Standing Desk Ergonomics

 

Health reports continue to emerge which identify the significant health risks associated with sitting for extended periods of time.  A few of these risks include increased likelihood of metabolic syndrome, heart attack and stroke.  Employees and employers alike understand that individuals with sedentary desk jobs can be directly impacted by these health issues.  Therefore, many employees are requesting, and supervisors are supporting, the use of standing desks.  Standing desks can help decrease the length of time that is spent sitting, while promoting increased energy and productivity.  These benefits are important to the well-being of employees.

Most employees understand proper office ergonomics are important when sitting at a workstation.  However, they may not have considered the proper office ergonomics of a standing workstation.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends taking efforts to maintain as neutral a body position as possible when using a standing desk.  A neutral body position can reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders.  The following are guidelines one should consider when attempting to maintain a neutral body position:  

  • Keep hands, wrists, and forearms straight, in-line and roughly parallel to the floor.
  • Head, torso and legs should be in-line and vertical.
  • Upper arms hang naturally at the side of the body.
  • Elbows stay in close to the body and are bent between 90 and 120 degrees.
  • Feet are fully supported by the floor or a footrest may be used if the desk height is not adjustable.

Other points of consideration include:

·         The monitor should be directly in front approximately an arm’s length away.

·         The keyboard and mouse should be on the same surface as the monitor.

·         Keep other important objects such as the telephone or materials you are working with close to the body.