How do you sit at a standing desk all day? Obviously we are being playful here, but the ergonomics for standing desks are important. In fact, there is quite a bit of important information you may want to know if you are considering one of the healthiest workplace seating innovations like standing desks, adjustable desks, and “active sitting” arrangements.
What is Ergonomics?
First you want to know the basic idea behind ergonomics. We here at Arizona Corporate Interiors are so motivated by healthy work environments not only because they are the right choice for each employee, but because of how they make us all better. They provide health benefits and allow us to work to our highest potential.
According to ErgoPlus “ergonomics removes risk factors that lead to musculoskeletal injuries and allow for improved human performance and productivity.” In other words, it is a safe working situation that is ideal for our health and productivity.
Ergonomics for Standing Desks
Unfortunately, the risks of standing all day without movement can be as damaging to some bodies as sitting all day. They are different risks for standing and for sitting too long. There is a risk of injury with a standing workstation rather than sedentary impacts of sitting all day, but they are still important. The good news is those risks are easily mitigated.
According to the Mayo Clinic; “when using a standing workstation, keep your head, neck, torso and legs approximately in line and vertical. Use a footrest to shift your weight from foot to foot. Wear shoes that provide proper support” We also suggest a mat, an available adjustable stool, and no high heels for the safest use of this health promoting option.
Desk and Arm Height
The ideal desk height for the average person is at or near the hips. The reason for this is that the same rules for ergonomics related to wrist location on the keyboard and placing the monitor at eye height still apply. If the desk is at hip height and the monitor is about an arm’s length away then the wrist will settle properly on the keyboard with the elbows in a safe and comfortable position.
- We mentioned that the Mayo clinic recommends a footrest to allow you to shift your weight back and forth. It can be as simple as a wood block or it can be a feature of the desk.
- An ergonomic mat is a perfect low cost addition to your workstation since it can relieve fatigue and reduce stress on the bones and joints.
- If you are not using an adjustable desk, but a standing only desk, then you may want an adjustable stool to provide the necessary consistent changing of position that promotes health.
To bring it all together, the key to a healthy work desk, whether standing, sitting, or adjustable is movement. Sedentary sitting for too long is harmful and motionless standing for too long is harmful. There are recent advances in desk seating including wobble chairs and rolling saddle seats that encourage movement. They are ideal for some situations, like when the work involves moving around a lot already, but not ideal for situations where you are at the desk for long periods of time and need lumbar support. There is a lot to know about these exciting new developments in order to maximize your health potential and we are excited to share what we know with you.
We can help design that ideal workplace for your specific situation and we’d love to show you these solutions in action. Give us a call at (602) 840-6678 to get started right away.