Sit Standing Desks

Did you know that the average adult spends more than 50% of their day sitting at a desk working? This is a truth that is evident across the globe. Musculoskeletal issues are more than one-third of all workplace injuries, resulting in rising healthcare costs. According to Dr David Agus, sitting sedentary for more than five hours in a day is as detrimental to your health as smoking one and a quarter pack of cigarettes in a day. This is the magnitude of the effects of prolonged sitting and if left unchecked, could become serious back, neck and legs disorders. How long do you sit in a day?

The Sitting Standing Desk Guide

The world today is more sedentary than it has ever been. Add this to the fact that you can pretty much do anything – read a book, work, be entertained, shop and work – all on a computer and the masses are glued to the sits at home and at work. As such, there are countless cases of workplace injuries that happen thanks to long periods of sitting. 

There have been several solutions invented to break sedentary sitting at the workplace. One of the most common options has been the sit-stand desk. It is usually an adjustable desk that gives the option of working while sitting or standing. 

One of the main reasons why there are workplace injuries is due to poor posture. Many people do not know the correct posture to hold while working, whether at sitting or standing position. This leads to straining the neck, shoulders, back and legs, all of which affect the spine and can result to pain and sometimes long term health issues. As such, it is important that every worker knows the correct postures that allows comfortable working. Here is a simple guide to the sitting standing desk ergonomics.

Sit-Stand Desk Tips; Proper Posture at the Standing Position   

• The elbows should be in a neutral position close to the body. Position the keyboard around the hip level so as to maintain the hands at the same level as the elbow. The tabletop should be around the elbow level or slightly below.

• The wrists should be maintained at about 1800 to the forearm. It is important to avoid the claw hand, a position characterized by a raised wrist which causes straining. The claw hand is brought about by having the hands at less than 1800 to the forearm. Keep the mouse close to the keyboard so that the arms are relatively in the same position.

• Position the monitor at your eye level, with the distance from your face being the same as the size of the screen. This means that if your screen is 17 inches in size, you should be 17 inches away from the screen. Keep the monitor tilted backwards at 200. This helps in maintaining the posture. Keep the shoulders back – resist the temptation to round your shoulders forward.

• Keep the headset over the spine so that the ears are in line with the shoulders. Resist the temptation of slouch or bend forward as it strains the neck and ultimately, distorts the spine. 

• The legs can be flat on the ground for a few minutes, and alternated with raising one leg. You can get an anti-fatigue mat that has bumps which help you raise one foot as well as encourage movement of the legs while standing. Alternatively, you can use a garbage can to raise one leg and alternate according to your preference. In between shifting and raising a leg, you can do some stretches, calf raise or any other light leg exercise.

• If you intend to use the standing option of your desk for the better part of the day, be sure to wear comfortable shoes. Avoid shoes with uncomfortable features such as high heels, hard sole, tight and generally ill-fitting shoes. Instead, choose well-fitting, breathable orthotics shoes so as to ensure that your heels and feet do not strain under the pressure.

• Organize your workspace so that the items that you regularly use are placed near you while those that you do not need as often are further from you. This keeps you from straining by trying to reach for items over the course of the day. Once the work area is organized according to how you use the items, you can comfortably reach everything you need and still maintain the proper posture.

• A leaning seat can come in handy every now and then – if you prefer it to sit down on your regular office chair. The leaning seat is usually at 135 degrees between the legs and torso. With the help of a footrest, keep the ankle at 90 degrees.  You can also use a seat with a rounded bottom that helps keep the feet at the right position.

Sit-Stand Desk Tips; Proper Posture at the Sitting Position

• The elbows and knees should be maintained at a restful position – 900. The torso should also be at 90 to 100 degrees to the thighs. Keep the feet flat on the floor or if you prefer, use a footrest.

• Position the monitor in the same manner as while standing. If you are using an adjustable sit-stand desk, you only need to adjust the height of the table and everything else, including monitor, keyboard and mouse positions remains the same. Additionally, the way you have organized your workspace remains the same.

• Keep your back straight when working. It is essential to have a comfortable yet firm backrest to help you relax while maintaining the right posture. 

Sit-Stand Desk Tips; Proper Posture for Cellphone and Laptop Use

• As much as you can, use wired or Bluetooth headsets or speakerphones so as to maintain the correct straight -back posture. Using a cellphone can make you slightly slouch, without you noticing, which strains neck and shoulder leading to pain and discomfort.

• Avoid looking down on your phone too much as it creates a cellphone slump. This slump strains the vertebrae and muscles on the neck and upper back. The more you slump the more the strain caused. To avoid this strain, hold up the phone to your eye level.

In order to bring your laptop to your eye level, you may need to consider getting a conversion kit. This is a simple platform that you can put on top of your desk that helps you to raise the laptop to eye level. This platform can be adjustable so that you are able to lower and raise it as you please whenever you change positions. In order to maintain the proper eye-level, elbow, straight-back posture, it is advisable to use a wireless keyboard. This wireless keyboard is simply attached to the laptop via one of the USB portals and you are good to go!

Benefits of Sit Standing Desks

Sit-standing workstations are built to improve office ergonomics. These workstations encourage movement and help you to alternate between sitting, standing and some movement. This helps alleviate pressure from any parts of the body. With the proper designs, achieving a comfortable workspace is possible. Here are some of the most common benefits of a sit-stand desk.

• Lower costs

Studies have shown that one of the main costs of businesses is workplace injuries, more than 50% of which is as a result of an uncomfortable workplace. In every $3 given in workers compensation, $1 goes to settle costs associated with MSD. Indirect costs of these workplace injuries tend to be more than 20 times that of the direct costs of the injuries! When the ergonomics risks are significantly reduced, the costs associated with MSD significantly reduce.

• Higher productivity

The best ergonomics work stations often result in higher productivity. When designing a work station, always ensure that it allows proper posture, better reaches and heights as well as less exertion and strains. Well, thought out ergonomic work stations always lead to more efficiency.

• Higher work quality

Poor ergonomics are always associated with frustration, fatigue and physical exhaustion which mean that the quality of the output is greatly affected. This is especially serious if the task at hand is taxing which leads to low performance. For example, a fatigued employee may overlook certain things such as not tighten screws as hard as it should be maybe because they do not have the energy needed to tighten. As such, it can easily lead to serious workplace accidents or simply poor quality work. When the employees work in an ergonomic environment, they tend to be sober, alert and therefore give quality output in the tasks they handle. 

• Better employee engagement

When the company puts in an effort to ensure the health and safety of your employees, they take note of that. This increases an employee’s sense of loyalty, which reduces turnover and absenteeism. This effort, in addition to the fact that employees can not enjoy working in a comfortable environment, improves employee involvement and morale.

• Creates a safety culture

A company that invests in ergonomic work stations shows their commitment to health and safety, and sets these standards as some of the core values. Consistent effort to keep the working environment safe and comfortable strengthens the company’s safety culture. Healthy employees are invaluable assets. Not only are they productive, and their output geared towards the best quality, there is a general high-performance culture in the organization.

Is a standing desk better than sitting?

Just like prolonged sitting can have adverse health effects, standing for long hours also causes serious issues. This is because standing increases pressure to the feet, knees, pelvis and spine. Therefore, it is recommended that you take intervals sitting and standing so as to improve blood flow and relieve pressure from the relevant body parts. It is also extremely important to remember to maintain the right posture regardless of the position from which you wish to work.

What to Consider When Buying Ergonomic Sit - Stand Desk

When you are focused on creating a safe and comfortable work environment, choosing the best sit-stand work station is of utmost importance. While there are endless resources that give pointers on what and where to buy, here is a simple guide to the important considerations to keep in mind when buying a sit-stand desk.

• Height range

When buying an adjustable sit-stand work station, it is important to consider the height range. Studies suggest that the optimal range is between22” and 48”. This range, however, is highly dependent on the needs of the individuals who will be using the furniture. If it is a shared platform, it is advisable to go for a wider height range so as to cater to the needs of everyone who will use the desk.

• Ease and speed of movement

There are different mechanisms incorporated in sit-stand desks that help with the adjustment. Depending on your preferences, you can opt for a manual, pneumatic lift or electric systems of adjusting your work station. Regardless of the system you choose, it should be easy to move the work surface up and down as need be. Additionally, choose a system that raises and lowers the work surface fast. You do not need a system that takes too long to adjust

• Depth and weight of the work surface

It is important to consider the daily work routine of the person who will be using the sit-stand desk. As such, think of how a typical person works; they may want to spread around the items they are using in their tasks. Therefore, be sure to choose a workstation with at least 30” of depth. Additionally, it is important to get a work surface that supports the weight of the equipment that will be used on it.

• Functionality

Consider how the sit-stand desk will fit into the already set office environment. Additionally, think about how you tool rails, lighting and privacy screens will impact the functionality of the desk you purchase. It is also important to choose a desk that can be easily programmed to different settings. If the desk can be easily programmed, it makes it easy to set the correct ergonomics each time you make an adjustment.

• Leg fatigue

One of the most common complaints when it comes to sit-stand desks is fatigue, especially when standing. Some of the strategies such as supportive shoes and anti-fatigue gel mat definitely do help in building up a tolerance. Additionally, it is important to incorporate some movements, stretches and alternate between sitting and standing so as to alleviate pressures that cause fatigue.

• Sit-stand Desk Size

The number of people who will be using the desk determines the size you should purchase. The size and décor of the office also play a role in the size and shape of the desk you buy. Pick the workstation that best fits your office space, equipment, space and workflow. Choose a design that matches the décor of the rest of the work area and that fits the work environment you have created or wish to create.

• The look and feel

Are you looking to convert an already existing work station into a sit-stand desk or are you looking to buy a full standing work station? You have to consider the look you want to achieve as well as the feel that the desk brings to your workspace. You can opt for an adjustable add-on as it is flexible and portable. 

• The costs

Consider how much the desk you fancy costs against your budget. It is also important to check the quality of the sit-stand desk you fancy as well as ask for a warranty. When you start window shopping, you will realize that there are countless options in the market. Don’t be too drawn to low-cost options even if you have a tight budget. You will be surprised at how many fancy desks you can get even while on a small budget. Remember to check the warranty and service package so that you have some assistance in case any issue comes up.

Stand More at Work Campaign

Is it healthier to stand while working or eating? Well, there have been countless studies conducted and published showing that standing instead of sitting while working burns 0.15 of a calorie by the minute. But is that enough reason to overhaul your work routine? Let’s explore some of the elements of the SMART Stand More At Work campaign and the reasons why health practitioners recommend standing.

Mortality – sitting is as unhealthy as smoking

Did you know that mortality risks considerably go up with prolonged sitting? Well, the truth is that sitting for long periods can be a pretty unhealthy choice. Some research gives evidence Behind SMART Work and goes further to argue that sedentary sitting actually doubles mortality risk. Some studies suggest that distorted glucose metabolism can ultimately lead to inflammation. As such, people are advised to change position, stand and stretch a little every 30 minutes so as to relax and mitigate potential damage. It is also advisable to move as much as possible – take all the opportunities you get to walk around.

Sitting and obesity

Studies have been conducted showing that people who stand lose weight more than those who sit down their entire shifts. If the rate at which people eat remains the same, those who sit for long hours are more likely to gain weight compared to those who stand and walk around for a few minutes in a work shift. Did you know that weight gain is a risk factor associated with cancer?

When you work while standing, your body adjusts to the new position and the positive changes are observed in work related and psychological health.. This result in different muscles, heartbeats and gut functions. While seated, the body’s intelligence system records a sedentary period thereby can convert excess sugars into fats. In addition to helping alleviate the pressures of sedentary sitting, standing and walking around changes the body’s metabolism which can help you keep weight off.

Stand or walk

When using a standing desk, chances are that you will also move around. Once you start moving around, you realize that there are tasks at other works stations that you can do, and keep at it till you find yourself joining events that you wouldn’t have if you were stuck in your chair.

Therefore, choosing standing workstations means that you will get countless opportunities to move around. Additionally, it is advisable to take a 30 minutes’ walk daily, especially briskly as it grows the brain cells most specifically in the memory region when you sleep. Walking through a scenic area in the sunlight is known to reduce depression.

GERD and standing

Gastroesophageal reflux disease can be easily mitigated by standing up for a while, especially after a meal. In these times when people are constantly anxious, standing up after a meal helps more than antacids do. Some studies even suggest than GERD symptoms decrease by about half if you stand after a meal.

While it is okay for people to eat in whichever position while engaged in whichever pleasurable activity they choose, those who suffer from GERD understand the importance of proper posture during and after a meal. 

Socializing while standing

There are four paths that you can choose to work on for your well-being – mental, spiritual, physical and social, all of which are impacted by standing. While the physical effects of shifting to standing while working are evident, social and mental well-being is almost always overlooked. Standing helps to give you conviviality aura as you move around. Social engagements are known to reduce the risks associated with heart attack, stroke and even tumours. 

Venous insufficiency and standing

Many workers say that they do not stand at work because it is unsightly and uncomfortable. The other reason is that someone’s feet may not withstand standing all day despite having comfortable footwear. There have been reports of swelling feet associated with prolonged standing, and it can be bothersome. The truth is that some bodies cannot withstand the pressure that comes with prolonged standing. This is one of the reasons why the healthier option is advised; alternate sitting and standing. 

Top 7 Basic Principles of the Ergonomic Work Space

Every workplace needs to be safe for all employees. This means that you have to know how to identify risks that can cause soft tissue disorders and injuries so as to prevent them. When you are trained to see the workplace through SMART thinking on your feet, you can easily identify anything that is likely to cause injuries and therefore proactively design improvements that get rid of the risks. Here is a simple guide to the principles of ergonomic workplaces that safeguard employees.

1. Neutral postures are Key

It is essential that the body is aligned and properly balanced while at work. Therefore, it is important to maintain neutral postures regardless of whether you are sitting or standing. Proper postures keep the joints properly aligned and causes minimal stress to the muscles, bones, nerves and tendons. This allows for better control and productivity. Every once in a while, the company can arrange short refresher courses for employees to learn more about maintaining proper posture while working for better health and productivity.

2. Improved movement and stretching

The body’s system is designed to move around – the musculoskeletal system was not build to stay in static positions for long. This is why sitting, standing, leaning or pretty much being in one position for too long causes fatigue and exhaustion, a condition that is often referred to as the static load.

Getting rid of static load is pretty simple; move, change positions, stretch – make any sort of movement to break the sedentary positioning. Workers are allowed to stretch their legs, back as well as do some light exercises such as squats to relieve the body of pressure as well as lead to health improvements of standing while working. Some offices even feature yoga studios where employees can go stretch for 10 minutes before resuming their workday. An ergonomic work environment encourages periodic breaks as well as creates a safe and comfortable work environment.

3. Reduced excessive Force

One of the major risk factors in the workplace involves tasks that require high force loads on the worker. The body’s response to the high force is usually higher muscle effort, which often leads to fatigue at best and MSD at worst. 

Mechanical assists, adjustable height lift work platforms, powered equipment and counterbalance system all help to eliminate excessive forces being placed on the employee. These options also alleviate the risk of injuries in addition to preventing unnecessary muscle exertion and body fatigue.

4. Reduced excessive motions

Ergonomic risk factors are endless, another primary one being repetitive motions. It is common to find that the workplace has a lot of repetitive tasks that are periodically controlled to monitor work processes or production targets. High repetition work task, combined with other risk factors such as fatigue and awkward poses, makes the perfect recipe for MSD. Just to clarify, a task is considered repetitive if its cycle is less than 30 seconds.

It is important that there aren’t many unnecessary motions when it comes to regular tasks. If it is not possible, it is best to eliminate bad postures and excessive force requirements. Other options to alleviate the excessive motion syndrome include job rotation, job enlargement and counteractive breaks.

5. Reduced contact stress

Contact stress is usually as a result of continuous budding or contact with sharp or hard surfaces with sensitive body parts. These body parts mostly include palms, fingers, thighs and sometimes feet. The prolonged, repetitive contact creates pressure on a small area of the body. This, in turn, inhibits nerve function, blood flow and movement of muscles and tendons.

The most common example of contact stress is sore wrists on the sharp corners of the workstation or desk especially if the job involves a lot of typing. Other work environments can have differing contact stress situations affecting other body parts. To alleviate these effects and keep the body safe and healthy, there is a need for properly designed work stations, wear protective gear as well as maintain safe work procedures at all times.

6. Reduced Excess vibration

Countless studies show that frequent and regular exposure to vibrations can cause serious and sometimes permanent health issues. Hand-arm vibrations from hand tools can result to HAVS (hand-arm vibration syndrome). In addition to HAVS, exposing the arm to repeated vibrations can cause other diseases such as carpels tunnel syndrome, Raynaud’s syndrome (the white finger disease) as well as tendinitis. The constant vibrations can have adverse effects neural and circulatory effects in the hands which are characterized by blanching (being pale) numbness and pain.

7. Adequate lighting

One of the common causes of discomfort in the workplace is poor lighting. It is not rare to see work areas that are either a little too dark or a little too light. Glare or dimly lit work areas easily cause eye fatigue and headaches as well as increase the risk of workplace accidents and injuries. Simple actions such a reducing computer screen glare or arranging the workspace so that one doesn’t have to deal with the glare from a window can have considerable positive results. Lighting is one of the most essential factors that affect the safety and health of the employees, and therefore need to be done right.

Workplace ergonomics need not be complicated. It involves identifying the most common risk factors as well as simple and practical ways to keep the workplace comfortable and safe.

Parting Shot

Safety and comfort in the workplace is fast becoming a hot topic. This is all thanks to the countless work-related injuries that keep rising over time. In a bid to keep the employees safe and highly productive, a myriad of alternatives have been offered. One such effective alternative is the sit-stand work station.

Choosing the best ergonomic sit-stand workstation is an important decision. As such, it is important that you educate yourself as much as is needed so as to make the right decision. Look into the types, quality, designs, materials and sizes before you make your choice.

If you plan on shopping online, be sure to confirm the measurements of the desk you fancy. Additionally, confirm that they are made of the material you want and that the desk adjustment system can functions as you need it to. 

It is important to look at the policy of the seller. For starters, look at the guarantee the offer for the furniture. Additionally, look for their shipping and returns policy. Before you make any payment, ensure that the check-out platform is secure. 

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