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These days, more and more companies are claiming that standing desks promote better health. Is it true? They say these miraculous desks can help reduce back pain, enhance mental health, prevent weight loss, and boost work productivity.
Standing desks are also said to assist in improving posture. Is there science to back this up? Actually, yes - various studies (with more coming out each year) support such claims. This makes standing desks a major breakthrough when it comes to health and efficiency at work.
In an article published in the Medical Blog of UTSWMed, it was stated that a standing desk might aid in improving back pain; however, it does not cure it.
The article also mentions that a standing desk can help improve posture and get rid of pressure from your neck and lower back. There aren’t enough medical studies that support the information that standing desks can correct health issues such as a bulging disc and scoliosis.
On the other hand, Healthline suggests people in the workplace try alternating sitting and standing every thirty to sixty minutes. One hour standing for every 1-2 hours sitting must be done as recommended. One excellent way to do that is to have standing desks in the workplace.
In the same article of UTSWMed.org, some benefits of standing desks are discussed.
#1 Using standing desks can increase productivity
Using a standing desk in the office can help employees become more productive. A study conducted in 2016 reveals that employees in a call center who tried using a standing desk were found to be 45 percent more productive. The result is compared to their colleagues who chose to be seated.
#2 Standing can aid in burning calories
Standing can burn a small number of calories in the body. A November 2017 research in Circulation shows standing can burn an extra .15 calories per minute than sitting.
#3 Standing decreases back pain
Utilizing a standing desk has shown to help improve back pain. Employees who use a sit-stand desk can be free from the effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
According to some other studies, various health conditions can be acquired due to prolonged sitting. High blood pressure due to weight gain, anxiety, and issues with the muscles can also be experienced. When planning to buy a standing desk, it’s crucial to choose the best in quality.
An article published in Healthline.com discusses some tips on maximizing the benefits of standing and reducing the risks caused by prolonged sitting.
#1 Make sure to adjust your desk and monitor screen
The proper desk height must be considered along with the right positioning of your computer screen. Both are essential in improving the comfort and efficiency in the workplace.
Your standing desk must be set at an approximately elbow-height position. In short, your elbows must be positioned at a 90 degree level from the floor.
On the other hand, screen positions are ideal to have it 20-30 inches from your face. The top of the screen or monitor should be eye-level, so you will not experience neck pains and discomfort.
#2 Alternate between sitting and standing
Undoubtedly, sitting too much is bad for our health. But of course, we can’t avoid it altogether. Experts have found that too much sitting can be linked to lower back pains and problems with posture.
On the other hand, there can also be adverse effects on standing, such as causing varicose veins, muscles and leg cramps, and connective tissues’ problems.
The good thing is, we can avoid such issues by simply alternating between sitting and standing. Remember to stand for one hour after one or two hours of sitting, whether at home or in the office.
#3 Purchase and use an anti-fatigue mat
Anti-fatigue mats are usually used in jobs that require extended periods of standing. Some examples of these jobs include those working at the counter or product lines.
Anti-fatigue mats combat fatigue due to prolonged standing. They help in encouraging subtle movements in the leg’s muscles. Besides, they stimulate improved blood flow and reduce the feeling of discomfort.
That’s why if you experience discomfort, or pain in your legs and lower back due to standing, use anti-fatigue mats, they can greatly help.
#4 Make sure to have your mouse and keyboard in the proper position
Working for extended hours can cause strain to your wrists. This can even lead to conditions such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Repetitive Strain Injuries. It’s crucial to be aware of how to position your wrist when sitting or standing.
The ideal wrist position when standing is slightly more extended or tilted upwards than when sitting. To protect your wrists while standing, always have your mouse and keyboard at the same level, and keep our wrists straight when typing.
It is also advisable to use an ergonomic mouse and keyboards to make sure that you will work comfortably and safely.
#5 Use arm support or padding
Arm support is described as padding, which can be attached to your desk. It is customized and designed to minimize pressure on the wrist while using a mouse and keyboards. Various studies support the use of arm supports since it is proven to help reduce the risk of having shoulder and neck problems. They are must-have accessories, especially for people who work mostly with computers.
#6 Remember to take breaks
Standing desks are better than sitting desks. But, do not forget to take regular breaks to move and do some stretching.
This will also aid in clearing your head and resting your eyes. Use your phone to set the alarm or reminder to take breaks, so you’ll get used to it. We understand that sometimes deadlines can be overwhelming and, most of the time, stressful.
When we’re under great stress, we tend to forget about ourselves and our needs, so we push ourselves beyond the limit to get things done. Unfortunately if you do it continuously, after a while burnout will get the best of you and you will feel like you are crashing.
Maybe you’ve experienced burnout in the past and know it too well. Moreover, when you take regular breaks, you will have more energy, and you will be able to finish everything on time and efficiently.
There are outstanding products that can help us enjoy a better way of living. Standing desks are just one of them. They can help us avoid the effects of sedentary life, and improve the postures, too.
This might be a long shot, but have you considered talking to your boss about providing you with a stand desk? If you think your boss wouldn’t go for it, you can do things like minding your position while standing or alternating between sitting and standing.
If you are working from home and have been wondering about whether or not to get a standing desk, then you’d be making a wise choice to invest in one. You will feel better physically and emotionally.