Work is part of life. And most of us work at computer desks, which means we probably spend way too much time sitting down, typing and staring at a screen every day. I probably don’t have to tell you that sitting, typing and staring for eight or more hours every day isn’t exactly healthy.
Many people who work at a standard computer desk suffer from repetitive stress injuries, back pain, eye strain, neck problems, stress, depression, low productivity, blood clots and obesity, just to name a few ailments. If you don’t have any of these problems, then consider yourself lucky. But be warned – sitting at work all day has been proven to shorten people’s life spans and greatly increase the chance of obesity, heart disease and several other health issues.
Thankfully, you can combat these health problems by using an ergonomic workstation. An ergonomic workstation will help eliminate settings and tasks that require high forces, awkward postures, high frequency motions and discomfort that can lead to pressure, pain and a loss of productivity.
A truly ergonomic workstation contains the following elements, the benefits of which we’ll discuss below:
- Adjustable height standing desk
- Keyboard Tray
- Monitor Arm
- CPU Holder
- Ergonomic Chair
And to further combat the health issues associated with a sedentary work environment, an ergonomic workstation can also include a desk treadmill or a desk bike.
So let’s talk about these ergonomic items and their benefits, or how they can help keep you comfortable and healthy while you work.
Standing Desk: If you work at a computer every day, then you probably use a desk, which means you spend most of the day sitting down. This sedentary work style can cause back pain, obesity and loads of other issues that’ll make you feel, well, terrible. Sure, you can get up and take breaks, but what if you could stand up, move around and stretch while still working at your computer? An adjustable height standing desks allows you to do just that. An ergonomic desk like our UPLIFT 900 goes from a sitting to a standing position with ease using an electric switch and motor. So you can sit for a while and stand for a while and stay focused on your work. Using an adjustable height desk will improve blood flow and respiration while promoting good posture and helping you burn up to 40% more calories than sitting. With a standing desk, you can stay focused, healthy and fit, even when you’re stuck at work all day.
Keyboard Tray: An ergonomic keyboard tray will help you orient your keyboard and mouse in the most comfortable position for you. They eliminate the tendency to hunch forward or overstretch the arms, which causes back, neck and shoulder pain and injuries over time. Avoid these stressful ailments by putting your keyboard and mouse close to your body, that way you can work more comfortably. Keyboard trays help combat a number of musculoskeletal disorders, like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. When seated, we recommend positioning the keyboard tray near your lap so your hands, arms, shoulders and back will stay in a comfortable neutral position while you use your mouse and keyboard. A keyboard tray will also allow you to position these items at a comfortable height while standing at your desk. We recommend the adjustable Humanscale 500 keyboard tray, but we also offer a number of different trays, including the Humanscale 900, which features an adjustable mouse platform.
Monitor Arm: Simply put, a monitor arm will get rid of that pain in your neck. You know, the one you get from constantly leaning forward or craning your neck and head down to read your screen. An adjustable monitor arm allows you to keep your screen at comfortable eye level whether you’re sitting or standing. These adjustable monitor mounts also help reduce eye strain by allowing you to keep your monitor at arm’s length away from your face. Our UPLIFT monitor arm, Humanscale monitor arms, and Innovaitve monitor arms are all incredibly flexible, and they attach to any desk with a clamp or bolt through mount. Many can also attach to a wall or slat wall.
CPU holder: We recommend a CPU holder for any ergonomic sit-to-stand desk. These computer holders allow you to hang your CPU under your desk instead of propping it up on the desk surface or leaving it on the floor. This means a CPU won’t take up desk space, leaving you enough space to spread out your work. CPU holders are an essential item for an adjustable height desk, as they allow you to easily access your CPU. We have a CPU holder to fit any PC, including CPU holders from Humanscale.
Ergonomic chair: You don’t have to stand all day while you’re working in order to reap the many health benefits of an ergonomic workstation. We recommend standing at least 15 minutes every hour during an average workday. And when you’re seated, you should stay comfortable and supported with an ergonomic chair. A good ergonomic chair should provide the following features: Seat height adjustment, seat depth adjustment, back angle adjustment, seat swivel, back tilt tension adjustment, lumbar support, and arm adjustment. Some of our most popular ergonomic chairs are the Raynor Ergohuman Chair ME7ERG, Steelcase Amia Chair, Steelcase Leap Chair, and the Humanscale Freedom Chair with Headrest, which are all available as options on the UPLIFT Complete Exercise Desk.
Adding a treadmill to your ergonomic workstation is a great way to stay active and burn calories while working. Walking even at a slow pace can help your mind and body stay healthy and fit. As we noted in our calories burned by using a treadmill desk post, a 160 lbs person will burn about 200 calories an hour while walking at 2 mph, and a 200 lbs person will burn about 250 calories an hour while using a treadmill desk pace of 2 mph. If you're more of a biker than a walker, you can add a desk bike, like a recumbent bike or a spin bike to your workstation.