Owners of standing desks and treadmill desks love to preach about the benefits of standing at work, and medical studies continue to back up their claims. After all, everyone knows that sitting too much can be detrimental to your health for a variety of reasons. While we certainly understand their enthusiasm and promote the use of standing desks for these very reasons, an all-too-common misconception has arisen as a result: Sure, it feels great to stand at work, but standing all day is not recommended.
I'll be the first to admit I love standing while I work. Coming from a retail background, I'm used to being on my feet nearly all day, with a few minutes in a chair being a luxury rather than my modus operandi. Going from working at a retail store during college to my first office job was quite the culture shock, one that I tried (and failed) to compensate for with copious amounts of coffee in the morning. I somehow felt more tired in a nice chair at noon than I used to while working on my feet immediately after pulling an all-nighter to study for midterms. Needless to say, coming to Human Solution and receiving an UPLIFT sit-stand desk to work at was nothing short of a godsend. Suddenly I no longer felt the need to drink my weight in coffee just to stay awake until lunchtime, and I found myself switching from sitting to standing every hour or so...then every few hours...and then not sitting at all.
As it turns out, though, standing all day has its own drawbacks too. My feet hurt a bit at the end of the day, and I frequently felt the need to stretch my back throughout the day. While I was certainly more energized than I was sitting all day, I found that I did still need some "downtime." Standing all day meant I was constantly putting my full weight on my feet, and while an anti-fatigue mat helped to alleviate that pressure, it did become uncomfortable over time. Additionally, when I was standing, I had no real back support, and sometimes end up slouching over my keyboard on occasion, which obviously isn't ergonomic in the slightest. Switching off regularly and sitting back down in my Ergohuman chair helped alleviate these issues, as the superb lumbar support gave my back a good rest while the seat recline encouraged me to lean back and make the most out of my UPLIFT Large Keyboard Tray.
When I spoke with our CEO (who is also our in-house professional ergonomist), my findings were confirmed. I was told that the best balance of sitting and standing is accomplished by standing for at least 15 minutes every hour during a standard 8-hour work day. This helps to confer both the benefits of standing at work as well as those of sitting comfortably, and the electric height adjustment systems of our sit-stand desks allow for quick, effortless switching. Best of all, thanks to the height-adjustable nature of the desk, I found I didn't have to give up my chair since the desk could adjust back down to a standard sitting height at the touch of a button -- no drafting stools for me!
Today, I've found I still have a love for working while standing, but I've adjusted the amount of time I stand to get the most out of my ergonomic workstation. Like all healthy things, standing for just the right amount of time at work is a habit -- one that will pay my health great dividends, both now and in the future.
Learn more about Standing Desks at TheHumanSolution.com.