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Keyboard Solutions

Mousing Solutions

Notebook Solutions

General

General Questions

Q: Do I need to sit in the same perfect posture all day?
A: Actually, no. You should try to vary your activities and position during the day to stimulate circulation and rest overworked muscles. Find a couple of low-risk positions that offer support and comfort and shift between them. If you plan to do a repetitive task such as work at your desk for an extended period, many experts feel that you should take frequent mini-breaks of a few minutes each hour. During these breaks you could do some filing, sort your mail, do some stretches, tidy up your office, or walk to the copier and make copies.
Q: What is the best way to organize my workstation?
A: You should keep the most frequently used items within easy arms reach and on the side of your dominant hand. For instance, if you spend a lot of time on the phone and are right-handed, you should have your phone within easy arm's reach on the right side of your workstation. Avoid awkward reaching, bending, or stretching to reach frequently used items.
Q: If I work at a computer, how often should I have my eyes checked?
A: A minimum of once every two years. When you make an appointment with your eye care professionals, you should mention that you work at a computer and ask if they need any further information. They may want to know how much time you spend at the computer and how far your monitor is from your eyes. If you are a heavy computer user, they may offer you glasses that are optimized for computer work.

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Surroundings Solutions

Lighting

Q: The amount of glare reduction seems to differ depending upon the workstation. Why is this?

A: At certain reading angles, glare is more noticeable and also more solvable with polarization technology.

Example 1:

Tall person, shallow depth desk, high under-shelf light

  • Less glare
  • Less % reduction in glare with PLF
  • Like glare on water at high noon

Example 2:

Short person, deep desk, low under-shelf light

  • More glare
  • More % reduction in glare with PLF
  • Like glare on water at sunset

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Air Cleaners

Q: How do I know if I need an office air cleaner?
A: If you are one of the estimated 20% of the population who suffers from allergy problems or you are concerned about the indoor air quality in your area, an office air cleaner can help significantly reduce the concentrations of allergy-aggravating particles, like dust and pollen, as well as many other indoor pollutants in your office air.
Q: I have lost my instruction booklet for my Office Air Cleaner. How can I receive another copy?
A: To request another booklet, Contact Us.

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Cleaning Products

Q: Can the 681 Screen Cleaner be used on laptop computers?
A: Yes. The cleaning solution and wipes will not harm laptop computer screens.

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Foot Rest

Q: How do I know if I need a footrest?
A: If your chair is adjusted to the proper height and your feet aren't flat on the floor, you should consider using a footrest. Foot rests can also help individuals who have experienced problems with their lower backs keep positioned against the back rest of their chair. That way the chair back, instead of their lower back muscles, is providing the support they need.

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Monitor Solutions

Document Holders

Q: How can I order some new Command™ Adhesive to secure my 3M™ Document Holder to my monitor?
A: Replacement Command™ Adhesive strips can be purchased at local retailers that sell Command™ products, or can be ordered free of charge from 3M. Contact Us with your name, company name (if appropriate) and address, with the number of kits needed. You should receive the kit(s) in 7-10 working days.
Q: Do you have any document holders that work on flat panel LCD monitors?
A: Yes, the DH445 Document Holder is designed for flat panel monitors.

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Glare Filters

Q: What is glare?

A: Glare is defined as the light within the field of vision that is brighter than other objects to which the eyes are adapted. The most common sources of office glare are from ambient light sources, such as sunlight from windows and overhead lighting. This ambient light can shine on the glass front of CRT monitors, reducing contrast and creating annoying bright reflections.

"First surface glare" is the reflection or washout generated by the glass surface of a monitor or computer filter. First surface reflection is only reduced through the use of an anti-reflection coating on the computer filter or the surface of the monitor. All 3M™ computer filters have an anti-reflection coating to reduce first surface glare.

"Reflected glare" is the amount of ambient light which passes through a computer filter, reflects off the monitor face, and passes back through the computer filter. 3M™ Circular Polarizing computer filters eliminate up to 99% of reflected glare.

Q: How do 3M™ computer filters enhance contrast?

A: Monitor contrast is how bright the display's characters (information) appear against the background. Increasing the monitor contrast makes it easier to read the information being displayed on the monitor. Contrast ratio (CR) which equals character brightness divided by background brightness (including the effects of ambient light) numerically specifies contrast. The larger the contrast ratio, the brighter the information appears against a dark background. A minimum contrast ratio of three (3) is specified by the American National Standard for Human Factors Engineering of Visual Display Terminals.

All 3M™ computer filters improve the contrast by minimizing first surface glare through the use of an anti-reflection coating. In addition, all models uniformly filter out ambient light using a neutral density filter applied to the glass. The "double" filtration of ambient light as it passes through the filter improves contrast significantly by reflecting off the monitor and passing through the filter again.

Q: How does the circular polarizing feature work?

A: 3M™ computer filter models HF300 and HF350 are extremely effective light-trapping devices that reduce glare and increase contrast of monitors. These filters select and alter the properties of light to more effectively remove monitor glare. The ambient light that causes glare and reflections is trapped by the circular polarizer. The light that has passed through a circular polarizing filter and reflects off a surface, such as a monitor, cannot return through the filter, and is absorbed by the polarizing layers. The light from the monitor passes through the filter with far less reduction in strength. The circular polarizing filter allows the images from the monitor to pass through easily.

3M™ circular polarizing computer filters reduce up to 20 times more glare and improve contrast up to 14 times more than non-filtered computer monitors.*

* Dependent upon monitor and lighting conditions.

Q: What does "privacy feature" mean?

A: 3M™ privacy filters offer easy, effective solutions to protect on-screen data. These models feature a patented "microlouver technology," which prevents bystanders from viewing on-screen data from either side of a monitor. Only an operator seated directly in front of the computer monitor can read displayed information. From the side, passersby see only a dark, blank screen.

The black microlouvers reduce the horizontal viewing area to 60 degrees. The light cutoff provided by the black microlouver is complete and does not distort or blur images from the monitor.

In addition, 3M™ privacy filters simulate a tiny venetian blind to shield out unwanted ambient light, thus incrementally increasing the effectiveness of glare reduction and contrast enhancement.

Q: What radiation issues should I know about?

A: Where it comes from: radiation is generated by the internal electrical components of the monitor and is emitted from out of the back and sides of a computer monitor as well as in front. Because of manufacturer's differences in configuration and shielding of the internal electrical components, emissions may be greatest from either direction.

What it is: The type of radiation emitted from computer monitors is not "radioactive." It isn't as energetic as the type of radiation used by nuclear power plants. The electromagnetic radiation emitted from computer monitors is called extremely low frequency (ELF) and very low frequency (VLF) radiation. All devices requiring electric power will generate ELF and VLF radiation.

What 3M™ anti-radiation filters do: Both ELF and VLF electromagnetic radiation have an electric (E-field) component and a magnetic (H-field) component. When properly grounded, 3M™ anti-radiation computer filters block up to 99.9% of the electric field (E-Field) ELF/VLF component of low frequency radiation emitted out of the front of the monitor.

The magnetic (H-field) component is virtually impossible to shield. Magnetic fields pass through most materials, including concrete, steel, and lead. The greatest reduction in H-field emission is achieved by wrapping the internal electrical components with a very expensive material called mu metal. All 3M™ filters are tested by an independent laboratory that specializes in compliance testing. (Laboratory reports are available upon request.) Using these filters can help monitors meet E-Field ELF/VLF radiation guidelines and voluntary standards such as MPR-II and TCO.

UV light emissions: The main source for ultra-violet (UV) light is sunlight. Insignificant amounts of UV are emitted by a computer monitor and are related to the emission spectrum of the phosphor and pose no known health concern for office workers. All glass provides excellent blockage of UV light. UV light is the invisible region of the spectrum just beyond the violet end of the visible region of electromagnetic radiation. It is defined in ranges per ANSI Z87-1-1989:

  • UVA Range: 320-400 nanometers
  • UVB Range: 240-320 nanometers
  • Total UV: 240-400 nanometers

3M™ Computer Filters block up to 96% of the total UV range.

Q: What protection is provided by the anti-static feature on 3M™ computer filters?

A: An electrical charge can build up uniformly over a non-conductive glass surface, such as a computer monitor. Conductive coatings with proper earth ground provide a path for discharging this electrical charge build-up. Almost all 3M™ Computer Filters feature a conductive coating and grounding cord with clip to provide the path and grounding mechanism for full discharge of the electrical charge buildup.

3M™ Computer Filters with the anti-static feature discharge an electrostatic buildup of 5000V in less than 0.1 seconds when properly grounded. They are independently tested to assure static discharge performance.

Q: How do I properly ground 3M™ computer filters for the anti-radiation and anti-static features?

A: 3M™ Computer Filters with anti-radiation and/or anti-static features are supplied with a grounding cord clip. The ground cord must be connected to the nearest known electrical earth ground in order for these features to work effectively.

The ground cord clip can be attached to a metal frame on the back of a central processing unit (CPU), any metal screw on the back of the unit that makes direct contact with the metal frame, or the metal fan vent on the back of the CPU. For extra safety, unplug the unit while making this connection.

Other typical electrical ground locations are electrical conduit, water pipe, heater vents, and a metal building frame. A small area of paint might need to be scraped away in order to make better contact with the metal.

CAUTION: To avoid electrical shock, do not connect the ground cord to electrical outlets. If you are not sure about grounding the computer filter, contact a licensed electrician.

Q: What protection is provided by the anti-static feature on 3M™ computer filters?

A: An electrical charge can build up uniformly over a non-conductive glass surface, such as a computer monitor. Conductive coatings with proper earth ground provide a path for discharging this electrical charge build-up. Almost all 3M™ Computer Filters feature a conductive coating and grounding cord with clip to provide the path and grounding mechanism for full discharge of the electrical charge buildup.

3M™ Computer Filters with the anti-static feature discharge an electrostatic buildup of 5000V in less than 0.1 seconds when properly grounded. They are independently tested to assure static discharge performance.

Q: How do I clean a 3M™ computer filter?

A: Most 3M™ Computer Filters have Scotchgard™ Protection for Easy Clean Surface, which makes them simple to clean with just a damp, soft cloth.

To clean the coated glass surface of a filter, remove the filter from the monitor and place it on a flat surface. Visually inspect the filter to ensure the glass surface is free from abrasive material. To prevent fingerprinting, avoid touching the glass surface.

For 3M™ Standard Models and Notebook Models that do not have the Scotchgard™ Protection for Easy Clean Surface, using CL681 Screen Cleaner is recommended. Spray the applicator with the cleaner (one pump should be enough). Reapply if necessary. Wipe clean and dry with the "Clean Hands" applicator. When the applicator becomes stained, detach soiled wipe from the applicator by pulling the outer tab. This exposes a clean wipe. Repeat above cleaning procedure if necessary.

If CL681 Screen Cleaner is not available in your area, use a vinegar-based glass cleaning solution that is 3 parts vinegar to 7 parts water. Or you might try isopropyl alcohol. Wash with soft cloth and let dry. If streaking occurs, wash with a vinegar solution to remove the streaks.

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Monitor Stands

Q: How high can you make the MS101 Monitor Stand by adding MS100 additional drawers?
A: We do not recommend adding more than two additional drawers. Overall, we recommend a maximum of four drawers.

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Keyboard Solutions

Keyboard Drawers

Q: How do I decide between a desktop and under desk model?
A: Consider the level at which you are able to maintain a neutral wrist position. If you hold your arms parallel with the floor and your hands are below desk level, you probably will want an under desk keyboard drawer. If on the other hand, your wrists are level with the top of the desk, you probably will be more comfortable with a desktop model.
Q: Will your keyboard drawers work with ergonomic keyboards?
A: Yes.
Q: I am a left-handed mouser. Will your keyboard drawer work for me?
A: Yes. Our mouse platform can be mounted right or left for your comfort.

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Keyboard Trays

Q: How can I order new or replacement Dual Lock Fasteners to secure my keyboard to a 3M™ Adjustable Keyboard Tray?
A: Dual Lock replacement kits are available free of charge. Contact Us with your name, company name (if appropriate) and address, with the number of kits needed. You should receive the kit(s) in 7-10 working days.
Q: Will your adjustable keyboard trays accommodate the Microsoft® ergonomic keyboard?
A: All of our adjustable keyboard trays will accommodate ergonomic keyboards.
Q: My gel wrist rest was damaged. Is there a way to replace it?
A: Contact Us with your name, company name and address, and the model number of your AKT. If your keyboard tray is under warranty, we will replace them free of charge. If the warranty has expired, you can purchase the replacement from 3M.
Q: Do you make a keyboard that can accommodate both left and right hand mousing?
A: All of our keyboards let the user decide whether to mouse on the right or the left. If a workstation is shared by both right- and left-handers, all models have easily changeable mouse platforms.
Q: How will I know your AKT will fit my workspace?
A: Installation guidelines are available for each keyboard tray on this website.

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Wrist Rests

Q: I'm looking for a gel wrist rest for my ergonomic keyboard. Do you sell such a product?
A: Yes. The 3M™ Gel Wrist Rest for Ergonomic Keyboards (WR314MB) is designed to fit the Microsoft® Natural™, Microsoft® Elite™ and most generic ergonomic style keyboards.
Q: Are your gel wrist rests safe?
A: 3M™ gel wrist rests have been tested and found to be safe with proper use.
Q: Is your gel patented?
A: 3M™ owns the patent on gel-filled wrist rests.

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Mousing Solutions

Mouse - Ergonomic

Q: Does this mouse come in LEFT hand model?
A: A mouse for left-handed users is not available at this time.
Q: How do I know what size mouse I need?
A: The ergonomic mouse comes in two sizes: small/medium and large. To determine which size to buy, measure the distance (palm side) between the outside of your little finger and the outside of your index finger at the base. If this measurement is 3.5" or less, you should order the smaller mouse. If greater than 3.5", you should order the larger one.
Q: Is the ergonomic mouse compatible with Microsoft® Windows® XP?
A: Yes, the ergonomic mouse is compatible with a standard Microsoft® mouse and can be used on most systems that support PS/2® mice and/or USB. The third button programming will only be available on Microsoft® Windows® and on other systems. The third button will have a system-dependent functionality and in some cases, no function.
Q: I need to connect the ergonomic mouse to my serial port - how can I get this to work?
A: You can't. Do not try to use a PS/2® to serial adapter or any other adapter to connect the ergonomic mouse to a serial port. It won't work and may harm your computer.
Q: What is the difference between a USB and PS/2® connector?
A: If your mouse has a PS/2® connector, it has a PS driver and needs to be connected to the compatible hardware device (PS/2® port) in your computer. If your mouse has a USB connector, it has a USB driver and needs to be connected to the compatible hardware device (USB port) in your computer. In both cases, you must also make sure the device is integrated, so go to the control panel and activate the appropriate port.
Q: I can't get the third button to work on my MS-DOS® software.
A: The third button functionality is not available in MS-DOS® applications/windows.
Q: How long will it take me to get used to the 3M™ Ergonomic Mouse?
A: It takes a few days to get used to the mouse. Initially, it will be very different from what you are used to.
Q: What is the warranty?
A: The 3M™ Ergonomic Mouse has a two-year limited warranty. Warranty information is available on-line for each model.
Q: Where can I buy the 3M™ Ergonomic Mouse?
A: Find a distributor.

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Notebook Solutions

Notebook Accessories

Q: What are the ergonomic principles that make your notebook platform so comfortable?
A: Most people sit too low in their chair to maintain a straight, ergonomically correct wrist angle while typing on a notebook. Because the elbow is positioned below the tabletop, the wrist must bend to use the keyboard. By tilting the notebook to match the user's natural wrist position, the wrist is kept in an ergonomically better (non-bent) position. This tilt also raises the viewing screen so the user does not have to bend their neck for viewing. The result is a much more comfortable notebook keyboarding experience.

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