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Environmental Demands

Amount of Movement

Jobs can range in the amount of movement required of the worker – from a mainly sedentary job (seated) to a job that involves a lot of physical activity (movement).  

Some jobs are mainly sedentary.

This means that you would be sitting for most of the job, and that walking or standing is not a typical requirement of the job.

Jobs that are usually seated:

  • bus driver
  • data entry worker
  • accountant
  • writer
  • web developer
  • computer programmer
  • book illustrator
  • video game designer
  • drafter
  • engineer

There are other jobs that involve a combination of sitting, walking, and standing.

Jobs that may include a combination of sitting, standing, and walking:

  • teacher
  • professor
  • bank teller
  • medical technician   
  • pharmacy technician
  • librarian
  • office clerk

Some jobs specifically require a lot of standing and walking. 

Jobs that typically involve long periods of standing and walking:

  • mail carrier
  • restaurant waiter
  • retail salesperson          
  • cashier
  • production line worker
  • cook

Some jobs require workers to be physically active.

This means that in addition to sitting and standing, the worker should be able to walk, bend, reach, lift, carry, and push items as part of their job.

Jobs that typically require someone to be physically active:

  • plant nursery worker
  • farm worker
  • baggage handler
  • mechanic
  • plumber 
  • carpenter
  • house painter
  • veterinary technician
  • grocery bagger
  • custodian
  • home health care aide

Sometimes, your job may require you to tolerate certain environmental demands that you do not like.  No work environment is perfect all the time.  Everyone has to cope with certain job-related environmental demands.

How can you cope with seated jobs? Keep in mind that these strategies might not be okay for all work settings—you will need to ask your supervisor for permission before using some of these strategies. You may need help from a family member or other support person to arrange some of these strategies:

Complete some of your work standing up.

Take short stretch and walking breaks.

Use a specialized back support or seat cushion.

Politely request a more comfortable chair.

Use an adaptive desk tray.

How can you cope with standing jobs?

Politely request a stool or chair for certain jobs (i.e. cashier positions).

Take scheduled breaks sitting down to rest your legs.

Wear supportive, comfortable shoes.

It is important to learn coping strategies and techniques so you will keep the job you want. Go to our Coping Section for help.