The Risk Management & Insurance Ergonomics program recommends the use of adjustable workstations in the office/computer workstation environment. However, it is important to ensure the workstation adjusts properly. Inappropriate height-adjustable workstations are not recommended. Please review the below documentation for additional information regarding height-adjustable tables/workstations.
Much like an ergonomic chair adjusts to fit a variety of users, so too should the desktop height. Often times the focus is simply to obtain an ergonomic chair as the belief is that this will solve potential problems in the office/computer environment. A good ergonomic chair has several adjustments including but not limited to height adjustment, back support, seat depth, tension control, etc. However, the perfect chair cannot fix a desktop which is too high (which is very common). With a desktop too high, users often lean forward away from back support making even the most expensive ergonomic chairs ineffective. This also increases the fatigue and stress on the back, neck, and shoulders. A height-adjustable table will allow for proper hand working height for both sitting and standing. However, users must be mindful of the adjustability of the work surface whether sitting or standing and should make the proper adjustments. Simply having a table does not guarantee the proper height. Whether sitting or standing the shoulders and upper back should be relaxed and the elbows naturally by the torso with elbows in ~90-110 degree angles.
Although sitting for prolonged periods is not healthy, standing for prolonged periods is no better. Ideally, when using a height-adjustable workstation, users should adjust postures frequently. Current guidelines point to sitting and standing on a 1:1 ratio (i.e. sit for 30 minutes, stand for 30 minutes, repeat). More frequent adjusts should take place. See the white paper above which discusses both detriments of desk-on-desk solutions as well as the detriments of both sitting and standing for extended durations.
Workstation Setup Tips, Training, and Other Details
Questions or need additional information?
Contact CSU’s Ergonomics Coordinator
970.491.2724 – 141 General Services Building