Sitting or standing?

sitting or standing Image: The Ergonomic Times

There is sa lot of good research going on to do with whether we should be sitting or standing when we use technology for long hours and what sorts of sitting positions and chairs we should be using. The advice from The Ergonomic Times concurs with what my physio told me. Change positions every 20 minutes. My optometrist has also been very helpful in terms of advice with how to sit and view computers and tablets. I use a book seat for my iPad. It makes it more stable and it is at a better angle for viewing which saves wear and tear on my neck and eyes. Justin Young is trying to work out what the problems will be when people use gesturing control and so his time is spent researching the ergonomics of that so we have the right advice about the right set up so we don’t have carpal tunnel syndrome , excessive fatigue and have the right sorts of chairs. He makes the point that some organisations won’t be able to provide ergonomically satisfactory work stations for people. Why not? Maybe that’s a challenge we need to confront and come up with affordable options for everyone.

There is a big, long term study which has just come out of Canada which looks at the impact of everyone standing for long hours. Peter Smith led the study and it has some interesting information which we really need to pay attention to:

“Hilary Poirier, a customer service agent at WestJet in Halifax, spends most of the workday on her feet.

“We don’t really sit down very frequently at all because we’re always out on the floor,” she said. Though she said she has “the best job ever,” all the standing puts a toll on her body: feet, back, hips, legs, everything.

The results came as a surprise to her.

“For something like heart issues I wasn’t imagining that because usually you’re on your feet you’re being healthy,” she said.”

We probably have been getting the message it would be better to stand. Not so. We need options. We need to be able to sit and we need to be able to change and stand. Any place which is requiring us to only do one or the other isn’t helping our health.

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