The Good in Sit-Stand Workstation

Professor Alan Hedge directs the Human Factors and Ergonomics teaching and research programs at Cornell University. The focal length of his teaching activities and research is the emergence of new design and workplace ergonomics including streamlined workstations as these affect the health, comfort, and productivity of workers. During one of his interviews, he provided substantial tips on sit-to-stand working programs.

THE 20-20-20 RULE

The moment you sit down, the body's calorie-burning ability drops to 1 per minute and the electrical activity in the leg muscles shut off. At the same time, good cholesterol drops by 20% when sitting down for at least 2 hours. Sitting for an extended period of time gives us moderate to severe discomfort such as experiencing strain in the neck, sore shoulders, and lower back to name a few.

To counter these adverse effects, it is advised to consistently practice the 20-20-20 rule. This is the ideal ratio between sitting and standing while working. It chiefly means that every 20 minutes workers must stand up, move for at least 20 seconds, and look at least 20 feet away, to rest the eyes.

This will also include that workers take 2 – 3 minutes every hour to move around. You may argue that is tiresome, but it is best for your health.

Did you know that standing for most of the day has the potential to burn 30,000 more calories in a year? That’s about eight pounds of fat. Now, surely this will motivate you to religiously follow the 20-20-20 rule.


Sitting uses less energy than standing and it helps stabilize the body and carry out fine motor functions like driving, computer works, and elaborate drawings; however, these activities encourage prolonged sitting and they could cause headaches, fatigue, obesity due to a sedentary lifestyle, and higher risks of kidney and coronary diseases.

Thirty minutes to an hour of daily exercise is not enough to counteract the negative effects of prolonged sitting. So, how do you make your workspace ergonomically correct? By providing the use of ergonomic equipment like electronic height adjustable workstation, sit to stand product such as standing desk converter (available in, high back chair, and height adjustable negative tilt keyboard/mouse tray.

The ability to change posture from sitting to standing and vice versa is becoming more mainstream because of the positive health effects it brings. A study published by the Center for Disease Control found that the use of sit to stand devices is an effective method to generate health benefits and combat the negative effects of sitting all day.

Moreover, standing more based on the 20-20-20 rule has been said to increase concentration, focus, and overall productivity at the office. However, be cautious, standing all day can also be detrimental to your health. It is the periodic movement that is provided by an adjustable standing desk that plays a satisfactory part in encouraging workers to move, stand, and sit as needed.