Should You Get Up? Standing Desks.
- Posted on: Dec 15 2018
Standing desks are all the rage in the workplace. You see the commercials, where employees are thrilled to go to work, where they never hate their boss any longer, where they never backstab other employees, where they never spend half of their workday mindlessly scrolling through their Facebook feed
Wait. Standing desks may be popular, but let’s not get carried away. These desks are marketed with promises of improved posture, weight gain, and even better focus.
So, do they do that?
We are believers in these new additions to the American workplace. We’ve seen small-scale studies where participants with a standing/sitting desk experienced a 50 percent decrease in lower back pain. To date, there haven’t been large-scale studies, however. Still, we believe standing desks can help reduce back, shoulder, arm, and neck pain, but you have to use them the right way. Here’s some advice from the team at DFW Center for Spinal Disorders.
Height is right
When deciding on the height to set your new standing desk, here’s what to do. Adjust the desk height, so your head, neck, and spine are aligned. Your hips should be straight ahead and your head slightly back. Your spine should have an “s” curve. Your wrists should be able to rest flat on the desk with your elbows at a 90-degree angle. Put your computer monitor at or below eye level.
Don’t forget your feet
Standing all day in bad shoes may remove strain on your back, but it puts it on your feet, particularly if you’re standing on cement or hardwood. Wear supportive shoes (athletic shoes, if possible). Anti-fatigue mats are good. If you wear heels, try and switch to better shoes when standing at your desk.
Take it slow
You can’t go from sitting all day to standing all day immediately. This will hurt your back. Take it slowly. Start standing for 30-minute intervals, and then work to blocks of longer time: one hour, two, and then four. From there, you’re probably ready for as long as you like.
Don’t just stand there
Standing still in one spot isn’t much better than sitting. So change things up. Shift your weight, change positions, walk around every 30 minutes or so.
One thing that will happen with a standing desk is that you’ll lose weight. Standing burns more calories than sitting, but don’t get too excited. A 2017 study found that standing burned an extra .15 calories per minute compared to sitting. You read that right .15. So, stand for six hours a day, and you’ll burn an extra 54 calories. To put that in context, that is about half a banana or half a piece of bread.