Standing Desk Tops – beware

It seems that most people are now aware of the benefits of standing desks – less likelihood of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, higher BMI, and physical stress. I would also argue less stress on the spine and shoulder girdle.

However it would seem that people need to be aware of what’s on the market and that not all additional desktops provide for correct ergonomics.

Earlier this year I visited an office and was initially impressed at the number of standing desks that had been purchased for the emloyees

On closer inspection it appeared that two different types of additional desktops had been purchased, one that was on the whole adequate because it came in two separate parts – one for the keyboard and one for the screen at different heights and adjustable lengths, but the other desktop was not so great for the following reasons:

  • The desktop was difficult to move up and down and required the workers to bend and twist their bodies at an awkward angle in order to change the height of the desktop
  • The movement mechanisms were stiff
  • There was no automatic height adjustment so that the worker was required to waste time readjusting the height each time the desk was raised or lowered to get the correct level
  • Because the desktop was not stable additional support structures had been supplied that could be attached to the front of the deskĀ  – wasting more time and taking up more space
  • Correct screen and keyboard placement was impossible due to there not being enough depth on the desktopĀ  – this meant that either the screen or the keyboard was too far from the worker.

What one of the workers did to compensate for the above was to position the screen at the right distance but then sway her back in order to lean her hips against the edge of the desk for support while she reached forward to the keyboard that was too far away…definitely a recipe for back pain.

Moral of the story – not all desktops are good – seek advice on the desk top best suited to your personal needs.