Standing while working has become increasingly popular. For employers who provide height adjustable surfaces, it is important to know the correct way for employees to use them. Although standing while working can be healthy, using height adjustable surfaces incorrectly causes ergonomic risk factors which can lead to pain and injury.
Upon delivery, set the sitting and standing heights of the surface and monitor at the right heights for the employee. If a keyboard tray is being used, it is important for it to be the correct height as well. If the surface has automatic settings, set them for the employee when the surface is delivered. If the surface does not have automatic settings, the employee can be provided with a measuring tape and notes of the measurements. Alternatively, the wall can be marked with a pin or some type of marking to indicate what height the surface should be while standing and sitting.
When doing ergonomic assessments, we educate employees on the following when a sit-stand surface will be used.
Standing Surface Pointers
- Whenever possible, move while you stand. Standing is not moving. Moving is moving.
- Point your toes forward.
- Keep your weight evenly on both legs.
- Avoid putting all your weight on one hip.
- Keep your knees slightly bent, not locked.
- Elevate one foot on a footrest or ream of paper periodically to avoid swaying your back.
- Keep your elbows by your sides, not resting on the surface.
- If you are leaning on the surface, you are tired. Sit down for awhile.
- Keep your shoulders rolled back.
- Avoid hunching forward. Keep your head over your shoulders.
- Sit before you fatigue. Stand before your muscles tighten up from sitting.
- Use an anti-fatigue mat. A, 2’ x 3’ mat is a good size. Move it out of the way when you are using your chair. The mat should have a beveled edge which is not a tripping hazard.
- Use the anti-fatigue mat as your movement spring board.
- Wear shoes with good arch support and cushioning.
- Wear shoes with no higher than a 1” heel.
- Develop a good schedule for switching between standing and sitting.
- Do not let pain be the reminder to change your position from sitting to standing or vice versa. Change your position before pain sets in. Make note of when your body starts hurting while standing. Switch to sitting 10 minutes before the time your body started hurting while standing.
- And Remember To:
- Walk for at least five minutes every hour.
- Look 20 feet away every 20 minutes for 20 seconds.