Use of an inflatable mat to reduce body discomfort development when performing computer work at a standing desk

Ming I.Brandon Lin, Yi Ting Yen, Chun Han Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to determine the effects of inflatable mat design on body discomfort, task performance, and musculoskeletal exposures during standing computer work. Twenty-seven healthy adults completed three 2-hour standing trials on different mediums (concrete floor, foam mat, and inflatable mat) on different days in an experimental laboratory. Both mats were associated with reduced discomfort in all lower-body regions and increased typing performance compared to the concrete floor. Perceived discomfort in lower extremities (except thighs) was further alleviated while standing on the inflatable mat than on the foam mat. Use of the inflatable mat led to increased lower-body muscle activity, a flexed lower back, and a wide range of sagittal knee movements. As standing time increased, body discomfort increased, typing accuracy decreased, and there were increased variations in muscle activity and postural movements in the lower body. The inflatable mat shows potential to improve the ergonomic experience during prolonged standing. Practitioner summary: Incorporating standing postures in office-based workplaces can reduce sitting time and may mitigate the health hazards associated with sedentary behaviour. With adequate weight-shifting movements, using an inflatable mat for standing could be an effective way to lessen discomfort and accumulated musculoskeletal strain due to constrained standing, without jeopardising task productivity. Abbreviations: APDF: amplitude probability distribution function. AVR: average rectified value. CI: confidence interval. CMRR: common mode rejection ratio. COP: center of pressure. CV: coefficient of variation. EA: electrical activity. EMG: electromyography. FL: fibularis longus. GM: gluteus medius. LBP: lower back pain. LES: lumbar erector spinae. MVC: maximum voluntary contraction. PD: pain developer. rANOVA: repeated-measures analysis of variance. SOL: soleus. VAS: visual analog scale. WPM: words per minute.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1015-1034
Number of pages20
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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