Stand Up!…for Ergonomic Diversity

As architects and designers of office space (among other things) we are more than a little obsessed with getting the work setting “just right”. We work on “just right” for a desk, a worktable, the height of a chair. If we get the dimensions of sitting and working right, we will have contributed to getting the whole design ergonomically correct.

Recently the intuitive idea that standing (and moving) might counteract our sedentary work environments has been augmented by some very solid research. A recent article published in the New York Times and another written by the Mayo Clinic address the subject.

Many studies are pointing to the fact that not only are the ergonomics of sitting important, but the opportunities in the work day to stand, walk around …even wiggle a bit are ever more critical.

We have been working with our clients to explore this issue in a number of ways recently. The first is with custom designed furniture. Working with Andrew Danzinger of Hatch, we are developing a prototype for a standing height desk that can be added to a work surface table/desk. This version is still definitely in the testing mode, but the possibilities for personalization and adjustability are really interesting.

In other projects with workstation panels we are exploring options for sections of work surfaces that offer a pneumatic adjustability. In these types of workspaces it is also important to look at the panel height and the effect on the environment of having some people in the space at a standing height while working (talking on the phone, collaborating) vs a sitting height. The acoustics and visual privacy are definitely affected.

Stay tuned for more images of projects in development and how we integrate these design concepts into healthy work environments.

Contributed By

Wendy Dunnam Tita