Standing desks have become increasingly popular these days with the release of numerous research studies that demonstrate how harmful it is to sit for hours on end. Cornell University, the American Cancer Society and the American Diabetes Society, to name a few, have all indicated long hours spent working at computer-based activities can shorten one’s life span by triggering diseases such as obesity, hypertension, heart disease and some cancers. Further, studies indicate that using a standing desk reduces health risks by burning more calories and facilitating movement, all of which creates a healthier work style and increases longevity.
If you are one of the millions who have changed to a standing desk, or are thinking of changing to a standing desk, some useful guidelines are listed below to help you make the transition from sitting to standing for the better part of your workday. You will likely be amazed at how much more comfortable and energized you will feel by making this change.
- Footwear: first and foremost, it is important to always wear the most comfortable shoes you can find. Whether it’s supportive athletic footwear such as cross-trainers or a comfortable pair of Crocs or Birkenstocks wear the most comfortable pair of shoes you own. Some individuals leave shoes at work for just this purpose.
- Equipment positioning: ensure your computer monitor sits at eye level on your standing desk. Adjustable workstations can be easily moved to create the exact height you need. If necessary, place a phone book or other support tool to elevate your monitor if your desk is raised to its maximum level. If using a laptop, adjust the screen so it is angled for precise eye-level viewing.
- Altering your standing position: for most people it’s natural to shift weight from one foot, then another. Make sure you do this periodically to avoid foot fatigue. Some people use a space bar that runs across the length of their standing desk to rest one foot on. Also, move around a bit from time to time. It’s one of the greatest benefits of using standing desks in the first place and most people find it comes naturally.
- Use foot mats: if your floor surface is not carpeted, it is wise to invest in an anti-fatigue mat or padded mat of some kind while using your standing desk. It creates added cushioning and foot support.
- Alternate sitting with standing: if you choose to leave your standing desk in a fixed position, get a bar stool or tall chair to sit on from time to time. Or if you decide to alternate the desk level, make sure you lower it periodically so you can sit down and give your feet some rest.