Are you sedentary at work all day, confined to a desk and chair, staring at your computer?
Experts say that sitting all day, every day, is detrimental to your health. We were born to be moving, or at least upright. And forcing our bodies to conform to a chair while we click away at the keyboard has proven painful, especially in the back and neck.
The good news is the adjustable height desk, which allows for different postures, including standing while working. This new tool can ease the problems that come with constant sitting.
Learn here how to use a height-adjustable desk to your advantage.
Know the Correct Height For Your Desk
If you want to invest in an adjustable height desk, you need to know the correct measurement between the floor and the desktop for your stature. If the desk is too low, it will cause you to hunch over. If it's too high, there will be a strain on your shoulder and neck.
Once you know this measurement set the desk at this height. Your elbows and underarms should lie straight with the desktop, and your upper arms should hang loose. After you start using your desk in a standing posture, you can make finer adjustments.
If you have an ergonomic expert connected to your workplace, have them advise you on the best positioning.
Desk or Desk Conversion?
You can either buy a desk conversion kit that will attach to the desk you already have or a new desk that adjusts. You can adjust either of these options manually, or electrically. Take into consideration what kind of computer you are using, whether desktop or laptop, and the dimensions of the table or space the desk will occupy.
Not sure what is best for your situation? Here is a handy flowchart to help you decide.
Ease Into a Standing Routine
If you're used to sitting all day to work, it is best to not jump immediately into full-time standing, but rather, ease into it over time.
And, when you do stand at your new desktop, make sure your posture is upright, not slouched in any way, or strained at the neck or head level. Adjust the desk height, if needed.
Alternate Standing and Sitting When Using Your Adjustable Height Desk
Just like sitting for 8 hours a day is troubling to your body, so is standing for 8 hours straight as well.
Here's a regimen that has been recommended for every 30 minutes: sit (in a good posture) for 20 minutes, stand for 8 minutes, and finally stand while moving (gentle stretching or walking) for 2 minutes. Mixing it up in this way gives you all of the benefits and ideally, less pain.
Another tip: purchase an anti-fatigue mat to use when standing at your desk, for added posture support.
Don't Give Up Too Early
There will be some adjustment time needed to get used to an adjustable height desk, and some people give up on their new routine too soon, before the real benefits can be felt.
Create a reminder on your phone or computer to alert you when its time to sit or stand, so you will build a routine faster, and stick to it.
Whether you are working from home, or at an office, a stand-up adjustable desk will not only free you from neck or back pain, but help up your productivity as well.