Companies adopting the “standing at your desk” culture want to create an active workspace which is more collaborative and productive. This type of work environment is very attractive to a new generation who actively hedge against the burdens of disease later on in life.
To clarify, there is a difference between voluntary standing at your desk culture and occupational standing jobs. The former is clearly voluntary, and the employee can sit down when stressed. The latter makes it mandatory to stand at your desk for the duration of your work.
A study by the American Journal of Epidemiology found that workers who stand for long periods of time were at a higher risk of heart disease compared to their seated counterparts.
This means that even standing should be done in moderation at work.
For you to benefit from the “standing at your desk” culture, avoid common mistakes like pushing yourself to stand for long. You don’t have to stand all day to stay healthy. Start with 15 to 20 minutes a day and build up to two hours a day then four hours. They are called sit/stand desks for a reason, because you can adjust them to accommodate you when you are seated or standing.
To make it more bearable, you can play some music or interact more with your colleagues.
Also, makes sure the desk is the right height. If it’s too short you’ll ruin your posture but too high and you will feel it in your neck and arms. The correct position is having your elbow no more than 90 degrees and your eye line directly opposite your computer screen or just below.
On top of that, you want to pay attention to your posture to eliminate the chances of lower back pain. The right posture creates an S-curve to your spine. Using a standing mat gives you more comfort on the balls of your feet and reduces fatigue to the legs.
Experts recommend standing for 30 minutes per hour in order to get the type of health benefits you are looking for. This approach gives you half an hour of rest and half an hour standing to strike the best balance.
Some people believe that you don’t need a sit/stand desk to stand regularly. They believe that water and coffee breaks, bathroom breaks, and moving from one department to another to interact with a colleague provide plenty of standing opportunities to promote good health.
However, with the presence of phones and e-mails, we rarely have to get off our chairs at work to go and ask a colleague a question in person. Besides, how many bathroom breaks do you take? According to the Society for Human Resources Management, you can use the standing desk to promote an active workforce without relying on snacks and bathroom breaks to fill the gaps.
Finally, for the standing at your desk culture to succeed, there has to be a commitment to the initiative from the top down.
For example, it’ll be very difficult to encourage staff to stand at their desk or even use the trendy workstations with bicycles or treadmills attached when the managers never go near those things. After all, no one wants to seem like they are exercising when they should be working.
When an office decides to go down the path of an active working environment, everyone should be involved. Remember: standing desks are a powerful investment in employee wellness and health.
- Body is designed to sit and stand throughout the day. There are many ways to get your standing throughout the day without the need for a sit-to-stand option.
- Sit-to-stand options can be useful and make the ability to stand more readily available. If you do have this options, here is what you need to look out to ensure proper utilization.
- Most start at 15-20 mins within the hour in the beginning then it grows.
- 4-6 hours per day after 30 days.
- Start off slowly- taking breaks.
- Listen to your body.
- The flat surface and flat shoes (no heels!)
- Weight distribution right below hips and arms at a right angle looking straight ahead and slightly down.
- Don’t do continuous 8 hours of standing.