Editor’s Note: For a more up-to-date version of this topic, see:
Ergonomists have recognized the benefits of postural changes for many years, and have been recommending flexible workstation designs that support easy transition from sitting to standing as one solution to the sedentary office environment. Furniture that adequately accommodates sit-to-stand working postures for a wide range of body sizes and tasks has historically been somewhat scarce and expensive, but that is now changing. As more people recognize the benefits of standing, the demand is increasing, and so is the supply and market innovation — and prices are coming down.
I’ve come across many home-made standing workstations, and even helped build a few, but they tend to suffer from stability issues and invariably lack the flexibility and adjustment range needed to accommodate both sitting and standing postures. For some people standing all the time, or sitting all the time, may be appropriate. But, for most, being able to easily change from sitting to standing is more beneficial.
Ease of use is a critical factor when choosing a sit-to-stand workstation. If tools of any kind are required to adjust the system, it’s very unlikely that users will change postures at all, let alone frequently, as many experts recommend. Some adjustable systems utilize manual hand cranks. However, most of these systems require so many crank revolutions that it’s difficult and time consuming to make the necessary adjustments, and users therefore typically don’t. The most effective adjustment systems currently on the market are electric or counterbalanced/spring balanced.
Several trends and factors are converging to make sit-to-stand workstations a more recognized, viable and cost effective choice.
In order to be effective across different tasks and users, a sit-to-stand workstation should be adjustable in several ways. The absolute minimum adjustments should include:
For greater flexibility and better fit, purchase or piece together a system with these adjustment options:
If you seek a fit for a variety of people, body sizes and tasks, you should purchase or piece together a system that accommodates computer users from a 5th percentile female in a sitting posture to a 95th percentile male in a standing posture, which equates to a keyboard height adjustment range from roughly 22″ to 46.5″ above the floor for the USA population.
If you’re considering purchasing a sit-to-stand workstation, there are several varieties you should consider:
Example Dedicated/Freestanding Sit-to-Stand Systems
|ConSet||Adjustable Keyboard and MouseTray Options||Adjustable Monitor Support Options|
Example Retrofit Systems
|Single Monitor Support
||Laptop and Monitor Support||Dual Monitor Support|
|Computer TaskMate (Health Postures)|
|StandUp (NeutralPosture)||Scissor Lift (SpaceCo)||Adjustable Monitor Arms|