Why You Need A Sit-Stand Desk

Standing desk is the latest buzz in office and workstation solutions these days. Once the province of few amazing writers like Ernest Hemingway and Winston Churchill, have now spread to the corporate world. And for good reason, as more and more studies show the dangers of long hours of sitting and the rising number of sedentary-lifestyle-related health conditions reaches alarming numbers. Here at Dual Monitors Guide, we will discuss the importance of moving and the benefits of having a sit-stand desk.

(image from Amazon)

It’s no secret that sitting all day is bad for your health. A 2010 editorial from British Journal of Sports Medicine says that prolonged sitting increases the risk of diseases, compared to those who move often, even in a non-exercise manner, such as moving around to grab a cup of coffee, or walking upstairs.

Also, a research from the American Cancer Society says that even if you exercise daily, or hit the gym, the physical benefits you get can be undone if you spend the rest of your time sitting.

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Dr. Marc Hamilton, Ph.D., a professor of biomedical sciences from University of Missouri in Columbia discovered that sitting for long period of time shuts off the circulation of the lipase in the body, a fat-absorbing enzyme. This increases the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity. While standing engages more muscles and improves the distribution and circulation of the lipase enzyme, prompting the body to process cholesterol and fat better, independent of the amount of time spent exercising. They also found that standing up uses blood glucose and may discourage the development of diabetes.

Indeed, standing has tons of benefits, and if you’re on of the millions of people out there whose job revolves around sitting and working on your desk for extended period of time, every day, 4-5 days a week, the best solution there is a sit-stand desk.

 

Why You Don’t Need a Fixed-Height Standing Desk

(image from Ergotron)

If you have been reading about perils of sitting and the benefits of standing, then you may have considered getting yourself a non-adjustable standing desk, the one that you can use with a stool. Though fixed-height standing desks are often more affordable, there aren’t many good stools to pair them with. Also, they don’t have the flexibility and versatility of a sit-stand desk.

 

It’s Not About Standing Per Se – It’s About Movement

While there’s already been a general consensus on how bad sitting can be for our body and health, there is no hard and fast rule as on the best way to stand. Everybody sort of agrees that anything other than sitting is better, but no one really seemed to take a closer look to the details of standing while working, or how often should we take breaks and how long we should stand. After speaking to folks who adopted standing on their own work routines, especially those who work in front of their computer all day, and after doing research on the subject matter, there’s one common denominator that makes standing such an advantageous position for working – it encourages movement.

The benefit of standing while working is not in ‘the standing’ but in the freedom of movement. Standing gives you to move your body more often as you detach from your chair. A sit-stand desk will give you an easy transition between sitting and standing.

Standing has its benefits, but standing all day can be detrimental to your health as well. In her article in Men’s Health, in April 2012, Stephanie Smith says “Prolonged standing can lead to the development of musculoskeletal disorders, especially in the legs, knees and lower back.” Standing may not be as bad as sitting all day, but you will still definitely feel aches and pain if you stand all day long.

If you’re new to standing, you should take this position as your break from sitting. Then, make slow and steady improvements from there by standing more often and sitting less. Your goal should be to stand more during the day than you sit.

 

Two Things to Keep In Mind When Standing

There are two important things you need to include to your standing; one is to move as you stand, and two is to vary between standing and sitting throughout the day.

 

Move Often

For the former and as said earlier, standing encourages movement. Because you are already in an upright position, walking around and taking breaks can be more convenient. You can shift weight from one foot to another, listen and dance (a bit or not-a-bit) to your favorite music, do basic stretches and exercises from time to time while at your workstation, etc. No matter how small, all these movements are fantastic to keep both your body and mind active and in sync. When done regularly, all these micro-movements will add up and help you burn significant calories and better blood flow throughout the day.

Professor Alan Hedges from Cornell University is a known skeptic of standing, but even he agrees on the benefits of movements. He believes standing can be difficult to incorporate in everyone’s daily work routine, and often doesn’t usually pan out as expected. However, he encourages people to ‘build in a pattern of creating greater movement variety in the workplace’.

 

Sit If You Must

The second thing is to switch between standing with sitting from time to time. Many experts suggests a 50-50 split between sitting and standing, while those who are passionate about standing suggests that it’s good to stand up to 75% at work. There is no hard and fast rule for the split though, and it basically just up to your; what’s comfortable for you and what works for you. No one can understand your body as much as you do. Listen to your body, if your leg starts to ache, then sit and rest them as long as you need. The key here is to slowly work your way up to those numbers.

(image from Amazon)

Rebel Desk Adjustable-Height Standing Desk also offers a good alternative, and it's one of the most aeasthetically pleasing out there. It comes with a glass top and easy crank to adjust height and switch between sitting and standing. Its desktop is quite spacious as well, which means you can have it for dual monitor or even triple monitor setup.

(image from Ergotron)

Ergotron WorkFit-D, Sit-Stand Desk is quite an amazing solution; it counteracts the negative of sitting without compromising the benefits of a traditional desk. It comes with good height adjustments to fit your preferred height and switch from sitting and standing, with solidly stable and sturdy base, and customizable with other accessories to make a perfectly ergonomic and comfortable workstation. It is designed to meet anyone’s ergonomic standards, asy to assemble and safe and easy to use for most types of computing environments. Its robust weight capacity is designed to hold not just one, but multiple displays, while the worksurface has enough space to hold the keyboard, phones, books, and any other things you need for your workstation.

 

If You Don’t Want to Let Go of Your Existing Desk

(image from Ergotron)

If for some reason you don’t want to junk your existing desk, but you still want to reap the benefits of transitioning between sitting and standing at work, then your best options is to get yourself a sit-stand desk mount, such as Ergotron’s WorkFit Series. The brand has been around for quite some time, and has established a reputation for making quality ergonomic workstation solutions, such as desk mounts, wall mounts and workstations. WorkFit desk mounts is their solutions for the growing demand of sit-stand workstation. The WorkFit-A with Suspended Keyboard, Single HD, for example, is a premium stand-up desk solutions that adds ergonomic benefits to your workspace. The keybard tray can be positioned below your desk as you sit, and at elbow level when you stand, while the monitor remains at eye level in both sitting and standing position.

 

What if You Have a Laptop?

(image from Ergotron)

Though quite versatile for their open furniture design, many sit-stand desks don’t have the ergonomic design for laptop users. If you use a laptop at work, your best option is to get a separate keyboard and mouse and/or an extra monitor. Depending on the design of your desk, you can work with two screens (laptop screen and extra external monitor screen) simultaneously. You can have your Skype and other apps open in one screen, and have your primary work on the other. It’s a cheap setup to have and totally worth the upgrade. Otherwise, you will simply be putting your laptop on top of the desk and work in a setup where both your display and keyboard are on the same level, not very ergonomic position to work on, and will certainly cause neck and upper back issues.

 

(image from Ergotron)

Or if you don’t want an extra monitor on your desk and you want to keep your existing standard office table, you can and add something like WorkFit-P, Sit-Stand Workstation from Ergotron to let you switch between sitting and standing throughout the day.

 

Bottom Line

Sit-Stand desks offer many benefits for your health and ergonomics. So break free from the chains of sitting at a desk and stand up for yourself. Check out Dual Monitors Guide now for more about sit-stand desks and comfortable and ergonomic workstations.

 



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