Is a Sit-Stand Workstation Overrated? Exactly What Is Really Going On
Standing desk usage is on the rise in the workplace. Standing desks are popular for a variety of reasons, one of which is to counteract the negative consequences of sitting in an office for eight hours a day. Standing desks make a lot of sense if the main problem is sitting for too long. Standing desks may not be as useful as some people claim. Why are standing desks considered overrated? Many of the issues with standing desks stem from a lack of knowledge about how to use them effectively.
It's not surprising. Physical activity is beneficial, whereas sedentary living is not. Some people have taken this to its logical conclusion, claiming that sitting in general is bad for you and should be avoided, especially at work. This could be one of the reasons why some medical professionals advocate for standing workstations.
However, evidence indicates that standing workstations are overvalued as a means of improving the health and well-being of desk-bound personnel.
It is advantageous for people to have transportation and comfort options. Moving from a sitting to a standing position may aid those with back, neck, or shoulder pain, but this should not be confused with exercise.
1. The Benefits and Drawbacks of Using a Standing Desk
1.1. Advantages of Standing Desk
As with most things, there is good and bad. Although the benefits of using a standing desk may be overstated, there are compelling reasons to do so. Humans are not built to sit. Standing is beneficial for musculoskeletal disorders such as lower back discomfort. Moving from a sitting to a standing posture and back helps to relieve muscle tension, particularly in the lower back.
Sitting for long periods of time is bad for your posture. Pain in the neck, back, and shoulders can result from poor posture. It goes to reason that lowering the amount of time spent sitting at a computer will alleviate the discomfort in the aforementioned parts of the body.
Moving from a sitting to a standing position improves concentration and energy levels, which leads to increased productivity and quality.
The Drawbacks of Using a Standing Desk
UCLA Injury Prevention Program professionals investigated the benefits and drawbacks of sitting versus standing workplaces. Standing, according to the study, is not a substitute for exercise. They also discovered:
A standing desk improves an individual's posture, which can compromise wrist position and increase the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Standing expends 20% more energy than sitting, putting undue strain on the circulatory system.
Poor posture might cause weaker abdominal muscles, which can result in a bent spine.
The study showed that combining sitting and standing throughout the day is the best option for those who spend hours in a sedentary position. The body responds best to a balance of static and dynamic activity, as well as activity and recovery. It is critical to move as well as to take safe positions. Finally, the study indicated the significance of balancing one's day.
2. Ergonomics of Standing Desks
Standing while working poses ergonomic issues. The need is similar whether standing or sitting. The computer monitor, keyboard, and mouse must all be positioned correctly. There are, however, several concerns that are particular to standing.
Although standing desks are overrated, those who operate at a sit-stand workplace should employ ergonomic strategies.
To protect your feet, utilize a padded standing mat regardless of the office floor surface.
High-heeled shoes are fashionable, but they may be very uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. If you must wear formal shoes to meetings, keep a pair of comfy shoes for standing under your desk.
Make use of a footrest. Lifting one foot just a few inches adjust your posture just enough to protect your lower back from the potentially detrimental dynamics of standing for lengthy periods of time.
Adjusting the height of your desk is critical. If the desk is not appropriately positioned, the wrists will flex or stretch to reach the keyboard and mouse. This flexing motion can result in repetitive strain injuries. Place the standing desk in such a way that the keyboard and mouse may be operated without flexing the wrist. Place the monitor at the proper height and distance. A good rule of thumb is to keep it at arm's length. Tilt the monitor so that the bottom is closer to you than the top. The monitor's top should be somewhat lower than eye level.
Don't come to a halt. Static standing is nearly as unpleasant as sitting. The more you move, the longer you will be able to stand productively and comfortably. Although standing desks are overrated, they are not unlike many other goods that are marketed as the "end all and be all." When used correctly, a standing desk can be good to your health and productivity.