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The Real Reasons You Want Sit/Stand Workstations in Your Office

Presented by Carol Stuart-Buttle, Stuart-Buttle Ergonomics; Kermit G. Davis, University of Cincinnati; and Jack Dennerlein, Northeastern University
Moderated by Andy Dattel, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University


View the webinar recording and slides.

About the Webinar

Jack Dennerlein: Moving from wellness to well-being with sit-stand desks. Arguments in support of using sit/stand desks in the past have focused on mitigating cardiovascular risk factors associated with sedentary work. Recent reviews indicate that such a rationale may be exaggerating the risks of occupational sitting and the benefits of sit/stand workstations. However, numerous studies indicate that sit/stand workstations may provide other benefits that can improve overall well-being for the desk-bound worker.
Kermit Davis: It’s not about sitting or standing; the key is postural variability. As we better understand both sitting and standing in the office setting, it is starting to look like neither standing nor sitting the entire time is the answer. Recent work has shown that changes throughout the day can significantly decrease discomfort without impacting productivity. Thus, interventions that encourage micro-breaks and changes in postures (e.g., software reminders with sit-stands) may be more influential than a sit-stand table.
Carol Stuart-Buttle: Realities in the office. Introducing sit/stand equipment into an office is not always straightforward. The pros and cons of different styles of sit/stand equipment will be presented, along with the suboptimal user approaches to workstation setup if the user has not had training. Some approaches for temporary ADA accommodation also will be discussed.

About the Presenters

     Jack Dennerlein

Jack Dennerlein is a professor in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University and adjunct professor of ergonomics and safety at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. He is also associate director for the Chan School’s Center for Work, Health, and Wellbeing. Dennerlein's research examines how design impacts worker safety, health, and well-being. He holds degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley.


      Kermit G. Davis

Kermit G. Davis, PhD, is president of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. He became a Fellow of HFES in 2013. His research has gained national and international recognition through prestigious awards that include the Volvo Award in Low Back Pain Research in Biomechanical Studies from the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine (2002), the Alice Hamilton Award in Human Services (2003), the Liberty Mutual Prize for the International Ergonomics Association (2003), and the Promising Young Investigator Award from the International Society of Biomechanics (2005). His work was named a finalist for the Human Factors Prize (2012). Davis is the graduate program director of the Environmental and Occupational Hygiene and Occupational Safety and Ergonomics programs at the University of Cincinnati. His current research focuses on the investigation of the effect of physical workplace demands as well as mental workload on the responses within the lower back.

 Carol Stuart-Buttle

Carol Stuart-Buttle is a Certified Professional Ergonomist with extensive experience gained over more than 30 years. In 1987 she formed Stuart-Buttle Ergonomics, offering consulting services to manufacturing and service industries, including a focus on offices. She has undertaken a variety of projects, providing detailed analyses, conducting training, and developing best practices guides. Carol is a Fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and of the American Industrial Hygiene Association. She has published in national and international journals and handbooks and is past editor-in-chief of Ergonomics in Design. Carol is part-time executive director of the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics.

        Andy Dattel

Andy Dattel, PhD, is an assistant professor, School of Graduate Studies, and director of the Cognitive Engineering Research in Transportation Systems Lab at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He chairs the HFES Public Outreach Webinars program.