Why sit, when you can stand

By Janice Erdlitz, Lyster Army Health ClinicNovember 24, 2020

Lyster Army Health Clinic is taking a stand by reducing and preventing work-related musculoskeletal injuries through the utilization of ergonomic sit-stand workstations. Sit-stand workstations allow for a variety of postural changes throughout the day. These new workstations are finding their way into offices throughout Lyster.

Sit-stand desks provide personnel the option to sit, stand, and adjust to proper heights which allows personnel to listen to their bodies and adjust.  “These desks keep personnel happy and safe while providing a safe work environment for a healthy body by eliminating aches and pains associated with fixed position throughout the workday,” explained Keeley Garcia, LAHC Safety Officer.

The Safety Office and Occupational Health are often called upon to conduct workplace ergonomic assessments for workers who are experiencing joint and muscle pain. Symptoms may be caused by exposure to a variety of ergonomic hazards which can be eliminated or at the very least minimized through proper ergonomic interventions.

“Lyster Army Health Clinic values the health and wellbeing of our employees. Ergonomic desks are a great way to encourage employees to stay healthy and provides relief from a sedentary desk job. If we are going to encourage our patients to live a healthy lifestyle, we have to lead by example,” remarked Major Douglas Kuhlman, Deputy Commander for Administration at Lyster.

As more and more people are teleworking or setting up a home office, the importance of a comfortable work station is important. If you find yourself sitting for long periods, be sure to take a break. Your body will appreciate it.

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

The following are general tips for home offices:

• While the couch, bed, or easy chair may seem like a comfortable workstation option; using these for an extended time will result in non-neutral postures and potential musculoskeletal discomfort.

• There are some simple things you can do in your home without having to invest in new chairs and desks. For example, use a good, supportive chair if possible. If you don't have a good chair available, use a pillow as a seat cushion and/or a rolled-up towel as low back support.

• Try to incorporate the 90/90/90 rule. Hips, knees, and elbows at 90 degrees.

• Kitchen tables can be too high for computer work; use a pillow to raise yourself on your chair.

• Don't let your feet dangle; use something to support your feet if you are sitting on a high countertop height stool.

• If you have access to government-approved monitors, keyboards, and mice, use those rather than relying solely on the laptop.

• If you do have a separate government-approved monitor, the very top of the monitor should be at the same height as your eyes and placed about arm's length away from you.

• If you are on a phone or conference call, stand up! Use that time to change postures and get the blood flowing.

• Take micro-breaks throughout the workday to stand up, walk around, and change position.

To learn more about ergonomic hazards or how ergonomics can improve your work life, visit https://phc.amedd.army.mil/topics/workplacehealth/ergo/Pages/default.aspx .