Before employers buy standing workstations and/or even treadmills to prevent repetitive motion claims, they ought to take heed of a recent study that considers them a useless fad. The newest marketing craze is work at standing desks, some even equipped with treadmills and marked as ergonomically safer for an employee's health.
A recently published study has reported the proposed benefits as merely “marketing hyperbole.” “The promotion of active workstations, such as standing desks and even treadmills in the office has been promoted by manufacturers recently with claims of better physical health, improved posture, even reduced mental stress, and a general boost to wellbeing. A new study suggests that many of the proposed benefits and claims are little more than marketing hyperbole.”
Disorders due to repeated motion trauma, an occupational illness, have increased substantially over the decades. “The New Jersey Supreme Court has recognized that the modern workplace is technologically sophisticated and that ergonomics present new situations which have generated an epidemic of repetitive stress injuries. Office workers who regularly use computers often suffer from many debilitating hand and wrist disorders resulting in tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Matter of Musick, 143 N.J. 206, 670 A.2d 11 (1996).” Gelman, Jon L, Workers' Compensation Law, 38 NJPRAC 9.2 (Thomson-Reuters 2018).
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has reported there are serious disadvantages to standing desks, besides the cost, that includes foot, knee, hip and back issues, for standing too long at work. They recommend sitting for 1 hour and standing for only 5 minutes to avoid injury.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jon L. Gelman is nationally recognized as an author, lecturer and skilled trial attorney in the field of workers' compensation law and occupational/environmental disease litigation. Over a career spanning more than four decades, he has been involved in complex litigation involving thousands of clients challenging the mega-industries of asbestos, tobacco, lead paint and burn pits. He is the author of the 3-volume treatise entitled Workers' Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise of Modern Workers' Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters).
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