Ergonomic workstation setup

Your workstation and you

Here at University of Wollongong, WHS would like to raise awareness of the risks of prolonged sitting by asking employees to consider changing their workstation culture to promote movement in the workplace.

Have a look at the guidelines and resources available to assist you in setting up your regular workstation, or for information on setting up adjustable workstations, working with laptops, or working from home.

Book a workstation assessment

If you would like to have a workstation assessment, please review:

  1. Office ergonomics guideline for steps to setting up your workstation
  2. Computer workstation ergonomics video

If you still need assistance, please email to request a review by our Well@Work Advisors.

Egonomics FAQs

Q. Can I have a sit-to stand desk?

There is no established UOW policy for an individual to be deemed eligible to require an adjustable desk.

There are two qualifying factors that contribute to the recommendation of an adjustable desk being pursued. This includes:

  1. an assessment by UOW’s WHS staff where the outcome demonstrates an adjustable height desk would assist the individual’s work environment. Medical information may need to be provided to assist in this process and
  2. a home entity (Faculty, School, Division, Unit) willing to fund the procurement of an adjustable height desk for the individual

For more information refer to the sit-stand desk fact sheet.

Q. Is sitting bad for you?

There is a growing body of evidence that high levels of sedentary behaviour and sitting in particular are emerging risk factors for chronic disease. Given this, the Heart Foundation recommends that adults aim to reduce the total amount of time they sit during the day and avoid prolonged periods of sitting.

Q. What can I do to sit less and move more?

There are many ways we can increase our movement while at work:

  • Take microbreaks to conduct the appropriate stretches. (20 seconds)
  • Use iMails—walk over and talk—instead of eMails to colleagues.
  • Use separately located bins and/or printers.
  • Dispose of waste and/or collect printing more frequently.
  • Drink more water so you have to go to the water cooler (and bathroom) more often.
  • Use a bathroom that is further away.
  • Step outside for fresh air.
  • Use the stairs instead of the lift.
  • Use an active way of commuting to work (walk or ride your bike, stand on the train, stand up to wait for your train/bus).
  • Park your car further away from work or park in short-term parking so you have to walk back to move your car.
  • Have lunch away from your desk.
  • Walk laps of the floor at regular intervals to break up the day.
  • Walk around the neighbourhood at lunch—you can develop two or three timed walking routes to fit into your working day and promote variety.
Q. What can supervisors do to encourage less sitting?

To encourage their workers to move more, supervisors can:

  • Encourage team/unit/faculty attendance in UOW Well@Work events and encourage staff to take lunch breaks away from the office. Modelling is one of the most powerful ways to affect change—if managers practice strategies to reduce sedentary behaviours, workers are much more likely to reduce their sedentary behaviour also. Take the lead!
  • Raise awareness of the risks of sitting and measures to reduce sitting time throughout the organisation by discussing during office or team meetings, or toolbox talks and by displaying relevant WHS posters around the workplace.
  • Ensure a standing-friendly culture is promoted and supported.
  • Update meeting agenda templates to include a standing agenda item, and encourage staff to stand during meetings.
  • Encourage walking meetings between individuals or small groups.
  • Where possible, review and revise job and task design to minimise sitting time for sedentary workers.
  • Individual areas may determine through budget and other priorities their requirements for sitting less including the provision of sit stand workstations/adjustable workstations.
  • New buildings/refurbishments to include provision of adjustable workstations as determined by function and layout with high proportion of adjustable workstations.
  • Locate facilities to encourage incidental movement. For example, by replacing individual workstation waste disposal units with a larger central unit, and moving printing and other facilities away from workstations.

Is sitting bad for you?