Numerous studies have confirmed that extended periods of sitting contribute to a range of serious health problems. Obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and even some cancers have been linked to a sedentary lifestyle. Not to mention the more minor problems like strain injuries, back pain and postural issues. The WHO has listed a sedentary lifestyle as one of the top ten causes of death worldwide.
Stand-up desks are growing in popularity. Having the option of working in a standing position and alternating with being seated has been shown to have positive effects for office workers. The preferred situation would be a stand-up desk used as an alternative option to sitting at regular intervals. As a general rule, switching between sitting and standing at least once every hour should achieve a good balance. You’ll also benefit from the sit/stand transition, which is vital to keep you active and help avoid long periods of muscle contraction.
Using a standing desk will assist with back pain as it takes the flexing out of your lumbar spine, therefore decreasing strain. Working on a computer in a standing position can also decrease the potential of ‘slumping’ of the spine. Stand-up desks can increase productivity, energy levels and general well-being.
Moving to a stand-up desk set up can have some drawbacks. If you suddenly go from sitting all day to standing all day, you run the risk of developing back, leg, or foot pain. It is preferred to ease into it by starting with 30 to 60 minutes a day and gradually increasing it. Appropriate footwear will assist in supporting body weight and providing better foot function.
If you would like any advice or suggestions regarding your work set up, please get in touch.