Safety Tips Ergonomics Injury prevention Machinery Musculoskeletal disorders Wellness Workstations

Do you spend a lot of time on your feet?


Photo: simonkr/iStockphoto

Jobs that require frequent standing can lead to a number of health-related problems, including sore feet, leg swelling, muscle fatigue, low back pain, and stiffness in the neck and shoulders.

One possible fix for some workstations? Make them adjustable. “Being able to adjust the working height is particularly important to match the workstation to the worker’s individual body size and to the worker’s particular task,” the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety says. “If the workstation cannot be adjusted, platforms to raise the shorter worker or pedestals on top of workstations for the tall worker should be considered.”

Other tips to reduce the negative effects of standing work:

  • Change working positions often.
  • Avoid extreme bending, stretching and twisting.
  • Give workers breaks to relax.
  • Organize work so materials are within easy reach.
  • Use a foot rail or portable footrest to shift body weight from both legs to one or the other.
  • Avoid reaching above or behind the shoulder line. Instead, shift feet to face the object.
  • Don’t reach beyond the point of comfort.

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