Humans are no designed to stay in one posture too long without suffering bad consequences. Sit and stand computer stations are recommended to permit employees to change postures during the day. Prolonged sitting and prolonged standing have been shown to have detrimental effects on health over the long term. However, by alternating sitting and standing by sitting at a computer for 30-45 minutes and standing at the computer for 15-20 minutes, the employee will reap the benefits of changing postures without suffering the consequences of being in any one posture too long. Just remember, humans are designed to move. Your next posture is your best posture!
Do Ergonomic Principles Apply with Position Changes?
When switching from sitting to standing the key ergonomic principles of body alignment still apply. The head must remain level and not placed in a forward or tilted position, The upper arms should be as vertical as possible in line with the erect trunk and the forearms should be horizontal to the floor with the elbows flexed around 90 degrees. Use a contoured mouse or any mouse that will rotate the forearm from being fully pronated towards a more “handshake position”. The wrist should be straight and in line with the forearms. Avoid using wrist rests and do not apply pressure on the arm rests with your elbows. The monitor should be well within your focal range. Consider increasing the size of the font on your monitor to reduce eye strain. During standing desk set-ups, it is important to have a good cushioned mat to stand on. Avoid wearing shoes with high heels while standing.
Consider a Sit-Stand Station
Lastly, having a sit-stand station can not only be very beneficial but can be economical to create. Standard or conventional computer desks can be retrofitted economically and easily to allow sit and stand work in most cases by using desk-top elevation systems such as Varidesk (varidesk.com).