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Sitting for long periods every work day can cause several pain points, such as shoulder, back, arm, leg, neck pain, and wrist pain. This health situation has led to workspace innovations promoting better ergonomics, posture, and circulation. One of these innovations is the standing desk (also known as sit-stand desks). The benefits of standing desks have allowed it to explode in popularity in recent years. Its ability to improve user posture, and workplace productivity, and reduce stress levels and body pains, cannot be understated. Delve deeper into the world of standing desks as we elaborate on their benefits, proper usage, and types. We’ll even answer some of your queries in this comprehensive guide.
As standing desk users, we have experienced first-hand the benefits it gives office desk workers. These include:
These sit-stand desks have increased office efficiency and even improved users’ physical and mental health. Before purchasing one, however, understanding potential drawbacks as well as benefits is critical when making an informed buying decision.
In our experience, one of the most recognizable benefits of standing desks is their ability to encourage better posture and reduce regional pains.
Office workers prone to prolonged sitting often adopt bad posture because of poor workspace ergonomics. Improper chair design, desk height, and computer monitor levels are the bane of employees everywhere.
That is why including a standing desk in your office setup is helpful. It enables us to stand up and perform standing exercises without leaving our workspaces, helping us finish our deliverables while staying active.
However, staying upright for long periods can also cause leg soreness and edema if you don’t follow the appropriate duration for standing and sitting.
Some of the things we love about a sit-stand desk are the following:
It also increases the body’s energy levels, placing users in a better mood. Moreover, it helps us avoid a higher risk of a sedentary lifestyle that comes with prolonged sitting time.
Research suggests that sedentary lifestyles, involving staring at a computer screen for long periods while sitting, are strongly associated with higher depressive symptoms and poorer cognitive function. Standing desks also help manage these symptoms.
A stand-up desk offers users proper ergonomics, lower sedentary time, and better overall health, especially when it comes to the circulatory system.
These benefits of standing desks boost productivity and user focus while working.
Since we put more effort into standing throughout the entire day, it creates a ripple effect on our brain function and energy levels. Thus, standing helps us develop more creative ideas and improve job satisfaction.
Generally speaking, a sedentary lifestyle leads to an increased risk of heart disease and obesity. With a standing desk, the calories burned while sitting for 185 minutes increase by 174 calories.
Standing physical activity allows the body to experience more calorie burning, which enhances overall health by reducing the health risks of cardiovascular disease and obesity.
Even the smallest amount of physical activity can help speed metabolism by aiding with metabolic syndrome. It’s an easy way to improve your quality of life.
Using a standing desk as a part of your daily routine also helps open up the arteries, preventing blood clots, regulating blood pressure, encouraging streamlined hemodynamics (blood flow), and improving weight loss.
A sit-stand desk/adjustable standing desk is a piece of office furniture that enables proper ergonomics and better posture, which helps users achieve healthy bones and muscles.
Moreover, it provides users with these health benefits of standing to prevent musculoskeletal disorders:
To acquire the full benefits of sit-stand desks, you should ensure correct posture and usage and observe proper usage and best practices for standing desks, such as finding a suitable stand-up desk for your height, optimizing sitting durations, and taking breaks.
We elaborate on some of these practices in this section.
The first thing you MUST do is find a suitable stand-up desk that suits your preference, height, and workload. With this said, you need to base your decision of which height-adjustable desks to buy on these factors:
Once you have a standing desk, you must know the optimal standing and sitting duration to reap the health benefits.
The optimal standing duration is 5 to 15 minutes, while the ideal sitting duration is 30 to 45 minutes every hour.
Knowing this lets you optimize when you need to sit and stand for your overall well-being. Once your body adjusts to the setup, you can adapt the durations to your needs.
Standing office furniture helps prevent weight gain and other common complaints ONLY if you observe correct standing posture and an ergonomic work setup.
Here are some important reminders:
Incorporating movements and breaks while standing while working is vital to get full health benefits. Here are some of the movements you can do:
Aside from that, you can walk around your office, take care of plants, get a breather outside, talk with your colleagues, or write a journal after every 30 minutes of working.
Standing desks come in different types, and each of these desks offers unique features and functions. All can still give you the health benefits of standing.
Discover the best standing desks options as we define and summarize what each type offers here:
Fixed-height standing desks come with an unadjustable height, meaning you need a separate sitting desk or a bar stool for working while sitting. This type is also the cheapest among the other desks because of its simple design.
However, moving your work documents or computer monitors from a standing to a sitting desk to change positions can be a hassle because their height is fixed.
The adjustable type is arguably the most popular because its height can easily be changed at the press of a button, accommodating both sitting and standing positions.
Although an expensive choice compared to the fixed type, it’s more comfortable to use, especially since you do not need to move the computer and other work-related papers onto another platform.
A converter type differs from the other desks because it places a smaller desk on top of the primary desk to accommodate your standing height. The additional layer is a riser for computer monitors and keyboards if you want to take a quick break from sitting.
Fitness innovations have led to a more modern type of desk: the treadmill. It’s an adjustable desk with a treadmill as the base.
This type provides more health benefits as it burns more calories, improves blood flow and blood sugar levels, and reduces stress through the built-in exercise machine.
What Is the Ideal Height for My Standing Desk?
The ideal height for your desk is based on your vertical height from the tip of your elbow when at a 90-degree angle to the feet.
Your bent elbows must rest comfortably on the desk without discomfort from improper desk height.
For an eight-hour shift, you should stand at your desk for around 120 minutes daily or 15 minutes for every 30 to 45 minutes of sitting.
You can maintain proper posture when using a standing desk by standing straight with feet shoulder-width apart, shoulders back, and core in.
You can also maintain it by converting your workstation into an ergonomic one (e.g., incorporating ergonomic office furniture).
No, sit-stand desks may not be suitable for those with disabilities that make them incapable of standing.
Yes, you can work out at your desk using the exercises in this article. It is also possible if you have treadmill desks.
Standing desks are office essentials that improve posture, reduce back pains, increase energy, enhance productivity and focus, and reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and musculoskeletal disorders, among other benefits.
Combined with a balanced diet, this desk helps regulate blood sugar levels, aiding in insulin resistance and fighting hypoglycemia, preventing varicose veins, and reducing stress by allowing us to exercise.
However, these are only possible when you use the desk properly by observing the best practices mentioned in this article.
Now that you know the health benefits of standing desks, choose the best one and use it correctly to not feel tired and unproductive.