Elkton goes ergonomic
Several times per day, visitors to Elkton's town hall ask Brie Humphreys why she's standing up on the job.
Humphreys is one of several Town of Elkton staffers who has gone ergonomic. That means instead of staying seated at a desk for eight or more hours a day, they stand.
"I got it last November. I really like it. I've been a secretary my whole life. It hasn't bothered me a bit. At first, my legs would bother me," said Humphreys. She also said she learned that standing while working is better for her health.
Elkton town administrator Lewis George said the town began looking at the stand up sit down option desks a few years ago. But they were cost prohibitive. Instead of abandoning the plan to allow employees the sit or stand option, they decided to have them made in house.
Ed Dowell who works for the Department of Public Works doing maintenance and mechanical tasks, also creates special projects that help spruce up the town. Dowell then began creating custom stands which lend themselves to being used whether staff opts to sit or stand. Dowell measures and creates the computer monitor stands, phone shelves, and equipment according to the height for the employees.
"Once you have a plan, it doesn't take long to make them," said Dowell.
"He can customize a work area and custom fit it for us," said Michelle Henson, Administration Office Secretary for the Town of Elkton. Henson was getting her work space measured for her made to fit equipment last week. "I don't want to sit," said Henson. "I'm glad they are letting me do this. I had a sprained back. We need to get up and move. I'm more productive standing."
Theresa Thomas of Elkton's building department has a custom made work area. "I prefer to stand over sitting all day," said Thomas. "My lower back doesn't hurt as much. I would creak when I got up. Now I did this at home."
George said the staff is "10 times more efficient" if they are happy in their work area. "Happiness breeds efficiency," said George. He also said the town couldn't have done the work area make overs without Dowell.
"He is extremely skilled. Once we did one, he started making them for everybody," said George.
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