Working position - standing
A job that involves standing all day puts a lot of strain on the legs resulting in the swelling of the legs, because the muscles do not move sufficiently to pump the correct amount of blood back to the heart. The heart has therefore an insufficient supply of blood to work with, and the individual feels tired and listless.
Jobs requiring a lot of movement and considerable stretching of powerful muscles are often performed in a standing posture. In any standing work, bending of the back should be avoided, If one leans forward or to one side, the muscles in the legs, back and shoulders must be tightened to hold the body in that position.
When you keep bending, the back muscles continue to be strained. And you straighten up again, you feel pains in back as it has stiffened into a fixed position. It is impossible to stand at ease all the time while working if the working height is not correctly, or if the controls, materials and the tools to be used are not within easy reach. There should be plenty of foot room as it allows the working position to be altered and loads to evenly distributed. Avoid wearing tight working clothes as they hinder smooth movements required by the work.
When joints are stretched, uncomfortably cause considerable fatigue. Standing on one leg can lead to a load pressure on the hip joint which is equal to two and a half times the weight of the body.
The working height is important. If it is incorrect, the body gets tired quickly. The working height should be such that the job can be done without the back bent and with the shoulders relaxed and in their natural position. The work should be done at a natural hand position as close to the body as possible.
Comfortable working height varies depending on what type of work you are doing. If the work demands precision, where vision is important, then the working height should be higher. Precision work often also requires support for the arms. Where heavy work is involved, the working height should, for certain operations, be low enough to allow the worker to use the weight of his own body to the best advantage.
It is important when working in a standing position that the things you need for the job are within easy reach. The height of the work table is adjusted to the height of the worker, so that the working surface is level with the elbows when standing with the back straight and the shoulders relaxed. The worker should stand straight in front of and close up to the work table/bench with his weight evenly distributed on both feet. There should be enough room for his legs and feet. The special nature of the work can mean that the working height must be changed. Controls, such as levers or switches, should be lower than shoulder height. The surface that the worker is standing on should be suitable for the working conditions. Proper footwear reduces strain on the back and legs.
It is very important to have the correct footwear for jobs involving a lot of standing and walking. Shoes should be stable and fit well, if not, the feet will not be given the support they need. The result will be a tired back and legs. If the work involves anything which might damage the foot when dropped, such as heavy metal components, safety shoes or boots with reinforced toe-caps should be worn.
If possible the worker should be able to alternate from a sitting position to a standing position and vice versa. Work requiring no change in the working position should be alternated with work requiring more movement.