating your working environment, your well-being and performance will both improve. If nothing else, you should have an exercise session at lunchtime.

KINNARPS NEXT OFFICE™

Today, work is not something you go to. Today, work is what you do. Working methods are changing along with technology, and traditional workplaces are giving place to new. Next Office is Kinnarps approach to future working environments. The concepts, where one possible solu-tion is Activity Based Working (= ABW) are based on our interpretation of research, new ideas and insights that generate new solutions for the future workplace. ABW is an approach where the activity controlled working environment is tailored to the actual occupancy and the personal workplace is exchanged for a variety of flexible, functional and stimulating environments that promote different tasks. The degree of activity based working depends on each company’s organisational structure and employees.

An ordinary day at work involves many different tasks. Today’s technology makes it possible to perform them in different environments, both inside and outside the office. Whereas we used to go to work, today we take our work with us wherever we go.

The personal desks can be removed in favour of several different types of location-independent work rooms. Small quiet rooms along large landscapes with flowing conversations. Meeting rooms of different sizes can be located next to a lounge for a more relaxed atmosphere and give scope for spontaneous meetings.

The Next Office philosophy is based on a holistic perspective that includes everything from furniture to sound, light, colour, air conditioning and technology where each component is a crucial part of a successful whole. 

The benefits of Next Office-ABW are many. Reduced facility costs thanks to surfaces used effectively. A more sustainable and adaptable office for many years to come. Greater creativity. And, not least, in-creased well-being of the employees, who will be able to move between several ergonomic environments – fully adapted to the tasks to be performed. 

KINNARPS NEXT OFFICE™
1

STAND UP FOR YOUR HEALTH

Most people sit too still for their own good. Height-adjustable tables are a good start. Switching regularly between sitting and standing is important for the table to fulfil its function. Standing up for ten minutes from time to time may perhaps not sound like very much, but makes a big difference to the body.  Stand up for your health before your neck, shoulders and back remind you how important it is.

2

TAKE AN ACTIVE BREAK

A short break once every half hour is the first step towards a healthier life. But taking a break is not the same thing as resting passively. On the contrary. You should preferably move a little when you take a break. Slight muscle effort sets off lots of positive processes in the body.

3

HOLD YOUR HEAD HIGH.

We spend many hours each day in front of a monitor. The problem is not the monitor itself, but the heavy strain we subject our neck to when we lean forwards to our phones, iPhones and laptops. This can cause pain in the neck and shoulder areas, but can also make us tired and tense and gives us a headache. The best tip is to take a break from technology for a while. If this is not possible, you can make a big difference by lifting your gaze and holding your head a little higher to relieve pressure on the neck and achieve a better posture.

4

SIT, BY ALL MEANS, BUT DON’T SIT STILL.

Do you find it hard to sit still? Congratulations! Because the best way to sit is to do it with variation, movement and activity. So it is good to have a task chair which follows your body rather than vice versa, which is easy to adjust to you and which allows you to sit in as many different ways as possible.

5

AND WHAT YOU CANNOT SEE

Invisible sound and light affect you more than you suspect. Sound and light are to a large extent a matter of planning the workplace, and are something the individual often has little influence over. A few useful tips can nevertheless improve the environment for you. As far as sound is concerned, consideration is a good starting point. A quiet conversation is less annoying than a loud one. When we talk on the telephone, we have a tendency to talk with a louder voice than necessary. If possible, move somewhere else for lengthy conversations.If the body has too little light it secretes melatonin, which makes you sleepy. So good lighting is a bright idea if you want to cope all day long. Make sure you can adjust your lighting needs yourself, with additional lamps.

Fields
LET LIGHT DO THE JOB
THE QUIET REVOLUTION

FIELDS

The modular, flexible Fields furniture range is one of the cornerstones of the Next Office™ - Activity Based Working - concept. Fields creates opportunities for individual customisation of a workplace to suit everybody's different characteristics and needs. Olle Gyllang, design strategist at Propeller Design, is interviewed:

HOW WAS THE IDEA OF FIELDS BORN?
"The Fields concept is based on precise analyses and strategies conducted by Kinnarps. So when we were brought into the project they already knew what they wanted, and my task  – together with the team at Kinnarps – was to find a solution to a need that had already been identified."

WHAT IS YOUR IDEA BEHIND THE DESIGN?
"A large part of the work of developing Fields was to create good conditions for different work needs and activity types. From withdrawing into your own space so that you can work and concentrate with no distractions, or take a quiet break, to meetings in small groups. From the private to the social, where both individuals and groups can find the space they need. The concept consists of a large number of modules and functions where all the parts can be combined to tailor the furnishings to suit the customer's wishes."

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO FURNISH WITH FIELDS?
"As I see it, we have created the building blocks and opportunities for the architect, on the basis of space, need and context, to design a good functional environment with a lot of variation in both expression and use."

LET LIGHT DO THE JOB

THE HUMAN BODY IS CONTROLLED BY THE BIOLOGICAL CLOCK – WHICH IS IN ITS TURN CONTROLLED BY LIGHT. LIGHTING AND LIGHT SETTING ARE IMPORTANT FOR US, SINCE WE SPEND ON AVERAGE 90% OF OUR WAKING HOURS INDOORS.

LIGHT HAS AN ENORMOUS EFFECT on us human beings. On our vision, of course, but also on our mood and our activity level. The human daily rhythm is adapted to the sun. We are more alert and perform better during the day, and recuperate at night.

LIGHT BULB, FLUORESCENT STRIP LIGHT OR LED?
Our reaction to light is connected with the light intensity and colour temperature. Therefore the characteristics and quality of the artificial light around us are of great importance. A light bulb has the whole spectrum of light waves, just like daylight, but is an energy-inefficient source of light. A fluorescent strip light does not have the same spectrum, and therefore does not have the same effect on our need for light. Certain light sources are sensitive to alternating current, which creates a subliminal flicker which can cause headaches and create the sensation of stress.

The new LED lights are a good alternative, since they are energy-efficient, have very good colour reproduction and a low amount of subliminal flicker. It is important to be careful when choosing LED lights, since the quality can vary enormously.

HUMAN CENTRIC LIGHTING – BIOLOGICALLY EFFECTIVE LIGHT
Lighting also has non-visual effects. Human Centric Lighting is so-called dynamic light, which means that you can vary both lighting strength and light colour during the day, which can support the human daily rhythm, increase concentration, prevent sleep problems and improve our general well-being. Such solutions in schools, offices and hospitals can give students, staff and patients increased energy and motivation. In countries with little daylight during the winter months, an adjustable light temperature can reduce winter depression and other season-related illnesses.

THORBJÖRN LAIKE'S GOOD ADVICE FOR A GOOD LIGHT ENVIRONMENT IN THE WORKPLACE.

DAYLIGHT IS THE BEST SOURCE
Windows are the absolute best light source you can have. There is no other light that can replace daylight completely.

LOTS OF LIGHT, BUT NOT GLARING
Best of all is indirect light which is directed via the walls and ceiling. A glaring lamp can have a directly negative effect on the body, since we fend off light, which in turn leads to an incorrect working position.

MIX LIGHT SOURCES
Fluorescent tube lights give good general light. Combine them with the new type of narrow-beam diode lights which you can use for sculpting light and shadows in the room.

CORRECTLY ILLUMINATED
Good light fittings have reflectors to counteract dazzling. So as not to generate glare and reflections on screens, they should be hung from the ceiling to provide indirect light, just behind the actual workplace.

SUPPLEMENT WITH INDIVIDUAL LIGHT
People have different lighting needs. It is important to be able to control your personal lighting needs. A desk lamp may be the solution.

AGE AFFECTS US
Light is immensely important for young people, since poor light can cause short-sightedness. At the age of 40+, the need for light becomes greater and greater, and an increased amount of light is a common need.

THE QUIET REVOLUTION

Since it cannot be either seen or touched, sound is an important component of ergonomics which is often neglected. Lisbeth Forsberg, acoustics expert at Kinnarps, thinks it is time to speak up about sound.

Not all sound is noise, and total silence is seldom preferable. In fact there are some sounds that we want, and need, to hear as well as possible. The fact that we also have different sensitivities to sound and perceive it in extremely different ways are also among the factors that make sound a complex subject within holistic ergonomics.

"We know that sound affects our ability to perform, that it can cause stress, headaches and concentration problems, but also physical pain in the shoulders and neck. At the same time, sound is inevitable in our workplaces."

SHUT NOISE OUT
A lot can be done with the acoustic environment if we only notice it and become aware of how it affects us. A flexible environment with a number of different sound areas is best for creating a good working environment, and here mobile sound absorbers have an important role to play.

"The advantage of screens, apart from the fact that they dampen sound, is that they also make the office flexible and adaptable to new requirements," says Forsberg. Particular care should be taken to screen off around machines and areas that make a noise, hum or where there is just a slightly higher sound level. Screens between workplaces dampen sound in an office landscape, without sacrificing the advantages of increased closeness and communication.

"Over the years I have come across a number of examples of environments where sound ergonomics have been entirely neglected. Now I see a lot of positive signs that things are developing in the right direction. There's something of a quiet revolution under way."

It’s about people.