5 Common Health Conditions that May be Caused by Your Workspace

Did you know one of the ways we wind up with nerve- and tendon-related injuries is by working in an office? It may sound surprising, but without ergonomically-correct office furniture, accessories, and postures, something as simple as using a mouse or typing can cause serious injuries over time. Here are 5 common conditions that may be caused by your workspace:

Tennis Elbow

No, you don’t have to play tennis to get tennis elbow. Also known as lateral epicondylitis, tennis elbow  is inflammation of the tendons that attach from the outside of the elbow to the muscles that bend the wrist and fingers upward. And surprisingly, this condition can be caused by movements we commonly engage in while working at a computer for an extended period of time, including repetitive use of a mouse and typing, as well as gripping and grasping pens or other tools.

Golfer’s Elbow

You don’t have to play golf to get golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, either! This is inflammation of the tendons that attach from the inside of the elbow to the muscles that bend the wrist and fingers downward. This condition can be caused by repetitive use of a mouse, typing, gripping, and grasping, just like in tennis elbow. It can also be caused by too much sustained weight or pressure on the elbow, called contact stress. Chair arm rests are a common cause of contact stress.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel is another common office injury, often caused by a lot of typing with improper posture on a computer keyboard over an extended period of time. All of that repetitive motion irritates the median nerve in the wrist, causing inflammation.

Back Strain

A strain happens when either a muscle or the tendon that connects to the muscle to a bone is overstretched or torn. This can be caused by lifting heavy things, overuse or overextension, and exercise. Routine office tasks like reaching behind you to get documents from your printer or carrying heavy items like binders or boxes around the office can be the culprits of a back strain.

Ganglion Cyst

If you discover a painful lump on top of a joint or at the covering of a tendon, you may have a ganglion cyst. Most ganglion cysts appear at the wrist joint on the back of the hand. They can occur because of repetition, contact stress, or injuries. Proper alignment of the elbows, hands, wrists, and fingers while working is key to helping to prevent ganglion cysts.

If you find yourself with one of these conditions or any kind of other pain or discomfort, and you work in an office environment, consider whether your injury or pain may be caused, at least in part, by something in your workspace. If you’re not sure, reach out to an ergonomic consultant, who can help you evaluate your work area and how you use it and find possible solutions. And of course, always check with your doctor about any persistent issues. Click Here to learn more about the Ergonomic Consultations available through Benjamin Roberts.

Here’s to feeling better at work!

height adjustable desk

5 Ergonomic Myths Not to Believe

Want to feel better at work? With an increase of time spent working at the computer comes an increase of related discomfort and injuries in the office environment. But understanding the real source of the discomfort and fixing it can be tricky. Here are 5 common myths about ergonomics in the office:

1. The problem has to be my chair.

Ask a facilities manager or HR professional – disgruntled employees complaining of discomfort at work often show up with doctors’ notes prescribing ergonomic office chairs as the solution.

But here’s the problem – if the doctor didn’t see the chair and watch the person use it, then the doctor doesn’t really know if the problem is the chair or something else. The fact is, there are many things that could be wrong in a workspace besides the chair. It could be the desk is too high, or the monitors are in the wrong place. There is so much more that must be considered, if you want a healthy work area.

2. Keyboard trays are annoying.

Keyboard trays have come a long way, but many people remember the old, clunky keyboard trays that were frustrating to use and difficult to adjust. Thanks to streamlined, innovative new designs, keyboard trays are now considered by experts to be one of the easiest and best ways to ensure you can use your desk with the best possible posture.

3. Standing at your desk is bad for you.

Sit-to-stand desks are all the rage, but there is a lot of conflicting information out there about whether they are safe and effective. And it is true – standing all day puts undue strain on your body and can cause more harm than good. But that doesn’t mean you should throw that standing desk out the window. The key to optimizing your health and wellness in the workplace is regularly changing positions throughout the day from sitting to standing to leaning to walking and back again. When used properly, a sit-to-stand desk could be a great option for you!

4. Sitting at your desk is bad for you.

See above. Movement is key. Making sure the tools in your workstation have been properly adjusted so you can use them safely is also important.

5. Ergonomic furniture is expensive.

It can be expensive. But it doesn’t have to be. Make sure you choose an office furniture dealership with experts who can help you determine the best products for you and work within your budget.

One of the easiest ways to create an ergonomically-friendly space that supports you as you work is to have a consultation with a certified ergonomic evaluator who can help you make changes to your work area.

Check out our Benjamin Roberts ergonomics consultation program, HERE.

Here’s to feeling better at work!

renewed purpose remarkable service graphic

Renewed Purpose. Remarkable Service.

“People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it,” Simon Sinek so famously said.

At Benjamin Roberts, we believe that people who are inspired to do good, empowered to excel, and equipped with the right resources and relationships can transform their workplaces and communities for the better. But up until 2018, we had never put that belief into words. And while we were successful without a clearly defined “why” in the past, an increasingly crowded market with many worthy competitors meant we needed to find a new way to set ourselves apart.

The turning point came when we were nominated by a client for Samaritan Counseling Center’s Ethics in Business Award. As we went through the Award process, we discovered that, while we had remarkable employee satisfaction scores and had done a lot of good things for our employee team, clients, and the local community, no one had ever taken time to write any of those things down. On top of that, while our number of employees had grown over the years, our employee handbook had not been updated to reflect the changes that come with managing growth, a positive internal culture, and employee expectations.

ethics in business award

Our first step towards “discovering our why” was to create a purpose statement, set of values, and series of brand habits designed to strengthen our business and grow our positive impact on the people we care about. After researching best practices, gathering data about our customers from reviews, customer satisfaction surveys, and conversations, and holding several discussions with our employees to gather feedback and ideas, our new purpose statement, values list, and brand habits were crafted. And here they are:

purpose and values infographic

Of course, the next question is what do we do with this information now that we have it written down? Well, stay tuned here on our blog and on social media, this year, and you may just see things like “B Corp Certification,” sustainability, ergonomics and employee wellness, supporting the arts, and other key phrases starting to pop up more and more frequently. In the meantime, thanks for your support of our company and for all the incredible things you and your organization do to make our community even better!

Giveaway Graphic for Blog

penn credit small conference room

5 Inspiring Collaboration Spaces to Bolster Creativity and Innovation at Work

When it comes to casting vision, crafting strategy, and cultivating creativity and innovation, the built environment makes a big difference. Comfortable seating, ample lighting, writing surfaces for capturing ideas and mapping touchpoints, and more all support collaboration and stimulate the flow of ideas that lead to greater success, however you define it for your organization.

So how do you create that kind of space at your workplace? Here are a few ideas from recent Benjamin Roberts projects to get the wheels turning:

School District of Lancaster Conference Room – Lancaster, PA

school district of lancaster conference room

This inspiring new space for faculty features HON Flock furnishings upholstered in engaging, yet peaceful, greens and muted tones, with writable walls and places to conveniently access technology, from a large screen to power poles for laptops and devices.

Multi-functional by design, the space has been laid out with efficiency in mind, incorporating both a large communal meeting space and dedicated smaller collaborative areas.

Penn Credit Small Conference Room – Harrisburg, PA

penn credit small conference room

Set in a serene wooded area outside of Harrisburg, Penn Credit’s colorful, industrial new office space incorporates furniture solutions from multiple leading contract furniture manufacturers, including pieces for a variety of large and small conference rooms, like this one.

Dauphin County Technical School Library Media Table – Harrisburg, PA

dauphin county technical school library media table

This media center for the 21st Century learner incorporates existing and emerging technology in many forms to support students in group work and in individual study. Equipped with Mio Collaborative Tables from National Office Furniture, small groups of students have comfortable and convenient access to technology via large screens above the tables.

Sungard Availability Services Collaboration Area – Wayne, PA

sungard collaborative area

Those bright pops of red throughout the offices at Sungard do more than just reinforce the company’s brand – they also create vibrant and engaging small collaborative areas and touchdown spaces for employees to use for meetings and conversations.

Transteck, Inc. Soft Seating in the Executive Office – Harrisburg, PA

transteck executive office loung seating

Who says you have to have meetings around a big table? This soft seating area in the executive office at Transteck, Inc. is ideal for conversation because it’s informal “living room” design makes it feel like home, while the natural lighting and soothing color palette create a feeling of relaxation.

Inspired by what you see? Learn more about the contract furniture products and services available to you from our Benjamin Roberts Ltd Office Interiors team of experts at www.benjaminrobertsltd.com!

Lancaster County Coffee Roasters Coffee and Candy Cane

10 Last Minute Lancaster Gift Ideas from Our Neighborhood

We talk a lot at Benjamin Roberts about how a company’s choice of furniture can impact internal culture and success, from encouraging collaboration to providing greater access to technology anywhere in the office to creating a beautiful and comfortable place to get things done! Another way to create a positive company culture is to show your appreciation for your employees, co-workers, and clients in meaningful ways.

So, since we’re still a week away from Christmas, we thought we would help you out by showcasing a few of our downtown Lancaster neighbors whose products and services would make great gifts for your work family!

A Few of Our BR Team’s Favorite Things (in No Particular Order)

Dinner at Ma(i)son

We might as well start with our neighbors immediately next door to our downtown Lancaster showroom on Prince Street! Dinner at this local “Urban Cookery” is a delicious way to show your clients and colleagues that you care.


Dessert at Penny’s 

Just few doors down from our office is Penny’s brick and mortar ice cream shop (they have a food truck, ice cream cart, and kiosk at the mall, too!). You can’t go wrong with a gift of locally-made ice cream in all kinds of yummy flavors!


Lunch at Rachel’s Cafe & Creperie

Two words. Nutella. Mocha. Soooooo good, and the food is wonderful, too. These neighbors are just around the corner from us on Walnut Street – you can’t miss their cheerful yellow building and beautiful new patio!

Rachel's Cafe & Creperie

Coffee at Lancaster County Coffee Roasters (and Basically Everything Else You Can Find at Lancaster Central Market)

We have quite a few coffee drinkers around our office, and quite a few regulars at Lancaster Central Market, as well, so we can easily recommend this downtown Lancaster landmark as a great place for locally-made gifts! That’s a Peppermint Bark coffee you see, below. Yum! And you can also get coffee beans, K-Cups, and more at the Market stand.

Lancaster County Coffee Roasters and Central Market

Tickets to the Fulton Theatre

Tickets for a show at this Lancaster County landmark just a few blocks away from BR is another fun and entertaining gift idea for your clients, co-workers, or employees.

Fulton Theatre

Coffee at Passenger Coffee

Like I said, we have quite a few coffee drinkers on our BR team, and another of our many local favorites are these neighbors a few blocks away on King Street. We love this ethical company that knows their coffee – a delightful gift option for your caffeine-loving colleagues!

Passenger Coffee

Lunch at Roburrito’s

These guys are right across Prince Street from us, and a regular spot for our employees to grab some lunch. So glad to have them in our neighborhood – check them out!


Popped Anything at The Pop’D Shop

Popcorn. Poptoast. SodaPop. Popsicles. Locally sourced and handcrafted. We just bought some of their popcorn bags as a giveaway for a holiday networking event, and boy was it worth it! Swing by their new Shop on The 300 Block of North Queen Street (and check out the other great shops on the block, as well)!

The Pop'D Shop

Artwork from Friendship Heart Gallery and Candy and Ice Cream from Miesse Candies & Ice Cream Parlor

You can’t beat a one-stop shopping opportunity like this one! These two neighbors a block away on Water Street share an entrance and have a variety of gift options to satisfy an art lover or a co-worker with a sweet tooth! (P.S. We also have some Friendship Heart Gallery art for sale in our showroom, for anyone who might be interested in supporting the work of this amazing local non-profit organization that provides opportunities to individuals with disability and autism.)

Friendship Heart Gallery and Miesse Candies and Ice Cream Parlor

So there you have it! We hope you are inspired to do a little local holiday shopping from our awesome downtown Lancaster friends and neighbors. All the best to you in the New Year!