Frequent changes of body posture during work are the requirements for a good nutrient supply of the intervertebral discs, a good blood circulation of the musculature and an adequate oxygen supply for the brain. Movements in the daily work process are assured by office chairs which support dynamic seating and work desks on which can be worked on in a standing or sitting position.
The German office furniture manufacturers have developed numerous opportunities of how to combine working in a sitting and standing position. The following record shows some typical examples:
Height adjustable sit-stand work desks
On these tables usually the height of the whole worktop can be adjusted. An adjusting range from 68 to 118cm is common.
- Sit-stand work desks allow for an extraordinary flexible work organisation. Because of the possibility to adjust the whole worktop including screen and input devices, almost every task can be done in a standing position.
- Furthermore is it possible, to do tasks in a standing position, which usually need a lot of space (working with plans, screening of documents etc.).
- No additional set-up area or user area is needed.
- The height adjustability allows for a simple setting of the seat height. Sit-stand desks are therefore suitable for desk-sharing workplaces.
Sit-stand desks are offered with hand-crank or electronic adjustment. Because of the simple handling, an electronic adjustment is generally more suitable for frequent posture changes. Beneficial for the optimal sit and stand height are electronic adjustments with “memory function”.
When purchasing sit-stand desks you should pay attention to a silent adjustability.
Workstation with docking worktop
An additional, smaller worktop in stand height is attached to the desk. The worktop has a fixed height, which is between 103 and 106cm.
- Very suitable for spontaneous and temporary standing. Making phone calls, revisions of documents or reading are typical tasks which are done at these stand modules.
- Moreover stand modules offer an ideal venue for short conversations with colleagues.
- The additional space requirement for the bigger set-up area is relatively low. Only a sufficient user area has to be provided to work on the docking worktop in a standing position.
- Tasks on the screen can only be done in a sitting position at these workstations.
When purchasing such workstations you should pay attention for an efficient stability of the docking worktop. It must support a brace of the user. Desk and stand module should be adjusted to the individual optimal height. If a frequent change in the use of the workstation is the case, then at least the desk (=sit height) should be adjustable from the user.
Workstation with height adjustable meeting table
The desk is complemented by a separate or docking height adjustable meeting table. The adjusting range of the meeting table is usually between 68 and 118cm.
Suited for workstations, on which meetings are held regularly. Long lasting meetings can be held in a sitting position whereas short meetings can be held in a standing position.
The meeting table can also be used by the workstation user for tasks in a standing position like reading or screening of documents.
The space requirement increases extensively by the additional meeting unit.
The height adjustment should be easy to use. Furthermore you should watch out for a stable position of the desk when adjusted to its maximum height. The adjustment elements should allow for a sufficient legroom in a sitting position.
Particular attention should be paid to the quantity and type of chairs:
If the meeting table is surrounded by visitor chairs, it probably won’t be used for tasks in a standing position. If mainly short meetings are held in a standing position, the use of standing aids instead of visitor chairs is favourable.
As a basic principle, the desk should at least be adjustable to the optimal height in a sitting position.
Workstation with separate standing desk
A separate standing desk is assembled independently from the work desk. It usually has an inclinable worktop.
- Through the separate assembling standing desks support the conscious change between work at the screen and work in a standing position.
- Therefore the standing desk is suitable for tasks like reading, screening of documents or it serves as a shelf space of documents when dictating.
- When planning the office space, not only the set-up area but also the user area has to be considered. (The usage of the standing desk should not coincide with the user area of a work desk.)
The standing desk needs to be stable and steady and should be adjustable to an individual height. The desk should also be adjustable to the individual height of the user.
Workstaion with a mobile container in stand height
The so-called “Caddy” combines the usual storage space of a desk container with the advantages of a worktop in stand height. It is equipped with handle bars and rolls and can therefore be moved easily. Caddies are often used individual storage space in non-territorial offices.
- Suitable for spontaneous and temporary work in a standing position.
- Dependent on the size of the worktop a multitude of tasks without a screen are possible. A restriction is the fixed height of the worktop. For particular tall or short user, caddies are not suitable for every task in a standing position.
- For temporary meetings the caddy can be moved to other areas in the office.
- Dependent on the usage and positioning of the container, additional set-up and user area requirements have to be considered.
The container must be stable. It should not incline if the drawer is open or the user is bracing on the container. The work disc should protrude the container corpus as otherwise the legroom for the user is not guaranteed.
If the caddy shall be moved in the room, the rolls should allow for an easy movement. Generally at least two rolls should be fixable, so the container will not be moved by mistake.
The height of the worktop should be adjustable to the height of the user, even if more than one employees use the workstation.
Workstation with off-standing cabinet and attached worktop
This form of a standing workstation can usually be found in offices with collectively used storage space, e.g. in open-plan offices. Thereby a worktop is assembled to a maximum 3 folder-height cabinet.
- Very suitable for temporary meetings.
- Due to its usually big storage tray it is suited for tasks with big-sized documents.
- As individual workstations less suitable, because of the fixed height and the mostly centralized positioning.
- Dependent on the positioning of the cabinet, additional user areas may be needed on multiple sides of the cabinet.
The worktop should be fixed to the cabinet. It should protrude the cabinet corpus to assure a sufficient legroom when standing.