The truth behind Standing DesksDaisy Milligan
Are you reading this while standing at your desk? There’s a good chance that you are — standing desks are all the rage and the benefits of a standing desk are often talked about.
These desks allow you to work at your “desk job” while standing rather than sitting in a chair. They can be custom built (for thousands of dollars) or you can convert a regular desk into a standing desk at no cost by elevating your computer.
Rather than sitting all day staring at a computer screen, surely it would be better to be standing (while staring at a computer screen). But studying some of the assumptions surrounding standing desks. A common one is this: certainly it takes more effort — and extra calories — to remain upright rather than sit, and over a course of days or weeks those extra calories would add up to something significant.
Standing desk benefits
Advocates of standing desks point to studies showing that after a meal, blood sugar levels return to normal faster on days a person spends more time standing. And standing, rather than sitting, may reduce the risk of shoulder and back pain.
Other potential health benefits of a standing desk are assumed based on the finding that long hours of sitting are linked with a higher risk of
- cardiovascular disease
- cancer (especially cancers of the colon or breast)
- premature death.
Sit-stand desks don’t just have long term benefits, as they are also extremely beneficial in the short term for the body. Standing helps prevent a harmful build-up of sugars and fats in your blood, as a result workers who stand more have better energy levels and concentration.
Here is a basic step to step guide in how to get the most out of your sit-stand desk.
- To decide the height of the standing desk, relax your shoulder and create a 90-degree angle with your elbow.
- Bring the desk height to just below the forearm.
- Your thighs should run parallel to the ground, with your feet firmly placed on the floor, shoulder width apart.
- Wrists must be in line with your forearms.
- Keep your head upright with ears in line with your shoulders. Eyes should be in line with the top one third of the screen.
- You will also find that your posture will be at its best, when your rib cage is above your hips, as this means that you’re not leaning forwards or backwards.
- Finally, your knees should be straight, however not locked, if knees are locked you are likely to be bending too far back, this causes strain on your lower back and pelvis.
It is recommended that when working at your desk, you should spend at least a minimum of two hours on your feet, this with the
main aim of reaching an ideal four hours. Seated work needs to be regularly broken up with standing work. As well as avoiding too much seated work, remaining in a static standing posture should also be avoided. This being why its advised to regularly charge or shift weight between your legs, in order to reduce leg fatigue. As well as shifting weight, you should also frequently adjust the posture of your body throughout the working day. Occupational standing has not been
shown to cause any damage towards your lower back or your neck, if anything standing helps to provide relief towards the muscles.