Ergonomics: what is the best set up for jobs that require you to stand?

We often talk about ergonomics with desk jobs but what about ergonomics for blue collar jobs such as assembly, packaging, welding, construction, and maintenance? Static sitting and static standing, staying in one position for an extended time, can both be hard on the body and both have pros and cons. If your job requires you to stand, here are some things to consider.

  • Ideally your job tasks and workstation allow you to change positions and move around. Movement promotes blood flow throughout the body, so when you stand for an extended time you may notice increased swelling and higher blood pressure. Studies have shown improvement with taking 10 steps, or walking 2-4 minutes for every 15 minutes of static standing.  
  • Shift weight from one foot to the other to avoid prolonged pressure on one side of the body. Stagger feet with one foot slightly ahead of the other to reduce strain if your job requires frequent twisting. 
  • The use of a footstool to prop a foot on reduces the amount of stress on the discs of the lower back. 
  • Floor mats encourage motion and reduce strain on leg muscles. 
  • Proper shoes that mold to your foot and offer arch support are ideal for the standing worker. It is recommended to size up 1/2 to 1 whole size bigger than usual to allow for swelling of the feet that results from prolonged standing. 
  • The workstation should allow for foot clearance, under the table or desk, to avoid the employee from leaning forward over their work.  
  • Studies have shown that more frequent short breaks, 5 minutes versus 15-30 minutes, offer better recovery from standing stress. Employees should sit or lay down during those breaks. 

Have you noticed increased strain in your back and legs from standing all day at work? Give us a call, we're happy to help!


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