Think You’re Healthier Working at a Standing Desk? Think Again
Thinking of Switching to a Standing Desk? Don’t Get Rid of Your Chair Yet
Not long ago, the world saw a standing desk revolution that was supposed to improve the health of people who sit at a desk all day. Countless studies have shown that sitting all day can lead to health issues including cardiovascular problems. However, recent studies show the same risks apply to those who stand all day.
The optimal way to work is to shift between standing and sitting every few hours throughout the day.
Are you currently using (or considering) a standing desk?
Whether you’ve already switched to a standing desk or you’re just starting to look for one, there are several points to consider before making your purchase.
- Your standing desk should easily and quickly convert to a sitting desk
A standing desk is a great part of a healthy work environment, but only when that desk can be quickly and easily converted into a sitting desk. You need the option of switching from standing to sitting multiple times throughout the day.
The ideal desk is one that can be raised to the perfect height for standing and accommodate an ergonomic chair for sitting. If a desk doesn’t reach the right height, you’ll end up using bad posture while you work. If you’re tall, you may need to use a riser for your laptop or monitor.
- You need an automatic standing desk, not a manual desk
Many standing desks can be raised and lowered, but make sure you get one that is either pneumatic or has an electric motor. Trying to manually adjust the height of a desk will be frustrating. The mechanism might be easy, but you’ll have to clear off your desk every time you want to change the height.
Get a standing desk that can be automatically raised and lowered. Imagine you’re working on a massive project and have two computers and a bunch of papers on your desk. When it’s time to lower your desk to sit for a while, having an automatic desk means you’ll push a lever and watch your desk slowly and smoothly lower. A pneumatic desk will raise and lower more smoothly than an electric desk, which brings up the next point.
- Pneumatic desks are different than electric desks
The mechanisms used to raise and lower standing desks can vary greatly. The two main automatic mechanisms are electric and pneumatic. There is a performance difference between these two mechanisms: pneumatic desks tend to move more smoothly than electric desks.
Are you the DIY type? An electric desk might be better
If you enjoy fixing things yourself, an electric desk may be the better option because pneumatic systems are hard to fix. If you prefer pneumatic because you’re worried about using your desk during a power outage, get a cheap power bank and keep it under your desk for emergencies. You’ll find plenty of other uses for a power bank during a power outage, so it’s not wasted money.
Do you prefer to keep your desk full? A pneumatic desk might be better
In terms of performance, a pneumatic desk will raise and lower much smoother than an electric desk. You won’t get those tiny jolts that can roll your pens off the edge or spill your coffee.
If your desk tends to be full of papers, computers, extra monitors, and coffee cups, you’ll be better off with a pneumatic desk.
A standing desk isn’t a cure-all, but it will help when used correctly
If you’re sitting all day, you might see a standing desk as the only solution you need to regain and maintain your health. However, that belief creates a false sense of security. Both sitting and standing can cause health problems, but improper sitting and improper standing are also major culprits.
When you’re sitting, you should have your feet flat on the floor so that your legs are bent at a 90-degree angle. Your chair and desk should be adjusted so that your computer screen is at eye level. Experts also suggest sitting forward with your back off the chair to engage your core. It’s also suggested to get up from your chair without using your hands to engage your core even more.
When you’re standing at your desk, shift your weight frequently and make sure to use a good standing mat underneath your feet. Also, avoid resting your belly against the front of your desk. That will only encourage bad posture.
Remember that sitting and standing are both okay in moderation. When done correctly, switching between standing and sitting will help to protect your health.