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H Maryam  
#1 Posted : 04 September 2019 11:29:57(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
H Maryam

Hi All

With standing desks becoming more and more popular i want to ask about peoples experience in terms of DSE issues with them. I am not a DSE assesor so my knowledge is limited, i would like to ask if DSE assessments for these desks exist? also what are the comon discomforts/health issues faced by users?

I have recently heard from a user that he has developed pain in his two middle fingers and forearm, whether thats due to the use of the desk we are unsure but that seems to be the only change he has made to his work. He is using the desk for approximately 3-4 hours a day as he suffers from back pain when sitting down for longet periods of time.

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Kim Hedges on 04/09/2019(UTC)
Brian Hagyard  
#2 Posted : 04 September 2019 13:50:39(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Brian Hagyard

Do you mean they laterally use a standing desk for 3 or 4 hours?  We have a number of adjustable desks in our offices and we encourage people to alternate through the day between standing and sitting. Don’t think standing at a desk for 4 hours would be great. Where we have specific medical advice we offer “stand up chairs” so that the full body weight is not on the person’s legs.

We have had this system in place for just over 2 years having moved to a new office building and it’s been very successful in helping people with back issues, have not seen any increase in any issues such as you describe. Would love for every desk to be adjustable but cost prohibits this.

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Kim Hedges on 04/09/2019(UTC), A Kurdziel on 10/09/2019(UTC)
Kim Hedges  
#3 Posted : 04 September 2019 22:27:21(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kim Hedges

I've worked in offices in my past, for long hours.

There may be a fashion amongst some trendy young things who think standing by a tall desk is the 'in thing', but this does nothing but cause back ache. 

The DSE regs came about to reduce the fatigue caused in offices and the horrible pain some people end up getting when things go wrong. 

Alternatives to standing can be a normal fixed office chair, then there are varied options, they are office chairs that swivel, tall swivel stools with back and lumbar support, big bouncy balls and chairs with 2 foam pads that your legs entwine that make you sit up in a praying position.  Nobody has to stand. 

If anyone from the companies Screwfix or B & Q is reading this, please take note!  

#4 Posted : 05 September 2019 07:54:59(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user

The DSE regs came in due to Union Pressure because of the advent of computers in the printing industry...which sort of backfired on them...

Also you have to do this assessment because of that regulation...It doesn't really make a lot of headway into solving the issue...the ergonomic assesment of the task and the workstation which is more akin to manual handling would be more effective...I have used REBA (Google  - Rapid Entire Body Assessment) before for such tasks and it may help you to assess it using that protocol..it is rare that people actually stand there for 4 hours straight as we all need a wee sometime...

#5 Posted : 05 September 2019 09:59:57(UTC)
Rank: Forum user

Manufacturers like to use evidence from studies that sitting down all day is bad for you. They then imply that a standing desk is the solution, but fail to give any evidence that standing is better. The reality is that sitting all day is bad for you but standing all day is even worse.

The only good postion is "the next one." Keeping moving and changing posture is the answer. If a sit/stand desk will encourage and assist this movement it may be beneficial. But unless this is automated in some way (which I would not recommend) it is only a procedural control and this shows that there are many other ways that people could be encouraged to move more often.

My observation is that people given sit/stand desks choose some very odd looking arrangements that I think are likely to increase risk of harm to themselves. I would put sit/stand desks as no more than a 'nice to have' and would probably spend my money elsewhere.

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SJP on 05/09/2019(UTC), A Kurdziel on 10/09/2019(UTC)
#6 Posted : 10 September 2019 07:48:44(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user

Demark have mandated that all staff should have access to height adjustable desks...

The human body was not designed to stand on our legs which is why if you don't move around you get problems with fainting etc..gravity is our problem...

Further studies have shown...ti support active movement...but standing is no worse than sitting..inactivity is worse...



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A Kurdziel on 10/09/2019(UTC)
A Kurdziel  
#7 Posted : 10 September 2019 09:12:33(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

Ok, our bodies are designed by evolution to track and hunt down antelopes on the East African savannah. The problem is that very few of us do this and what we do instead causes us to have various musculoskeletal problems. Usually this is down to hold the same posture for hours at a time. Standing all day is as bad as sitting all day. Reg 11(3) of the Workplace regs specifically states that people should have access to a seat at work. This what the unions fought for and had included first in the Factories Act and then transferred to the Workplace regs.  This was a throwback to the old days when workers had to stand next to their loom or whatever all day.  When visiting the US it surprises people that staff at supermarket checkouts are expected to stand all day.  The nature of work changed and most people are now sitting at their desk all day and guess what: their backs start to hurt as they have been sitting all day! A possible solution is so-called standing desks but the key is that:

  1. Three is no blanket ban on chairs which some organisation have done- they like to impose “standards” as this  assuages management and makes it look as if they know what they are doing
  2. Still have the option of sitting down because as everybody knows standing in the same spot all day hurts

Anyway I am off to catch an antelope

#8 Posted : 10 September 2019 09:19:52(UTC)
Rank: Forum user

Maryam, If the user insists on having a permant standing posture then he needs to have the same upper body relationship to his work as if he was sitting- elbows at right angles , screen height etc.

Pain in his middle fingers and forearm, this does not sound like a desk height issue, suggest he gets it checked out medically.

Andy Bz  and Steve M have mentioned this, it is the moving between positions that is beneficial as it minimises static posture, standing for long periods is not good for you.

If your man cannot sit then maybe he needs  professional assessment.  

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SJP on 10/09/2019(UTC)
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