FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention generally relates to an ergonomic desk that may be adjusted to accommodate different people, and more specifically relates to an ergonomic desk having one or more surfaces that are movable relative to a primary desk surface.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
A conventional work desk, whether a home or office desk, is designed to optimize work and storage space for a user. Generally, the desk height is standard and immovable, thus other desk components such as computer monitors and desk chairs must be adjusted relative to the conventional desk. Because conventional work desks are not ergonomically designed, achieving a functional and ergonomic desk typically requires custom structural changes after the desk has been assigned to a particular user.
The actual shapes of a person's trapezius muscle, levator scapulae muscle, and cervical erector spinae muscles are best suited for walking and occasional lifting. When sitting at a conventional desk, these muscles support the person's arms for prolonged periods of time. In turn, the user instinctually wants to lean forward and push down on the desk surface in order to remove excessive tension out of the upper neck and shoulder muscles. However, this posture causes an array of other problems over time such as, but not limited to, straightening of the person's cervical spine to the extent that the person loses their natural spinal curve. Improper desk posture, over time, may lead to increased stress in the supporting muscles, straightening of the spine and neck, and even nerve or spinal disc damage.
The U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a useful checklist for configuring one's posture and configuring an ergonomic work station. An ergonomically correct work station will help prevent injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, neck stiffness, and chronic back pain. While such a checklist may be helpful it does not overcome the drawbacks of non-adjustable, conventional work desks.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention is generally directed toward an adjustable, ergonomic work desk that is easily configurable to a wide variety of user sizes, shapes and weights. The ergonomic work desk may be configured to alleviate existing muscular, skeletal or nervous system issues and/or configured to prevent such issues in the first instance. In one embodiment, the ergonomic work desk may be arranged from a sitting configuration to a standing configuration or vice-versa.
In one aspect of the present invention, an ergonomic desk includes a primary desk section having a primary desk surface; a second desk section located above the primary desk surface, the second desk section vertically adjustable and rotationally adjustable relative to the primary desk surface; and an arm support section rotationally adjustable in a plane that is substantially parallel to a second desk surface of the second desk section.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Preferred and alternative embodiments of the present invention are described in detail below with reference to the following drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an ergonomic desk according to an embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a side devotional view of the ergonomic desk of FIG. 1 showing a user's viewing angle;
FIG. 3 is another side elevational view of the ergonomic desk of FIG. 1 showing an adjustment assembly according to an embodiment of the present invention; and
FIG. 4 is perspective view of a collar for securing the ergonomic desk in a desired position according to an embodiment of the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
In the following description, certain specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of various embodiments of the invention. However, one skilled in the art will understand that the invention may be practiced without these details. In other instances, well-known structures associated with work desks, work stations, and methods of ergonomically configuring the same have not necessarily been shown or described in detail to avoid unnecessarily obscuring descriptions of the embodiments of the invention.
FIG. 1 shows a work station 100 in which a desk user 102 is seated at an ergonomic desk 104 according to an embodiment of the invention, The user 102 is interacting with an input device 106 and a display monitor 108. The ergonomic desk 104 includes legs 110 for supporting a primary desk section 112, which in turn has a primary desk surface 114. A second desk section 116 includes a second desk surface 118 for supporting the input device 106 such as a keyboard and a mouse (not shown). In addition, the ergonomic desk 104 includes arm support sections 120. One of the main purposes of the ergonomic desk 104 is to support the weight of the user's arms while correctly positioning the user to relax nerve bundles in the neck and upper back area.
In one embodiment, the legs 102 are adjustable to change a height of the primary desk surface 114 relative to the ground or floor (not shown). In one embodiment, the legs 110 are adjustable to change a height of the primary desk surface 114 relative to the ground or floor (not shown). Each leg consists of a lockable/adjustable cylinder (bottom of the leg) within an outer stationary cylinder. Height adjustment is attained by rotating the bottom of the leg clockwise to unlock the adjustable inner cylinder. Then push the bottom cylinder up or down to the desired height. Finally rotate the bottom of the leg counterclockwise to lock in the new height. When the primary desk surface 114 is properly adjusted, the user's sitting position will allow them to have their hips bent at about 80 to about 110 degrees of hip flexion with their knees bent at approximately 90 degrees such that their knees are substantially parallel within the same plane as the hip bone (FIG. 3 illustrates the above-described sitting position).
Referring to FIG. 2, adjusting the height of the primary desk surface 114 may help maintain a view 122 of the user at an appropriate angle 124. In one embodiment, the appropriate angle 124 is in a range of about 25 degrees to about 55 degrees relative to an imaginary horizontal line 126 extending from the user's eyes.
Further, the user's forearms 128 are supported on the arm support sections 120. With the user's forearms 128 supported, the user 102 may advantageously push downward with their forearms 128 periodically to reset and/or relax nerve bundles and muscles in the neck, shoulder and upper back regions. As discussed above, conventional desks do not provide an adjustable surface to accommodate the user's forearms or provide the user with an appropriate viewing angle.
FIG. 3 shows the ergonomic desk 100 with an adjustment assembly 130 that permits the second desk section 116 to be moved relative to the primary desk section 112. The adjustment assembly 130 includes an adjustment arm 132 rotationally coupled to a lower pillow block 134 through a lower shaft 136 and further coupled to an upper pillow block 138 through an upper shaft 140. In one embodiment, the lower shaft 136 may be kept fixed to the lower pillow block 134 using a lower clamp-on shaft collar 142. Likewise, the upper shaft 140 may be kept fixed to the upper pillow block 138 using an upper clamp-on shaft collar 144. Loosening the lower collar 142 allows the second desk section 116 to be translationally moved relative to the primary desk section 112. Loosening the upper collar 144 allows the second desk section 116 to be rotated relative to the primary desk section 112, and more specifically rotated relative to the primary desk surface 114 (FIG. 1). In one embodiment, the ergonomic desk 104 includes two or more adjustment arm 132 to accommodate a vast array of different body types, heights and personal preferences of the user 102. Thus, the user 102 may select which adjustment arm length most ergonomically suits their sitting position.
FIG. 4 shows a collar 144 according to an embodiment of the present invention. Preferably, the collar 144 takes the form of a clamp-style collar. The collar 144 includes a collar body 146, a full slit 148 through one side of the body 146, a partial slit 150 through a diametrically opposite side of the body 146, a hinge portion 152 adjacent the partial slit 150, and a locking fastener 154. Upon loosening the locking fastener 154, the body 146 releases from the shaft (not shown) and is able to slightly open via the slits 148, 150 and the hinge portion 152. When the ergonomic desk is in a desired position, the clamp 144 may be tightened to compress the collar 144 around the shaft (not shown) and lock it into place. Because the compression forces of body 146 are uniformly distributed to the shaft (not shown) the clamp 144 may advantageously have a holding power that is nearly twice that of a conventional set screw collar. To adjust the height of the second desk section 116, the locking screw 154 on the collar 144 is turned counterclockwise to unlock the shaft (not shown). Then the second desk section 116 is rotated to the desired angular orientation. Rotation of the locking screw 154 clockwise clamps the collar 144 around the shaft (not shown).
The settings of the height and angle of the keyboard support 116 can be adjusted as described above and also using electric motors, gears, pneumatic devices, and other equivalents.
To initially set up the ergonomic desk, the user 102 sits at the ergonomic desk 104 while another person properly adjusts the various portions of the ergonomic desk 104 to obtain the correct posture, sitting position, and arm position for the user 102. By way of example, the user's hips and knees are positioned substantially parallel to the floor or at a minimum with the hips located within ten degrees above or below the knees. Further, the user's forearms should be supported to form approximately a right angle at the elbow bend. In one embodiment, the second desk section 116 may be rotated, which in turn permits the arm support sections 120 to rotate therewith. Some users prefer their forearms only slightly bent thus, the rotation of the arm support sections 120 permits this while still providing adequate support from the wrist to the elbow. The user may be able to press down along the forearms to achieve the desired relaxation of the neck, shoulders and upper back.
The arm support sections 120 are adjustable in conjunction with the second desk section 116 to obtain the desired vertical rise and slant that provides the most adequate ergonomic result. The arm support sections 120 may be slid in or out, relative to each other, to achieve a two inch gap between the arms and the chest where the brachial plexus of the shoulders innervates muscles of the arm. A user can measure their body length across the chest and move the arm support sections 120 in or out so that the arms are allowed to rest outside of the chest/shoulder line. In contrast, a larger person using a small computer at a conventional desk may, over time, feel a pinching or tightening of the nerve bundles in their anterior chest.
A footrest (not shown) may also be included with the ergonomic desk 100. The footrest may be configured with a ramp that allows the user to their feet and provide a slight pushback into their chair. Such a configuration increases the user's lumbar support and enforces a better posture.
While the preferred embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described, as noted above, many changes can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, the scope of the invention is not limited by the disclosure of the preferred embodiment. Instead, the invention should be determined entirely by reference to the claims that follow.