First, what do we mean by ergonomics? Ergonomics is the applied science of equipment design, as for the workplace, intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort. Therefore, when using a treadmill desk or standing desk, always remember the goals of avoiding unnecessary strain on the joints and decreasing the potential of fatigue.
There are basic ergonomic tips to consider when setting up your treadmill desk or standing desk. Remember the concept of neutral body positioning and follow these tips:
Please reference the following standing desk height chart for recommended desktop height settings for both sitting and standing. *Please note that the chart is based on average male/female anthropometric dimensions. If you do not fit within this mold, you may want to try altering the desk height an inch or two till the desktop height fits comfortably.
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, United States Department of Labor, when determining the best way to set up a treadmill desk, it is helpful to understand the concept of neutral body positioning, i.e., a comfortable working posture in which the joints align naturally. Working with your body in a neutral position reduces stress and strain on muscles, tendons, skeletal system, and reduces the risk of developing a musculoskeletal disorder. While standing, posture should be such that your legs, torso, neck, and head are approximately in-line and vertical.
A number of writers chronicle their use of treadmill desks, e.g. the Treadmill Desk Diary, and their tips can be useful. However, it is important to remember that you must find the acceptable position and product that enhances you work environment and provides the greatest health benefit. With that in mind, there are organizations and companies beginning to realize the importance of sitting less, standing and moving more, and are implementing strategies to assist employees to do so. Emory University is an example and offers Individualized Workstation Evaluations to educate, evaluate, and plan for a more productive and user-friendly desk.
When purchasing an exercise desk, investigate products to fit the needs of your office environment. Based on proper treadmill/standing desk ergonomics, ask the following questions:
LifeSpan offers exercise desks to assist individuals interested in adding a treadmill desk to the office. Providing guidance and support to help with choosing the best standing desk and treadmill for you as well as for your office setting.
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