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Calorie burner: How much better is standing up than sitting?

by: ESD Safety Coordinator Vivi Fissekidou (x5610)

Most of us have adjustable desks  that allows us to sit and stand over the day to offset sedentary work or to control low back or lower limb discomfort;  the ergonomics group advises to alternate from SITTING to STANDING every hour for 20-30 minute intervals or as needed.


Standing Workstations

It is good to alternate between sitting and standing.  Avoid being in any one position too long.  Standing for extended periods of time places static load on the back muscles, which can contribute to a back injury. To minimize the risk of developing a WRMSD in the back due to standing, follow these guidelines:

  1. Keep the torso upright with the natural curve of the spine in a comfortable position.
  2. Stand on an anti-fatigue mat for cushioning, not on hard floor surfaces. Footrests or foot bars can also be used to change positions.
  3. Sitting1Adjust the work to the appropriate height and slope whenever possible. Generally, work should be done at approximately elbow height. 
  4. The optimum work height for standing or sitting should also take into account the size of the object being worked on and the amount of force being applied.  Significant downward forces, for example, are usually best applied when the surface is below elbow height.
  5. Sitting2For light-duty tasks, set the work height so that the hands are positioned slightly (approximately 5 cm [2 inches]) below the elbowSitting3
  6. For tasks that require lifting or downward forces, the work height should be lower.
  7. For tasks that have extensive vision requirements, the work height should be increased.
  8. Locate objects within easy arm reach to minimize leaning forward and awkward reaching (e.g., reaching over your head or behind your back).
  9. Alternate between standing and sitting when possible. Use a sit-lean stand as an alternative to a chair stool.

Here is another reason for you to consider standing!One of the ESD staff members brought this article to my attention and I thought you may find it interesting. Calorie burner: How much better is standing up than sitting?

Don't hesitate to contact Vivi Fissekidou with any questions.