Activity Based Working (ABW)
ABW is a growing trend across the private and public sector for both small to large organisations alike. The information below aims to assist you work safely and effectively within this type of environment. It includes information regarding how to set up your workstation, the importance of moving, key features, risks and strategies to maximise the benefits of an activity based workplace, and who to contact if you require an assessment.
Steps to follow before commencing work at a 120 degree workstation
- Adjust chair so feet are flat on the floor, backrest between 90-100 degrees, seat pan horizontal and lumbar support in line with lumbar curve of your lower spine.
- Ensure desk is set to the either the sitting or standing height that has been recommended for you (shoulders relaxed, elbows at 90 degrees or slightly larger and wrists straight).
- Monitor and laptop at a height where neck is neutral or slightly bent when viewing the screen.
- Mouse next to the keyboard and keyboard approx. 100mm from the edge of the desk.
How to keep moving throughout the day
Sitting for prolonged periods is now a known risk factor to your health, so it is important to keep moving and stretching throughout the day. Here are some ideas:
- Stand to make phone calls
- Stand for reading tasks
- Walk over and talk to colleagues instead of emailing them
- Replace your water bottle with a glass, and drink more water so you have to fill your glass more often
- Take standing coffee breaks
- Whenever you can, stand for informal meetings and walk to a different site
- Use central bins and printers
- Collect printing more frequently
- Use the stairs instead of the lift
- Have lunch away from your desk
Stretching tips and techniques
Stretching throughout the day is vital. Here are some instructions on how to do it safely and effectively (note: if you are receiving treatment you should check with your Doctor or Health Professional before commencing these exercises).
First, warm up muscles by moving body parts required for the tasks to be performed.
Place foot up on plant/step/object, or sit with leg in position shown with foot on floor and toes pointed. Slide hands down thigh keeping back straight. You should feel the stretch in back of thigh.
More information on moving and stretching can also be downloaded here: IPAR Stand up & Stretch break
Key features, risks and strategies to maximise benefit and what activity where?
The following presentation provides a summary of the benefits of ABW and how to make the most of this environment, including what to do, where.
Have you had a workstation assessment conducted by an Occupational Rehabilitation consultant in the ABW environment?
If not please contact Peter Nolan so one can be arranged. PeterD.Nolan@act.gov.au
What is the research saying about ABW environments?
- Employees are sitting less – partially due to the utilisation of the STS workstations.
- The environment promotes more frequent movement and incidental exercise
- It is perceived as a more ‘stimulating’ work environment