The knowledge that sitting for extended periods of time is detrimental to health is nothing new; experts have said for years that “sitting is the new smoking.” However, the modern work day can make avoiding a sedentary lifestyle difficult, especially for operators who work long shifts in emergency operations centers, network operations centers, digital command centers, investigations centers, and other 24/7 mission critical environments. Constant Technologies offers command center desks and workstations with adjustable height capabilities, including a GSA console desk, to facilitate proper ergonomics and promote the health and well-being of command center operators. There are numerous benefits to investing in sit/stand control room furniture.
Three of the major benefits are:
1. Better overall health
Sitting behind an operations center desk for extended periods of time can cause ailments such as back, neck, and shoulder aches. The human body is not meant to sit as long as command center shifts often require. Besides ergonomic issues causing strain, in the long term extended sedentary periods are detrimental to heart health and can contribute to an increased risk of conditions such as diabetes.
2. Improved mood and energy
Allowing operators to switch between sitting and standing positions results in less stress and fatigue. Mental health studies show links between extended periods of sedentary time and an increased risk of depression and anxiety, so the ability to switch between sitting and standing can help to alleviate negative moods which may affect productivity. Additionally, the chance to stand during the workday promotes increased energy.
3. Greater ergonomic flexibility
People are not one size fits all, and therefore operations center consoles should not be either. An adjustable height mission critical console desk allows command center furniture to adapt to a wide variety of operators, rather than forcing the operators to adapt to furniture that may or may not be best suited for them. With a multitude of potential configurations, a sit-stand desk allows operators to work at their bodies’ ideal “neutral posture” and thus reduce ergonomic strain for each individual regardless of height.
For greatest optimization of the benefits of using adjustable height operations center furniture, we recommend the following:
1. Do not sit or stand for too long
While sitting for long periods of time is detrimental to employees’ health, it is also important to allow for a rest from standing. Extended periods of standing can cause tension and strain as well. When standing, the human body tires more easily than when sitting, as
standing requires about 20% more energy use than sitting. The best way to prevent on-the-job injuries it to alternate between the two. Alternating positions ensures that operators do not remain in any one position for long enough to create strain and promotes movement, which is critical to reducing risk factors.
2. When adjusting your desk, confirm proper monitor placement
To prevent neck strain, it is also important to ensure that the monitors at the command center workstation continue to be used ergonomically. Ideally, an operator should not have to tilt his or her neck when viewing the monitor. Constant Technologies plans for ergonomic sight lines when designing and installing 24/7 video walls which are viewed by all operators, but at a mission critical console with adjustable height, the operator should be aware that their individual monitor level may need to be adjusted along with the height of the desk. The top of the monitor screen should ideally bne at eye level, allowing for tilt of no more tha 20 degrees. It is important to raise the desk to a level that accommodates this angle of view for the individual.
3. Prevent wrist strain by switching the angle of typing/mouse use.
It is no surprise that working long hours at the computer causes wrist strain, whether standing or seated. At standing height, the desk should be in a position that allows elbows to remain in a 90 degree position relative to the floor. While many studies have established an ideal wrist angle for typing and mouse use while seated, it is important to note that those angles need to be adjusted when using a desk that has shifted between sitting and standing positions. While standing, the optimal angle for operators’ wrists while using the keyboard or mouse requires more extension than when seated.
While frequent breaks and movement are important for physical and mental health, these ideals are not always feasible in global operation center environments where long shifts are required and operations run 24/7. Because operators in mission critical spaces have long shifts with not as much flexibility to leave their command center workstations, using an adjustable height desk allows some movement and activity to contribute to both health and productivity.
Constant offers a standard line adjustable height operations center console, Freedom, which is available to government clients on the GSA schedule. As designers and manufacturers of mission critical consoles, we can also create custom standing desks in any configuration to best fit clients’ needs. Contact us today for a free design consultation.
Constant Technologies, Inc. is a premier mission critical systems integrator providing customized audio visual and video wall integration as well as custom technology furniture and console furniture solutions across the globe. With over 3 decades of experience, Constant’s seasoned team has access to and experience with sensitive environments such as Cyber Defense and Homeland Security in both the private and public sectors. Constant designs, installs and services projects of all scopes to create operations center furniture and video wall solutions with the highest levels of security, aesthetics and functionality. Our team works within a range of environments such as Network Operations Centers (NOC), Security Operations Centers (SOC), CyberSecurity Operations Centers (CSOC), Emergency Operations Centers (EOC), Unified Command Centers (UCC), Remote Operations Centers (ROC), Fleet Operations Centers, and other mission critical spaces. As systems integrators, we pick and choose from the best technologies to create a custom operations center video wall and control room furniture installation that fits your space’s needs.
December 15, 2017