Do you have a sit-to-stand workstation? Are you thinking about buying these ergonomic solutions for your employees? Height adjustable worktables, desks, and cubicle worksurfaces are all the rage right now. But for this trend to stay relevant, employees need to know how to make this ergonomic technology really work for them. We’ve seen what happens when you buy a high-end task chair but workers don’t get any education or training in how to adjust it properly. They only get a tiny bit of the real benefit available. The same thing could happen with sit-to-stand workstations. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to happen if you’ve got the right information.
Note: This week’s post includes insights from special guest Michelle Judd, Sr. Marketing Manager at Ergotron, Inc. and a big supporter of the wellness uprising at JustStand.org.
Easy Does It
Adjustable worksurfaces are only useful if they are convenient and easy to move. Manual adjustment with an old fashioned crank may be less enjoyable than electric adjustment. However, there are additional options like Constant Force technology and counterbalanced designs that can make manual adjustment just as effortless as pushing a remote control button. This is one reason to try before you buy. If you can’t picture yourself adjusting the height of a workstation several times a day, it’s probably not user-friendly enough.
Set the Height Right
Proper ergonomic adjustment reduces the risk of computer-related repetitive motion injuries over time. There is no magic “correct height” that works for everyone. So, each employee needs to understand the principles behind finding the right fit for them. This is true for both sitting and standing work. Here’s a useful tool to calculate the right measurements for each individual user: http://planner.ergotron.com.
Choose Shoes with Care
If you aren’t used to standing at work, you may not realize just how uncomfortable your business dress shoes are. However, your office dress code may not permit you to wear athletic shoes. This means you need to compromise. Look for professional shoes that have lots of support and a low (but not non-existent) heel. Shoes that are popular in the healthcare industry are a good place to start. You can find plenty of loafer styles that are perfectly office-appropriate without looking too geriatric. If you want to wear heels for a meeting, bring them along and store them at your desk.
Don’t Stay Static
Standing for 8 hours at a stretch isn’t much healthier than sitting for that long. For many workers, it’s a recipe for varicose veins, back pain, and foot problems. The whole point of having an adjustable height workstation is that you can vary your posture throughout the day. That being said, there’s no set rule for how often you should switch between sitting and standing. You really do have to start listening to your body. If you are squirming in your chair, it might be time to stand. If your legs are getting tired, take a seat. If you aren’t sure, try switching positions every 30 minutes or so until you gain more body awareness. You may find that some tasks are easier to do sitting and others are better to do standing. That’s another good way to determine when to adjust your sit-to-stand workstation.
How do you like to use your sit-to-stand desk? Let us know in the comments.