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.
Think about your job or the job you hope to have; how much physical activity does it require? Given that sedentary habits have become so institutionalized in the workplace and engrained in our daily routines, reversing the sedentary work environment epidemic is a difficult undertaking. However, this process has already begun with a number of solutions.One recent solution that has emerged is standing desks. Standing desks enable an individual to be active at his or her desk. Stand-up desks come in many different forms. There are fully adjustable standing desks that allow you to change your desk into a standup desk electronically, and there are add-on podiums like the Standee Classic XL if you don’t want to replace your entire desk. At the extreme end of the spectrum, there are treadmill-standing desks, which enable you to walk on a treadmill while working.
People who have standing desks should engage in “postural rotation,” which involves alternating between sitting and standing positions throughout the day. Postural rotation is important because standing all day can also be strenuous on your body. You don’t have to have an adjustable stand up desk to practice postural rotation. Generally, there are plenty of opportunities to take a break from standing by sitting at lunch, sitting in a meeting, and sitting in your car during your commute. Standing desks are going mainstream, particularly in the tech world at companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter.
Another solution involves exercising while at work through company gyms and exercise programs. According to The Wall Street Journal, the company Title IX has a 2,200 square foot gym in its office and an instructor comes in often to lead “CrossFit-like workout[s].” Many other companies have followed suit. Wellness programs like these have resulted in greater productivity, a decline in absenteeism, and reduced long-term health care costs, according to Inc. Magazine.
A complimentary solution to exercise programs is providing healthy food in the company cafeteria. According to Inc. Magazine, offering employees healthy meal options boosts their performance while also satisfying their nutritional needs. Healthy food is a necessary part of any company wellness program.
The facts speak for themselves. Though it is a daunting task, every workplace should strive to make the transition from a sedentary to an active work environment. Companies that fail to do so are doing both themselves and their employees a disservice in terms of productivity and health. As more companies implement active work environments, they will set an example for their peer companies, and ultimately it will become a competitive requirement.
It is not solely the employers’ responsibility to make the change from a sedentary work environment, however. Potential employees can and should be putting pressure on companies to make the transition as well. In an interview, one of the job candidate's go-to questions for the company should be, "Have you done anything to address the problem of sedentary work environments?" This might seem strange, but slowly, this tactic is sure to create change in the workplace. And if you already have a job, inform your employer about the health risks of sitting and the long-term benefits of an active work environment.
As the research indicating the negative health effects of sedentary lifestyles gains momentum, so too will active workplace alternatives. Companies that are ahead of the curve will benefit greatly. We all need to combat the negative health effects of the sedentary work environment. Let’s take the necessary steps to stop being a society of sitters.
My story might be similar to a some of yours. Athletics have been a huge part of my life since my childhood. I’ve always exercised regularly. I eat a plant-based, whole foods diet (i.e., vegan) and am conscientious about making good health choices. A few years ago, I developed a hip flexor injury after a ski trip. I went to physical therapy and learned what I thought was a running injury was actually a “sitting injury.” My physical therapist explained to me that when you sit for prolonged periods of time, your muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your legs and hips get short and tight. This is the opposite of what happens when you run, walk, or stand. I guess years of sitting at a desk grinding it out for 12-18 hours a day finally caught up with me.
In addition to stretching and strengthening to solve my injury, I decided to start standing at work. I had the guys in our shop make a little podium that I could put on top of my desk. I put my laptop on top of the podium. It was a pretty basic set-up, but it worked. Standing enabled me to elongate my hip flexor muscles which really helped to reduce the tightness in my hips. I found myself doing calf stretches throughout the day as well. In general, I found myself moving around a lot more during the day and not having that compression in my lower back that starts to build up after hours of sitting. I got an anti-fatigue mat that was really cushy and made standing really easy. I found that all of the benefits of standing that I had read about were true. I felt more active, more productive, more alert, more empowered, and just generally healthier.
After realizing how much standing helped me, we decided to start making stand-up desks for other people with the idea that maybe we could help them too. We came up with a simple but elegant design. Like the solution the guys in the shop made for me, our first product, The Standee Classic, was a desktop podium product that folded flat and easily assembled with no tools. We added the Standee Classic-XL to meet the needs of our customers who wanted a larger desk podium with a little more real estate to work. We also added a really great anti-fatigue mat to complement our standing desk product line which we ingeniously named “StandeeMat.”
We wanted to make our stand up desks out of eco-friendly materials so we chose bamboo, which is not only beautiful, but it is one of the most eco-friendly materials on earth. We also wanted to make our desks in the U.S., not just because we wanted superior craftsmanship, but because we wanted to do our small part in helping to create jobs and support the U.S. economy.
It’s been interesting to watch the market for stand-up desks grow. A lot of companies offer full-desk solutions with “adjustable height” models that go up and down with the push of a button. I suppose there are people who are looking to replace their conventional desk with a fancy solution. But, for me, I think it is all about standing. I view it more as an issue of will than an issue of equipment. I don’t need a fancy motorized desk to stand. I just want to stand and feel better. It reminds me of those guys who get the fancy weight lifting and exercise equipment and get everything synced with their new iPhone exercise app. I like the approach where you just run hard for an hour or accomplish just as much with a simple set of dumb bells and a pull-up bar. You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment to stand at work. You just need to stand. There are plenty of opportunities throughout the day to sit—meetings, lunch, commuting, etc. My advice is to start standing and not worry about finding a solution that makes it easy to sit.
When the Standee team set out to create a new benchmark for the Standing Desk market, two things were important to our mission.
We set a goal to make whatever we could here in America and secondly, offer a sustainable version of a Standing Desk that offered a high value item built to last.
Bamboo became an object of our affection as we learned more about it. It became clear early on that our entry round of products needed to be a simple solution crafted from sustainable Bamboo and made in America.
Legs going numb? back sore? lack of energy? overall fatigue after a day of sitting around at work?
Perhaps it's time to explore a standing desk option and try your luck spending most of your day standing to increase your productivity.
Many of our customers are thrilled with the Standee Standing Desk product and we contribute that satisfaction to a few factors.
1. Standee Standing Desks are easy on the eye
2. They require no tools to assemble
3. They are by far the best value in their price range since they are 100% bamboo (Very strong)
4. They come in a variety of heights to accommodate just about any height of person.
#4 is important! The correct height of the desk is critical to the overall comfort that the desk provides, sort of like really good running shoes or underwear!
Check out the graphic below to get an idea of the proper sized standing desk for you. While this chart references the Standee Standing desks, the overall ergonomic positioning of the stick figure can be applied to any desk (given that there is some adjustability).
Often the first reaction people have when they hear about standing desks is that their use is apt to make people tired. After all, don’t people who are on their feet all day get tired? Yet just consider for a moment the fact that exercise both energizes and rejuvenates the body. Sure—one may feel tired after a workout, but it’s a healthy kind of tired. In contrast, have you ever experienced the physical drain that comes from sitting all day? Sitting for long periods not only causes aches and various other ills, it also leaves one feeling lethargic—with nothing good, physically speaking, to show for it the way that exercise and movement does.
Consider the following three scenarios. If you’ve ever experienced any or all of the following, it may be time for you to consider a standing desk.
Many people who sit all day long wind up of feeling lethargic and that feeling doesn’t ultimately translate well into work. Many fans of standing desks find that using one increases their energy, helps them focus, and leads to a more productive work day. Not only does standing burn more calories than sitting, it is associated with a more active platform to produce work. If you opt to stand at work, according to the New York Times, you will be in the company of greatness. “Leonardo da Vinci, Ben Franklin, Winston Churchill, [and] Vladimir Nabokov” preferred to work on their feet!
From a medical standpoint, sitting all day long increases one’s risk for backache. If you’re already aching at a young age, you might want to consider standing up at your desk sooner rather than later to spare your back from a long-term complaint. If you’re a career veteran and have been experiencing back aches for years from too much sitting, consider standing up for genuine relief from back pain. Christ Hospital Physical and Occupational Therapy Centers assert that sitting all day long can lead to back and neck problems—especially if you slouch for any of that sitting time. Standing, on the other hand, can reduce such aches and pains.
Numb legs are a common complaint among people who sit at their desk all day long. While it’s always important to check out these types of symptoms with a healthcare provider to make sure there’s no other medical reason to consider for the numbness aside from inactivity. If your numb legs are caused by sitting at your computer all day, for example, you can certainly decrease such feelings by standing up to work. Considering all the benefits associated with standing desks, it’s a good idea to give one a try!
If you’ve experienced any of these scenarios or simply want to enhance your fitness while working, consider making the switch to a standing desk. If you’re nervous, just keep your old sit-down model around and compare the two. Most people find that the standing desk lives up to its promises in every respect!
By J. A. Young
A long day at court and, perhaps, stuck in traffic on the way back to the office—many a lawyer has enjoyed the thought of kicking back in their comfortable office chair to finish off the day and mentally de-stress. Yet the notion of eliminating stress while sitting down has been challenged by the medical community. Exercise, of course, has been associated with decreased stress levels, but as the University of Texas asserted, “sitting around can mean letting stress accumulate in your body” (cmhc.utexas.edu/stress.html). So instead of hunkering down in your chair after a court case or lunch meeting, try tackling stress on your feet behind a standing desk.
Working behind a desk for the better part of each day is simply a matter of course for many professionals. As an example, many attorneys might find themselves sitting for hours at a time while contemplating their work. Not only can sitting for long periods place considerable stress on your back, sitting is not associated with a healthy lifestyle.
Standing, however, allows a person to burn more calories and reduces the risk for chronic back pain associated with occupations where people do a lot of sitting. Because excessive sitting has been linked to other health conditions like heart disease and diabetes, standing may allow people to decrease these risks. Moreover, standing can impact the body’s circulation and allow it to move. Simply shifting weight from side to side or swing one’s leg is more action—more exercise—than one experiences while sitting down to work.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Seven out of ten adults in the United States say they experience stress or anxiety daily, and most say it interferes at least moderately with their lives, according to the most recent ADAA survey on stress and anxiety disorders” (adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/other-related-conditions/stress/physical-activity-reduces-st). To combat this daily stress, many people turn to physical activity. The ADAA also asserted that “Exercise is also considered vital for maintaining mental fitness, and it can reduce stress. Studies show that it is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and at enhancing overall cognitive function. This can be especially helpful when stress has depleted your energy or ability to concentrate.”
Consequently, standing up to work as opposed to sitting down can dramatically impact the way many attorneys combat stress—both mental and physical stress. The same endorphins that are released and act as natural “pain killers” during exercise also are associated with diminishing anxiety and stress.
The quick answer—standing up to work may certainly make you feel like a better person all the way around. Sitting down too much can cause a person to feel lethargic and certainly not at their best. Standing can increase attention and focus; it’s one reason why many schools are turning to standing desks. Many law firms have already adopted stand up desks to suit increasing numbers of attorneys who prefer to work on their feet for the many reasons listed above. According to an article in Legal Intelligence (law.com/jsp/pa/PubArticlePA.jsp?id=1202430025133&slreturn=20130601095253), many younger lawyers are driving this new healthier work trend in various firms throughout the country and results have been positive. Yet no matter what your age, you may be able to achieve greater health benefits and reduce your stress level merely by switching from sitting to standing while on the job.
Have a stressful career that you think a standing desk could help with? We want to know.. leave a comment below!
Standing Desks May Help Reduce Back Pain
By J. A. Young
They’re an antique idea; standing desks were once luxury items for homes during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. They could even be found in the sumptuous offices of London, New York, or Parisian offices. Today, they are somewhat of a novelty; yet that may be changing as more people discover the various benefits associated with standing desks. Schools have reported that they enhance some students’ performance in class and office workers have claimed that standing desks lead to a healthier work day—less sitting means more burned calories, for instance. Additionally, now many fans of standing desks say that using them instead of sitting desks alleviates back pain.
Standing desks are just now beginning to grow in popularity so there aren’t adequate medical studies that can quantitatively say that standing desks can medically speaking reduce back pain. On the other hand, there has been considerable research about the health problems associated with too much sitting, problems affecting people who sit all day as a rule whether in school or at work. The Telegraph recently reported, “the ‘sit still’ culture of schools and the workplace, combined with lack of exercise, is creating a healthcare time bomb.” Sitting overly long on a regular basis can, according to some experts quoted in this article, lead to chronic back pain.
NBC’s Chief Medical Officer reported on Today.com : “Sitting, muscle spasm and stress: We all sit a lot. We sit at work, in school, in our cars, at our computers, watching TV, you name it. It might seem hard to believe, but sitting can actually be worse for the back than standing. Why? This is because when we stand, the load at each level of the spine is shared between the disc and two small joints.” This may be, in fact, why some people want to make the switch to a standing desk.
A writer for Creative Bloq discussed her back pain and why she believed 16-hour work days sitting down was hurting her back. She wrote, “Whether or not you suffer from back pain right now, one day you probably will. And while you're probably reluctant to even consider standing at your desk, I strongly encourage you to give it a go. It's amazing how much better I feel since I did. Not only has my pain diminished, but my posture has improved and my concentration level has increased”.
One hospital network went so far to suggest that “for people who have existing back problems or experience back pain when sitting, a standing desk – or “stand-up” desk - could provide some immediate relief and, over time, could reduce the stress on the back that’s often caused by a poor sitting posture”. Moreover, the article asserted that “a study published in October in the journal ‘Preventing Chronic Disease’ found that participants who used standing desks – with the option to sit - reduced upper back and neck pain by 54 percent.”
With all the health detriments and risks associated with too much sitting, it may be time to try a standing desk. If it can diminish back pain as some users and reports suggest, it’s just one more good reason to try them out!
Have you tried one? We want to know! Leave a comment below.
Standing at your desk most of the day is one way of improving your productivity, but what about those dreaded conference or one on one meetings in the icebox that corporate considers productive? No Thanks!
Instead Nilofer Merchant suggest that a walk helps keep the brain energized and the creative process moving. Check out this great TED TALK - and take a walk!