Current and ceased users of sit stand workstations: A qualitative evaluation of ergonomics, safety and health factors within a workplace setting
journal contributionposted on 07.01.2022, 05:38 by Brendan Henderson, Margaret StuckeyMargaret Stuckey, Tessa KeegelTessa Keegel
Background: Many workplaces have implemented sit-stand workstations (SSW), which enable a worker to transition between sitting and standing as they perform their work activities. The factors which determine the initial adoption, sustainability or cessation of use for a SSW, remain largely unexamined. This study investigates the experiences of workers who had previously used or were currently using a SSW. Methods: The study setting was within an Australian university. Participants who were current or past SSW users, as well as workplace key informants, were interviewed for the study. All interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed. Transcripts were coded by two researchers for concepts and themes regarding uptake and sustainability of SSW. Discussion and validation of themes was undertaken by the team of three researchers. Results: A total of 24 interviews were conducted. Twenty-two interviews were with ceased and current users (16 current and six ceased users) and two interviews were with workplace key informants. Analysis of the interviews with current and ceased users identified three main themes: Personal considerations for use/sustainability; Posture; and Usability. Analysis of the interviews with key informants identified two themes: Considerations and concerns and Policies and procedures. Little information was provided to workers when first using a SSW. Workers who were able to adopt their working style to the new workstations were able to sustain ongoing use of a SSW. Key informants were concerned that employees believed using a SSW would provide a health benefit in its own right without an understanding of the possible risks that might be associated with use. Conclusions: Sustainable usage of this type of SSW is achievable, however, it requires some element of adaptation at the individual worker level. Participants spoke about how the use of the SSW in a standing position was typically associated with the time of day, specific task selection and musculoskeletal comfort or fatigue factors. The provision of education to new SSW users with relevant supporting information by a subject matter expert should enable the worker to obtain a more holistic understanding of the safety and health risks and benefits embedded in the use of a SSW.