Flexible Workforce

Presenters: Mark Benden, Ph.D., Texas A&M and James Galante, Southworth Products Corp.

Six-Month Follow-Up: Comparison of Sit-to-Stand and Stand-Biased Desks in a Call Center

As many office employees are spending 50 percent to 90 percent of their workdays seated, employers are looking to stand-capable workstations as a way to get employees out of their chairs. Stand-capable workstations offer office employees an alternative to sitting in their chair all day, but many perceive them as an expensive desk that employees never stand at once the novelty of the desk wears off.

This study examines stand-capable desk usage over time and also compares two types of stand-capable workstations: a sit-to-stand adjustable workstation and a stand-biased workstation. A randomized control trial was conducted over the six-month period immediately following installation of sit-to-stand and stand-biased workstations in a new call center in Tennessee. Ninety-one participants enrolled in the study and agreed to wear an activity monitor and complete a survey at baseline, three months and six months. The results of the 52 participants that completed the study show that both types of stand-capable workstations lead to sustained standing habits over a six-month period.

The Effects on Material Handling Equipment Design with an Aging or Obese Workforce

The tried and true designs of material handling devices may be challenged as our typical workforce ages and grows more obese. The reduced upper body strength, the lack of easy reach to components and controls may demand we look at improvements in the very machines that have been designed to make work easier and safer. Through simple, brief case study examples, practical changes in equipment design are discussed in the fast-moving, picture-driven presentation.

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