Why do I experience static shocks in the office?


Question: Why do I experience static shocks in the office, when my colleagues do not?

Answer:  Short answer, there are lots of reasons. Lets review them:

There are many reasons why you might get static shocks in the office. Firstly, some people are just more sensitive to shocks than others. It like in life, people experience things differently, for example, some people can have music up louder than others. For most people, the threshold for feeling shocks is in the range  2,000-4,000V.

Secondly, you may be storing more static electricity than others. This depends on the size of your body and feet, and the thickness of your shoe soles! A bigger body, bigger feet, and thinner shoe soles, means more charge has to be stored to produce the same voltage. Try changing your shoes if you begin to experience static shocks regularly or consider a ESD chair mat, or an ESD chair.

Thirdly, you may be generating more charge than others. This may be due to the material of your shoe soles, or the way that you walk. If it happens when sitting, it may be due to the material of your clothes, and the amount of static they generate against your chair.  Insulators like plastics, polyester or nylon generate huge amounts of static.  Choose natural fibers or in extreme cases, try an ESD jackets which are used in manufacturing environments.