Should I Use A Standing Desk

Should I Use A Standing Desk

Spending many hours each day sitting in front of a desk can be problematic for your health. 

The use of a standing desk can improve your posture and avoid potential health problems.

How does a standing desk improve your health? 

You burn more calories by standing and can also improve back pain by using a standing desk. Studies have also found that employees who use a standing desk for just a few weeks had 32 percent less back pain, according to the Journal Healthline.

Let’s look at some important things to know about standing desks and explore the many good reasons to use one.

What Is A Standing Desk?

Office Furniture

While just using a high table may be enough to reap some health benefits, there are special standing desks available now that can provide many advantages. 

There are many options available now in standing desks, here are a few points to consider when purchasing one. 

  • Many standing desks have adjustable heights to allow for greater comfort while working. This feature allows you to easily move from sitting to standing.
  • Making sure the desk is at the right height for you is important to avoid putting pressure on your body, particularly your spine. For example, the top of the computer monitor should be in line with your eyes and the monitor should be an arm’s length away. You should be able to stand with your arms close to your sides, and your head, neck, and torso should be in line. When working on the computer, your wrists should be straight and in line with your elbows.

Why Are Standing Desks So Popular?

Standing desks have become the fastest-growing employee workplace benefit in the United States, as reported by the Society for Human Resource Management

As people have become more aware of the risks of sitting for many hours each day these standing desks have become more popular. 

Anyone using a standing desk naturally sits less, which is good for you. 

While sitting at a desk does not have to be bad for your posture, it’s not easy to maintain correct sitting posture for many hours throughout the day. 

Therefore, a standing desk can help you to move around, keep your joints loose, and increase your blood circulation.

Standing while working is also a good way to get your creative juices flowing, which is one other reason why so many people like it. 

According to the British Medical Journal employees who use standing desks that alternate between standing or sitting have better work performance and less fatigue.

This is important since so many people have sedentary jobs that require them to sit for many hours each day risking various health conditions. 

These conditions linked to a sedentary lifestyle include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even some forms of cancer.

Using a standing desk can also relieve neck pain. 70% of people will experience neck pain at some point in their lives and for many sitting at a desk in front of a computer is a big contributing factor. 

If you avoid sitting all day and are able to move about alternating your positions, you can improve your posture to keep your head and neck are better aligned. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that if by standing for just one more hour per day you can decrease neck and back pain by approximately 54 percent.

How Often Should You Use Standing Desks?

Woman Working At Standing Desk

While you might think using a standing desk constantly throughout the day will be most beneficial, this is not necessarily the case. As with everything, moderation is important.

Research has found that there’s a link between lower back pain and your job position. Occupations who have to stand all day, such as bank tellers or production line employees, have increased instances of back conditions. 

Standing all day every day can also lead to varicose veins and damage to your muscles or tendons, particularly in your legs. 

Standing all day can also be bad for your blood flow.

A report by U.S. News Health found that for some people standing too long can actually increase their risk of deep vein thrombosis and heart conditions. This is because your heart has to work harder against gravity to circulate your blood when you are standing.

The optimal way to work is to alternate between standing and sitting. 

You should aim for the following guideline when using a standing desk: for every one hour you sit in front of your desk you should follow up with one hour of standing. 

It’s also a good idea to change from sitting to standing, and vice versa, every half hour throughout the day.

Why Do You Have Pain While Using A Standing Desk?

If you’ve started using a standing desk you might be concerned if you continue to have back or neck pain. 

Or you may even begin experiencing pain that you never had before. This may be because you’re not using the standing desk correctly. 

The standing desk may not be set to the right height for you to work comfortably, putting additional pressure on your muscles and spine. 

And even when standing your can’t forget the importance of proper posture and alignment! 

Avoid hunching over your desk with your shoulders rolled forward whether you are sitting or standing. Always keep your shoulders back, your spine straight, and your head up.

Different Types Of Standing Desks

Different Standing Desks

There are many different standing desks available. 

Here are three types to be aware of:

Standing Desks With Electric Motors

These are desks that make use of electric motors to lift and lower your desktop. 

As you are evaluating these versions a quality product will move smoothly and make very little noise while being adjusted.

A Desk Converter

A desk converter sits on top of your existing work desk and can be adjusted to reach the required height for your computer. 

These converters have some version of an adjustable lever to lift them to the required height.

Some of the advanced models have a weighted counterbalance system, which makes the converter even easier to use. 

If you don’t have the option of removing your desk completely, then using a converter can be a great option to allow you the flexibility to stand.

Exercise Desk

Another interesting alternative is an exercise desk. This is just a standing desk that has a stationary bike or treadmill beneath it. 

This allows you to exercise while you work

You can walk on the treadmill or cycle while typing on your computer simultaneously. This can help you reduce the amount of time you spend at the gym. 

The drawback is that these exercise desks can be quite expensive, with some running over $1,000.

How To Make Your Standing Desk More Comfortable

Sitting On Exercise Ball In Office

No matter what standing desk you want to use, there are ways to make it more comfortable including sitting on a comfortable chair as you alternate between sitting and standing. One way to do this is by sitting on an exercise ball.

Sitting on an exercise ball instead of a chair helps to activate your core muscles, which is an important part of back health. 

It also prevents fatigue and forces you to focus on maintaining proper posture. 

Ensure you buy an exercise ball that’s big enough so that you are comfortable.

Related Questions

How much will a standing desk cost?

The average cost of a standing desk can range from $150 for a budget option desk converter to over $2,000 for a fully electric model. 

Expect to spend around $500 for a high quality, good value standing desk.

What’s an alternative to a standing desk?

If you cannot afford a standing desk there is always the option of using a countertop that’s high enough to allow you to work ergonomically

The drawback is that this won’t be easily adjustable allowing you to alternate sitting down. One option that can work is to purchase a monitor mount, a bracket, and arm that allows you to raise your laptop or computer.

Conclusion

If you are worried about the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle and want to reduce your back and neck pain, a standing desk can be just what you need to make your work hours much healthier.

A standing desk also has many other benefits, including correcting unhealthy posture and combatting work-related fatigue. 

It’s important to find the standing desk that meets your unique needs for height and adjustability and to learn to use it correctly. 

Once you do that, you’ll be on your way to improving your productivity, relieving your pain, and increasing your health.

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