Flexibility and Adjustability in Office Space Design

WorkSafe Victoria suggest that one of the most important aspects of office space design is flexibility and adjustability. Workers are not all the same shape and size, and the tasks they complete at work (and therefore how they use their desks) is not identical. It is no surprise then, that the home and office workstation set-ups will vary between workers, and what is suitable for one worker may cause problems for the next.

The Modern Workplace

Fixed height desks are designed to fit a variety of workers of different heights. For workers of average or shorter height, this means that once their chair has been adjusted to suit them at the desk, their feet no longer touch the floor and they require a footrest.  It is recommended that  workers adjust their chair height so that they do not need to shrug their shoulders or lean down to use their keyboard and mouse. For most people, this means that the top of the desk will sit approximately level to the belly button. With the chair height adjusted, a footrest is required if the feet do not rest comfortably flat to the floor.

Increasingly, workers in offices and at home are using height adjustable sit-stand desks, allowing them to customise the height of their desk, both in sitting and standing. Although standing at a workstation is not something that suits (or is recommended) for every worker, the immediate benefit of a full size height adjustable desk is that the chair can be set up and adjusted so that the worker is able to sit with their feet fully supported on the floor, and then the desk can be lowered to an appropriate level, and a footrest is no longer required.

The Future of Adjustable Work Stations

The good news with a sit-stand desk is that once the items on the desk have been set up appropriately, there is nothing other than the height of the desk that needs to be adjusted if the worker chooses to move to a standing posture. Modern electric desks can be adjusted at the touch of a button, and it only takes a few seconds to adjust the desk between a sitting and standing posture. A quick and light mechanism is essential to ensure ease of movement and to minimise strain when adjusting between postures. The sit-stand desks offered through ErgoLogic  have a height range between 620-1250mm (approx), so that they are suitable both shorter and taller workers.

For workers who do not have the space for a full size electric desk, portable options which sit on top of an existing desk are also available, enabling a worker to adjust between sitting and standing postures during the day.

Supporting Better Employee Health & Safety

When starting to use a desk in standing, we recommend starting with only short periods, and gradually building the time up if desired, as standing can be quite tiring. Additionally, we recommend that workers should wear comfortable supportive footwear to reduce strain through the feet and legs, and an anti-fatigue mat should be used if standing on hard floors such as concrete.

For more information on full size or portable sit-stand desks, please visit our website https://www.ergologic.com.au/ergonomic-products/ or contact us at consultant@ergologic.com.au