Modifications and Layout of Office for Person with Arthritis in the Knees
The following recommendations are from my own experience of working with arthritic knees; remember to walk about for a few minutes every hour, to exercise the knees and stop them from "seizing up".
1. Office Desk
The desk should be as large as possible to allow plenty of room for paperwork and files. This saves trips back and forth to the filing cabinets or shelves. The desk can be raised up by 4" by fixing a 4" X 2" length of wood to the bottom of the legs, this will allow the disabled person’s legs under the desk when the chair is elevated. Also watch out for desk drawers; these are notorious for bumping against, causing more pain to the arthritic knee.
2. Desk Chair
In my opinion the most important aid are casters so one can slide about the office when filing, rather than getting up and down from the chair.
The chair should also be well padded – one is going to be seated for most of the day. It also needs to be robust and have height adjustment, this lever being accessible and easy to use. A gas-filled adjusting mechanism is best, but a normal “pump" adjuster is sufficient, as long as ones arms and shoulders are mobile.
3. Filing Cabinets and Box-File Shelves
Instead of four drawer filing cabinets, cabinets should be no higher than the two drawer type, these are easily accessible from a seated chair position. Be careful when pulling out the drawers that they don’t hit the shins!
Storage shelves are easily adjustable using the modern supports which screw onto an office wall; I have referenced a few suppliers of cabinets and adjustable shelves below, (double click on link) along with a sketch showing a few modifications and office layout.
4. Floor Covering
The castors on chairs operate easier on a lino or short weave carpet, rather than a luxury style office carpet.
2. Shelf units
3. Adjustable Shelves