I was talking today with a patient about her new variable-height work station and I realized why they don’t always work out that well. Don’t get me wrong, they are a good idea and I support using them.
Here’s the thing, if your posture and the way you relate to (1) the floor, (2) your chair, (3) your keyboard, and (4) your monitor is faulty, and you now stand up but still relate poorly in all but one of those respects, how much better off are you, really?
Up, down, or in between, the work station has to relate to the human’s normal, healthy, correct, posture and alignment or it isn’t doing much good.
I haven’t studied all the newest variable-height work stations but here is what they need to do to accommodate humans: and this applies to both the standing and the sitting postures, they aren’t really that different, except for the chair dynamics.
First, how to stand: the human needs to know how. Someone should teach them. I have offered, and am available (this applies to all that follows and more of course, since it is what I have been Blogging about for the past six years).
(Second: the only thing that changes with sitting is: the human should know how to sit. Someone should teach them…blah, blah, blah.)
As a matter of principle, it makes sense to me that the v-h work station should then match the normally aligned human: if the human bends their elbows to about ninety degrees they should find their keyboard and mouse right under their hands. The humans shoulders, chest, and spinal alignment should not have to change to accommodate the v-h station: if you have to lean forward, hunch, or reach, you loose.
The monitor needs to be positioned so that with the head in neutral and the eyes tracking down gentle angle, the monitor is right there: no goosenecking allowed; and certainly no nose-in-the-air posture like you see all day on the road (look at the driver’s on your left and right the next time you are stopped at a light and you will know what I mean.)
So, in order for the v-h work station to achieve all of this for you it has to be designed so that each component moves independently up, down, forward and back. Anything other than that and you will be trying to adapt to your v-h work station in the same ways you have been trying to adapt to your dest now. If it aint right it aint right.