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Sitting may be relaxing (doesn’t it just feel good sometimes?), but too much sitting can be alarming. The research is clear: people who sit for a long period of time are more likely to acquire chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
We often sit because it makes it comfortable and easier to perform motor skills needed for working and active tasks such as driving, computer works, detailed drawing, holding a spoon and writing; however, too much sitting can be detrimental to our health. There is a remedy at hand, though; a significant number of studies are suggesting the use of adjustable height standing desks and the implementation of sit-stand workstations to lessen the harmful effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
Many workers responded positively to the inclusion of adjustable standing desks or standing desk converters in the workplace. Some business owners even encourage design teams to adopt standing desks as part of innovative office design. Now the question is, are we using them properly?
On the first few days of using a standing desk, it is best to start by alternating between standing and sitting for a few minutes to hours at a time until you are accustomed to standing for long periods of time. This will allow the body to adjust and slowly getting used to standing at work and sitting when needed.
The following are suggestions on how to maximize the use of a standing desk in sit-stand workstations and achieve positive results, such as increased productivity, less back and shoulder pain, and increased weight loss due to the periodic movement.
The height of the desk should generally be at elbow height or slightly below. The elbows are positioned at a nearly 90-degree angle from the floor. To test, measure the distance from the floor to the bottom of your elbow. The desk should be built close to this height.
The monitor should be placed at eye level and 15 to 30 inches away from you. This will allow you to work with comfort and focus and it would prevent your arm and wrist of getting injured. An adjustable monitor stand with gas compression can help you adjust the monitor to perfect height (there may be subtle adjustments from sitting to standing positions you will want to make).
Consider your body’s proportion before setting the height. You have the option to buy a standing desk or stick with your existing table and use a standing desk converter.
The body must be positioned for maximum comfort and correct posture when using an adjustable standing desk. Having an incorrect posture can have adverse health effects. Start with the knees slightly bent and not completely straight to the point that they lock up.
Followed by periodically shifting the body’s weight back and forth from each foot to increase comfort and endurance. Keep wrists straight and elbows close to the body. Finally, turn on the monitor, and make sure that you can look straight at it and don’t have to bend your neck downward.
Wearing the right shoes will also have an impact when working at a standing desk. A clean floor must also be included especially the working area. The CCOHS or Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety recommended using wooden, cork or covered floor for standing work to make it safer for the workers.
The floors must be properly level and be non-slippery. Avoid standing on concrete or metal floors if possible or cover concrete or metal floors with mats. An anti-fatigue mat can make the transition from sitting to standing desk much easier.
Start working healthy and be productive all day!