Many people believe that in order to reap the benefits of standing, you must replace your desk. It can be very expensive to replace your existing office desk with a height adjustable standing desk. This is not necessary. There are many options that will allow you to stand without replacing your entire desk such as add-on podiums like the Standee Classic. If you have an add-on feature to your desk then you are able to stand without spending a large sum of money.
Just because you are switching to a stand up desk you do not have to stand all day. It takes time to build up the strength to stand for long periods of time. Starting out you can stand for a short time span like 20 minutes every couple hours and then slowly begin to stand for longer periods of time. Switching to standing is a process, not a simple transition.
Standing for prolonged periods of time does not cause varicose veins. Rather, varicose veins and other vein conditions are caused by the failure of the leg pump. In leg pump failure, the blood goes down the arteries from the heart into the leg, but the veins cannot pump the blood back out of the leg. Failure of the leg pump is usually due to the valves failing- a condition generally attributable to genetics. Standing for long periods of time does not cause varicose veins, but in some cases they may allow them to form more quickly in people who already have lost their valves when they were younger.
In order to fully reap the benefits of standing, you don’t just need to stand, you need to stand the correct way. There are many different aspects to the correct standing posture such as keeping your head and shoulders back as well as putting most of your weight on the balls of your feet. Check out our blog “The Correct Way to Stand and Sit” for more information on the proper standing posture.
The fact that you can stand to do work at your new stand up desk does not mean it is the right one for you. It is essential that you have a desk that is the right height. Standing the correct way, your arms should be resting on the desk at a 90° angle. Make sure you choose the height of desk that will allow for that angle, and don’t forget to take into account the extra height you will gain from an anti-fatigue mat (which is highly recommended) like the Standee Mat. See the “How to Choose What Size Standee” chart for more information on choosing the correct height for your desk.
As the negative health effects of the sedentary work environment are going mainstream there are many people switching from sitting to standing at work every day. Standing is better for you than sitting, but only if you are standing the correct way. Using the correct posture when standing, and when sitting, is important for your body to reap the benefits of this postural rotation.
When standing, you want your entire body to be aligned from head to toe. In essence, you want to be able to draw a straight line down your body. To do this, you should put most of your weight on the balls of your feet; don’t be standing back on your heels. Have your feet apart, shoulder-width. Have your knees slightly bent, do not lock them and cut off blood circulation. Even though you are most likely looking at a monitor, keep your head back, directly on top of the spine. Do not let the screen pull it forward. Keep your shoulders back and upright. If you are standing for long periods of time, it is important to shift your weight from one leg to another in order to not put too much strain on a given area. When standing at a stand up desk, make sure your desk is at the proper height for your arms to be resting at a 90° angle. See the “How to choose what size Standee” chart for more details. Also, standing on an anti-fatigue mat, like the Standee Mat, reduces foot strain and makes it comfortable to stand for long periods of time.
When sitting, the two major actions to avoid are leaning forward and slouching. You should align your back with the back of the office chair. Arms should be bent between 75° and 90°, so make sure to adjust your desk/chair height accordingly. Your knees should be level with your hips, or even slightly above your hips when sitting in your office chair. Place both feet flat on the floor. Just like standing, you should have your shoulders back and aligned with your body. Even if you are maintaining proper posture when sitting, try to not sit for long periods of time. Stretch, walk, stand, and be active throughout the day in the workplace.
Working actively, the correct way, will prove to be very beneficial for your body as well as your productivity at work. Work better and feel better.