We’re all different sizes and heights. “Neutrality” is a major goal of proper ergonomic design. It simply means working in a position where our muscles are not subject to unneeded stress or strain while sitting or standing at a desk or workstation. Most ergonomics consultants place “work in neutral postures” at the top of their “ergonomic essentials” lists.
A neutral posture maintains the natural S-curve of our spine. Keeping elbows parallel to the work surface and neck aligned with our spine are the key factors that contribute to a neutral posture. As the illustration shows, several dimensions need to be considered in achieving proper posture.
There’s an infinite variety of tasks performed at a workstation. These range from assembling a product, packing, working at a computer, looking through a microscope. Some are performed sitting, others standing. Still others alternate between sitting and standing.
Know the Right Height
The height at which a task must be performed is key to achieving ergonomic neutrality. A handy calculator recommends the best work surface height for sitting and standing positions based on a person’s physical height. It’s also important shift frequently between seated and standing positions throughout the workday to minimize fatigue and long term health problems.
When it comes to choosing an ergonomically correct workstation that will be used by different people and/or for different tasks, convenient height adjustability becomes essential. It’s really the only way to achieve a neutral posture whether sitting or standing. Popular mechanisms for adjusting workstation height are geared cranks, hydraulic, or electric motor drives. While they are initially somewhat more expensive, motorized height-adjustable tables provide the most convenience.
Ergonomic Neutrality on the Manufacturing Floor
Height adjustability is not just for the office or lab. It’s also important on the manufacturing floor. In the illustration below, the operator has adjusted the motorized workstation to a height (yellow circle) that allows her to work with elbows and lower arm parallel to the work surface (blue circle).
Since the workstation is motorized, when another worker arrives for the next shift, he or she can raise or lower the work surface in just a few seconds.
The One-Touch™ Motorized Height-Adjustable Workstation from Workplace Modular Systems is an ideal way to achieve the ergonomic neutrality requirements of multiple shift, multiple user, and/or multi-task functions.
Actuated by a convenient front-mounted rocker switch, the workstation’s electric motor and geared chain drive ensures that all four legs are always precisely in alignment at any height between 30” and 42” or between 25″ and 37″.
Call 1-800-258-9700 or contact your Design Specialist today to see how easy it is to achieve ergonomic neutrality with a Workplace solution.