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To avoid the detrimental effects of seated work, many offices are converting to standing positions only. Avoid prolonged standing injuries with these tips!

“Prolonged standing can lead to muscle soreness in the back, legs, and neck. It can also lead to edema or swelling of the legs and feet.” WebMD

If you have a job where you or your employees must be on their feet all day, there could be room for injuries to occur. 

While most of us have heard the risks and potentially negative side effects of sitting all day, prolonged standing can also lead to some significant discomfort and even injuries. However, there are things you or your employees can do to prevent any issues. 

Be aware of workplace injuries from prolonged standing.

If your job requires you to stand while working, be aware that prolonged standing can lead to muscle soreness in the back, legs, and neck. It can also lead to edema or swelling of the legs and feet. As you stand all day (without much movement) your body’s blood flow is somewhat inhibited.

Prolonged standing can even lead to painful varicose veins. Thankfully, the following strategies can help you avoid these injuries and more.

1. Learn how to adjust your workstation with ergonomics in mind.

One of the best things you can do to make prolonged standing bearable at the workplace is to improve your workstation. For example, there are various heights for tables, benches, and desks that are recommended for certain types of work:

  • Precision work should be done at elbow height.
  • Heavy work should be done below the waist.
  • Light work should be done at or near the waist.

Adjustable tables can serve to prevent lower back injuries, neck strains, and so on. It’s also important to ensure your employees have plenty of room to move around, stretch, etc. Consider hiring an ergonomics consultant to perform a workstation evaluation to determine best practices.

2. Use proper footwear.

The shoes you wear if your work involves prolonged standing are incredibly important. You need adequate support for your arches and plenty of padding all the way around the shoe. 

You also need to make sure that your shoes don’t change the shape of your foot. Your shoes need to fit your foot shape but have plenty of room for the natural swelling of your feet throughout the day.

Consider investing in a standing mat as well.

3. Use proper body movement at work.

One of the best ways to prevent injuries for you and your employees who experience prolonged standing during the day is by holding a training course to improve their ergonomics. 

How you lift, crouch, twist, and turn can all lead to potential injuries, especially if they’re done while bearing weight. A simple training course that reinforces safe movement can go a long way towards a safer, more comfortable workplace.

We strongly recommend contact an ergonomics company to establish proper training for your staff.

4. Take breaks and move around.

With any job, employees should always take at least two 15-minute breaks and a 30-minute lunch to rest their body and mind. To make the most of your breaks, read our blog on: active work breaks.

While you may be stuck standing at work, be sure to move around and get your blood moving.  When you walk around, your blood circulates through your muscles and benefits your body.

You don’t need to do exercises at your desk (though here is a list of some you can do if you wish), but get into the habit of moving around to counter being stuck standing at work all day.

In conclusion, knowing how to protect yourself or your employees from workplace injuries due to prolonged standing is important.

These are some basic tips for employees that must stand while working. However, there’s a lot more to cover, as every workplace is different. Consider contacting the ergonomics experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. to evaluate your workstation. It may even be possible to incorporate sitting once an ergonomics assessment is performed.

Check out the rest of our ergonomics blog for more advice about safety and comfort in the workplace.

At we value the importance of a positive workplace culture. Part of a positive workplace is a safe workplace, Contact Us to schedule an ergonomics consultation or ergonomics assessment for your office today.

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