Is Your Standing Desk Really Helping as Much as You Think?
Did you recently get a standing desk to avoid the health problems that come from sitting in a chair all day? If so, you’re not alone. Thousands of people across the world have come to realize that sitting all day is bad for their health. Sitting can lead to decreased blood flow, weak muscles, bad posture, and a variety of back-related problems. However, standing all day long can be equally harmful to your health.
The optimal solution is variation
They say that everything should be done in moderation and that applies to how you work. Neither sitting nor standing at a desk all day is healthy for your body. The optimal solution is to switch between standing and sitting throughout the day. The good news is that standing desks can accommodate an office chair and many desks are designed for both standing and sitting.
How you incorporate variation into your work day is up to you. Ideally, you should switch between sitting and standing in hour-long intervals with breaks in-between. Try not to sit or stand for more than an hour at a time. At the end of an hour, take a ten-minute break and switch positions. This is easy when you have a pneumatic or electric desk.
Minimize the risk of injury while sitting at your desk
When you’re going to sit, it’s important to make your work station seat-friendly. For example, your eyes should be in line with your monitor and your keyboard and mouse position should be easy to reach and comfortable. Your chair should be adjusted to match your workstation usability.
First, adjust your chair until you’re sitting upright with full back support. Next, make sure your arms are at a 90-degree angle resting comfortably rather than suspended in the air or stretched far in front of you. There are quite a few other tips for reducing your risk for injury while sitting that are worth reading. For instance, the position of your legs and feet matters.
Minimize the risk of injury while standing at your desk
Ideally, you should have some kind of standing mat underneath your desk. Your ideal mat depends on your personal preferences. Some mats are hard while others are squishy. Some provide a large area of cushion so you can take small steps to either side.
A mat under your feet will absorb your weight and prevent certain injuries, but it’s not enough. You also need to maintain movement.
Keep moving while standing to stay healthy
For most people, switching to a standing desk feels odd at first. Standing in one place for a long period of time can make your legs feel weird, your feet might go numb, and many people start to feel anxious. It’s natural to want to move your body, but unless you have a treadmill desk, you can’t exactly move your feet and work at the same time.
The general consensus is that standing is better than sitting. However, studies have found that workers who stand for the majority of their shift are almost twice as likely to develop heart disease than people who sit. This information is summarized in an article discussing why movement is the answer to staying healthy.
Other research cited in the same article found that standing for prolonged periods of time can lead to varicose veins and leg pain. Moving is the only way to prevent the injuries and health problems associated with both sitting and standing for too long.
You can stand and move at the same time
If you’re looking for a way to stand and move at the same time, you’ll want to check out the standing mats made by a company called Wurf. They make heavy-duty inflatable mats with a curved bottom to allow rocking back and forth while you stand. Recently, they launched a new line of standing boards that look and feel more like a real surfboard with a hard surface and a curved bottom for more extreme rocking.
There are plenty of studies to support the science behind Wurf’s cutting-edge mats and there are always new research studies being conducted. Rocking back and forth while standing at your desk not only keeps you healthy, but it has been shown to increase concentration and productivity.
Don’t have a standing desk? Convert your regular desk
If you’re sold on the idea of switching between standing and sitting, but your desk isn’t tall enough for standing, all you need is a standing desk conversion. Take control of your health by converting your desk to encompass the best of both worlds.