Get More from Standing Desks with an Ergonomic Review
If you think you need height adjustable standing desks for better ergonomics in your workplace, you might want to consider conducting an ergonomic evaluation of your office, office desk, and workspace. Standing desks can be part of a comprehensive solution, but you need to understand all the features of the workspace to create a truly healthier environment. Follow these steps and ask these questions to conduct a basic evaluation and identify ergonomic issues that need attention.
If you are just evaluating your own workspace, start with the basics. You probably spend more than four hours a day at your office desk, but you should also identify any other positions or tasks that get that level of attention from you each day. Also look for other risk factors like routine and repetitive motions that you make frequently and positions that you hold for extended periods. These risk factors give you an idea of where you need to evaluate ergonomic conditions.
Looking at your computer desk, there are a number of questions to ask, starting with your head and neck. Is the top of the screen at eye level? If it is lower than that you need to find a way to raise it up, whether you’re sitting or standing at a height adjustable standing desk. If you frequently look at things to the side of the monitor, how far to the side are they? Do they require you to turn your head more than 30 degrees? If so, you’re at risk of injuring your neck and putting excessive stress on your upper back by repeatedly turning your head.
Next, focus on your back and shoulders. When you sit in your chair, is your lower back supported and upright, not hunched or overly arched? If not, you need to adjust the height of your standing desk and get a new chair, or better yet, figure out the right height for an adjustable standing desk to achieve that same posture improvement. When your hands sit on the keyboard, do your elbows hang naturally at your sides, bent at slightly more than a 90-degree angle? If not, and depending on whether or not your wrists are supported, change the height of your keyboard and chair. Also paying close attention to the angles of your wrists while typing.
You can conduct this same analysis in other parts of your office, such as around the copy machine, where repetitive motions are common. Look for where shelves and supplies are positioned relative to the place where the worker would stand and evaluate how much stretching, reaching, turning, bending, and crouching are necessary. Although an adjustable standing desk won’t help, moving things to reduce repetitive motions and make them more comfortable will create a more ergonomic workspace.
Even if you are completely confident that height adjustable standing desks will make for a more ergonomic and healthy computer workspace, it is important to conduct this simple evaluation. If you take the time to identify risk factors and work patterns that are not ergonomically healthy, you can make the basic adjustments necessary to keep yourself healthy.