When designing a workstation for seated or standing work, it is best to review some key attributes of the job. These attributes can be used as a guide for setting up new workstations or for reviewing existing design.
What are the visual requirements of the work?
Work requiring high visual acuity should be placed in clear viewing distance, and is usually better suited for a seated workstation. For example, tasks requiring writing, fine manipulation (such as electrical work), and reading could be considered tasks requiring high visual acuity.
What are the force or movement requirements of the work?
Are items being conveyed, transferred, and/or carried? Are heavy items (greater than 10 lbs) being handled? When handling or moving heavy objects, consider standing workstations to allow for maximum strength and optimum mobility.
Is there any waiting or idle time in the cycle?
If there is idle time, consider a chair or stool (sit-stand stools are great) to provide quick relief from leg fatigue.
Is there adequate leg clearance for sitting?
For seated work, ensure there is adequate leg clearance to allow the operator to sit comfortably and avoid contact stress.
What other elements should be in place for standing work?
Whether at a standing desk or a standing work bench, consider semi-compressible anti-fatigue matting to provide relief from leg fatigue. If there is a lot of walking, wearable anti-fatigue matting or insoles can provide relief as well.