Standing at Work: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
What’s good about standing at work?
Fremont, OH – An October 2011 report by Jenny Pynt, an ergonomics researcher at Charles Sturt University, Sydney, Australia, reports prolonged standing uses more calories than sitting. That may be welcome news for those counting calories or concerned about their weight.
But, as many workers know, prolonged standing does have its drawbacks. The bad and the ugly of it is that it can cause serious health problems, such as “low back pain and circulation problems in the legs, leading to blood clots in the lungs,” writes Pynt.
Other health risks associated with prolonged standing, according to the study, include the following:
• Pooling of the blood in the legs, with sluggish return of blood to the heart
• Swelling of the legs
• Varicose veins and nocturnal leg cramps
• Preterm birth and spontaneous abortion in pregnant women
• Cardiovascular disease, especially for those standing in a fixed posture
“Those typically most impacted are factory workers, tellers, cashiers, and others who must stand several hours each day to perform their work duties,” says JoAnne Boston, market development manager for Crown Mats and Matting.
“If [health] problems have already developed, workers must see a physician. However, there are ways to prevent or minimize these problems.”
To minimize your risk, Boston offers these suggestions:
• Combine standing and sitting; this helps rest joints and can prevent many of the other health problems noted in the study.
• If sitting while working is not an option, sit down during breaks.
• When possible, gently stretch and massage joints and muscles in the legs.
• Apply ice to painful areas if pain becomes excessive.
“Employers can also take steps to alleviate the problems of prolonged standing for their staff,” Boston notes. “Anti-fatigue mats can prove exceptionally valuable in [standing] situations such as this.”
About Crown Mats and Matting
For more than 60 years, Crown Mats and Matting has been a pioneer in the development and manufacture of matting products. Beginning with the invention of walk-off matting by the company''s founder, R.P. Johnson, the company now has the most diverse matting product line offered in our industry. Crown sells matting through an extensive network of highly trained sales representatives throughout the United States and worldwide. These sales experts are familiar with the features and benefits of all matting systems and are able to help their clients find the right system for virtually any application.