If you haven’t heard the saying “sitting is the new smoking,” then you may not realize that the latest research indicates that sitting can cause a variety of health problems. These can include obesity, cardiovascular disease, and even diabetes and cancer. What’s worse, studies indicate that just going to the gym isn’t enough to counteract the negative effects of remaining sedentary for hours at a time.
At this point you may be wondering what you can do to keep from sitting so much, right? Ideally, you should move around as much as possible throughout the day. Many people have the same concern, and have started standing while working.
One great way to accomplish this goal is to start using a standing desk. Below are some of the reasons that have contributed to the rise of standing desks—they can help improve your posture, thereby helping to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injury.
Improving Your Posture
You probably know that using a standing desk has health benefits, but did you know that our bodies weren’t designed to spend all day sitting? Have you heard anything about the latest research that points to sitting too much being the cause of a variety of negative consequences on our health and well-being? One of those problems is back pain.
Even the best office chair won’t keep you at perfect posture all day—over time, we tend to slump or slouch in one direction or another. Perhaps you’ll lean forward, hunching over your keyboard, or maybe you’ll sometimes rest your head on one of your hands while you read what’s onscreen. Poor posture can lead to back pain from strained neck, as well as to herniated discs, and even overall muscle weakness.
You can help improve your posture and add more physical activity to your workday by using an electric standing desk. When you can adjust the height of your desk, you can use it while sitting or standing. Alternating your position from standing to sitting during your workday can help you maintain better posture, which in turn can alleviate back pain.
Many people say that when they switch between sitting and standing while they work, it helps them remember to periodically take quick breaks to move around a bit. Staying in one position for too long can lead to back pain—especially if your posture isn’t always perfect.
Even if you stand while working, you’ll want to check your posture periodically: if you stand too much you could risk hyperextending your knees. Hyperextending your knees puts too much pressure on the fibular nerve, which is one of the branches of the sciatic nerve; it starts behind your knee and runs alongside your calf bone.
Preventing Musculoskeletal Injuries
Did you know that more than 50% of all workplace injuries are tied to musculoskeletal problems? These repetitive motion injuries can occur when workers are improperly positioned or uncomfortable while working. Musculoskeletal problems can occur in workers in all industries, from the assembly line to the office.
Improving the ergonomics in the workplace is important in preventing musculoskeletal problems, or MSDs, because both employees and employers want to create a safe and comfortable workplace. There are many high quality ergonomic products on the market for just about every job.
An ergonomically friendly workplace has adequate lighting that isn’t too bright, and offers options for a variety of working postures, both standing and sitting. And an ergonomically friendly workplace should definitely encourage workers to take short breaks to stretch or walk around every half hour or so.
Starting with a Standing Desk
What if you’re not ready to stand throughout the entire workday? The most popular approach is to switch between sitting and standing, gradually building up the time you spend standing while working. The best way to upgrade your workstation to enable sitting and standing is with an adjustable standing desk. When you can adjust the height of your desk, you can achieve the best ergonomic height for your desk no matter whether you’re sitting or standing.
The rising popularity of standing desks means there are a lot of choices on the market today. You’ll want to consider several models’ range of features before choosing one for yourself. Some people have even reported that switching to a standing desk helped to alleviate their back pain. You might even find that you have more energy during the day!