The Standing Desk
We all know from the previous article that sitting at a desk all day can be detrimental to your health, but what is the average joe supposed to do when their job requires them to sit in a cubicle for eight or more hours a day? Should we just sit down passively and try to get in a work out in after? Or, better yet, incorporate some sort of activity into our otherwise static work schedule? Don’t be disheartened or use your desk as an excuse for your inactivity, there is a way for you to keep your blood flowing while working in a stationary environment, and that is with The Standing Desk.
Standing desks can give you the flexibility and mobility that an everyday desk cannot; it leaves you with more freedom to get the needed activity that has formally been deprived from our daily routines. Nevertheless, there are many standing desks in the market that offer different perks as well as disadvantages, so make sure to find the one that suits you. Consider the products customization, affordability, adjustability, weight, and size when looking to purchase one for your workspace.
Much like sitting down, there is an art to using a standing desk. Looking at the diagram received from CBS, there are seven tips to apply in order to reap the full benefits of a standing desk.
- Arms at a 90-degree angle
- Wrists in neutral position
- Computer monitor at eye level and directly in front of you
- Screen at a 20-degree tilt, 20 to 28 inches from your eyes
- Knees slightly bent
- Shift your weight from time to time from leg to leg
- At least one heel off the ground
Without following these instructions properly, you may as well be sitting right back down on your chair – so make sure to have the right standing technique!
The standing desk is not only appropriate for the workplace, but is being introduced in schools everywhere. Kelly Starrett and wife, Juliet Starrett have taken it upon themselves to create the movement StandUp Kids. This initiative provides many educational institutions with information on the health risks associated with sedentary lifestyles and resources on why standing desks create an environment where children can become healthier and more active.
With the mission of getting every public school child at a standing desk in 10 years, one must admire the Starrett’s passion for a physical health. Their beliefs that an inactive lifestyle is directly related to the public health crisis in America motivates them to get the youthful generation to move more and sit less. “Standing desks are a simple and elegant way to create a movement rich environment where children are more engaged and perform better academically, burn more calories, eliminate or minimize orthopaedic problems and disease, feel happier, and just plain move more.” – Kelly Starrett.
Several studies from Authority Nutrition have been done on employees with long-term back pain. Contributors reported up to a 32% improvement in lower back pain after several weeks of using standing desks. According to the CDC, who conducted additional studies, the use of a sit-stand desk reduced upper back and neck pain by 54% after just 4 weeks. Additionally, removal of the sit-stand desks reversed some of those improvements within a 2-week period. These consistent findings throughout the studies show that standing desks can affectedly reduce back pain caused by prolonged sitting as well as improve comfort in other areas of the human body.
Using a standing desk instead can lower your risk of weight gain and obesity, lower your blood sugar levels, decrease risk of heart disease, reduce back pain, and ultimately fight against all the maladies caused by the sitting position. Reducing sedentary time can also improve one’s mental health. This is why sitting less and standing more is such an important lifestyle change. If you want to try this out, it’s recommended you split your time 50-50 between standing and sitting. All you need to do is get out to a local furniture store and purchase a standing desk and you’ll be one step closer to a healthier lifestyle.
Research and written by Tia Vialva