Industrial Engineering

The reality of ergonomic workstations

sit_stand_ron3a_425

Picture source: http://www.hermanmiller.com/
INDUSTRIAL ENGINEER – VOLUME 48: NUMBER 06
By Ashlyn Kirk

Studies show that prolonged sitting can disrupt employees metabolic function and increase their risk of disease. Paula Lewis, who worked for one of organizations that purchased height-adjustable, electric workstations and desks didn’t think that people were using the technology that often. Her hypothesis suggested that height-adjustable workstations were not improving posture for employees.

Call Center is the best population for system workstation because they don’t have to always sit to do their job, but there’s also health effects from standing for a long time such as heart and circulatory problem, poor circulation and swelling in the feed and legs. . The ergonomist surveyed factors such as location, time of day, the employee’s shift, whether employees were sitting or standing and whether they had adjustable or fixed-height desks.

Observational assessment was divided into two main categories at the call canter:
Workspace observations : Configuration (sitting/standing), type of desk, keyboard tray, foot rest, type of chair, number of monitors, size of monitors, proper keyboarding height, proper monitor height.
Behavioral observation : Wrist posture during mouse usage, wrist posture during keyboarding, shoulder posture, neck posture, posture in their chair, back posture, contact stress.

From her observations, only 7 percent of the 340 individuals used the “standing” part of the sit-stand desk. Beyond that, 65 percent of electric sit-stand workstations were not adjusted correctly for proper keyboard height, and 56 percent did not have correct monitor heights. Lewis concluded that the majority of the keyboards were too high, and people rarely took the time to readjust their work surface. Don’t expect sit-stand workstations to fix all ergonomic risks. Involve training and motivation on how to use sit-stand workstations properly maybe will fix this issue.