Prolonged sitting has often been termed 'the new smoking', and with good reason. It has been found to cause health problems and bad posture among other issues. Activity balls and special ergonomic chairs are some ways of pulling yourself out of a sedentary life at the workplace. Standing desks are now trending with more workplaces and home offices choosing these over traditional desks. Their versatility and flexibility in offering adjustable heights make them a great choice for all types of office requirements.
These standing desks are available in a variety of designs, finishes, and specifications. Some things to look for when choosing a standing desk include the presence or absence of anti-collision technology, type of keypads and columns. Keypads can be basic, standard, or premium while columns are either reversed or enhanced. Standing desks can have manual single, or dual motors whereas the legs could be either two-section or three-section. Here's what distinguishes each of these:
Anti-collision – Desks with anti-collision feature ensure that no accidents happen when you're lowering or raising your desk. Desks with this feature have sensors that can detect any obstruction and stop the desk midway. This can be helpful in preventing injuries and damages during the course of a workday.
Keypads - Basic keypads come with up and down buttons that let you raise or lower your desk within moments. Standard keypads offer the additional benefits of a programmable timer that reminds you when it's time to switch positions. It also comes with three memory presets and a height memory that saves your desired position. A premium keypad offers all this and comes with a child lock for added security.
Legs – Desks with two-section legs tend to be lightweight but can bear a good amount of weight. However, these tend to have a limited height range. Three-section legs, on the other hand, provide more flexibility in terms of height and also come with enhanced power and speed. They are a good choice when you have heavy gadgets or if you are taller than average.
Columns – Columns have an important role to play in the efficiency of standing desks. This is because they are key to the process of lifting the table. Reversed columns are ideal for lightweight and fast operations. Desks with enhanced columns move slightly slower but can withstand a much greater weight.
Motor – A manual desk will have a handle or crank to help you raise and lower it. Such desks are more affordable than motorized ones. A single motor desk is quite efficient when it comes to height adjustment and is suitable for lightweight use. Meanwhile, a dual motor desk is equipped with motors on either side. They tend to be more expensive than the others and are ideal for bulkier equipment.
Health Benefits of Standing Desks
Normal workdays can range anywhere between seven to ten hours. Sitting for such prolonged lengths of time can have an adverse impact on your health in many ways. This is where standing desks come in. Studies indicate that there are ample benefits to using standing desks. This encompasses both physical and mental health benefits. Let us take a look at some of these:
Lowers risk of diabetes – Being sedentary can lead to a rise on blood sugar levels, especially after meals. When you move your muscles, they are sufficiently responsive to insulin produced by the pancreas. In the absence of any activity, the pancreas will end up overproducing insulin thus, causing diabetes.
Better circulation – By standing, you will enhance the circulation of blood in your body. This can help prevent problems such as varicose veins. In addition to this, enhanced circulation will enable sufficient blood flow to the brain.
Improves posture – Sitting in one place for extended hours can cause you to stoop over your desk or slump in your chair. This can put undue strain on your neck, shoulders and back. Standing helps to straighten the spine and lead to better posture. It also engages your core muscles and develops them. Standing helps prevent your muscles from degenerating and helps strengthen them.
Helps prevent obesity and heart disease – Standing is thought to reduce your risk of heart disease and obesity. Standing can help burn a few calories each day and lead to gradual weight loss. This is because you are more likely to burn fat quicker when you are standing than when you are sitting. By burning calories, you are also bring down the levels of fatty acids in your arteries and around your heart.
Reduce back pain – Sitting continuously for hours can leave you wincing with back pain. Standing for even an hour or two can make a significance difference to your back. This can improve upper and lower back pain within a matter of days.
Improved mood and energy levels – Standing desks can leave you feeling less fatigued and refreshed. This can boost your brain function and thus, keep you energized throughout the day.
Boosts productivity - Studies are still on to determine if standing desks indeed boost productivity. Switching from a sitting desk to a standing one can leave you feeling refreshed and stress-free at the end of each day.
Develop a positive attitude – When you feel good and refreshed, it will have a positive impact on your overall mental state. You are likely to feel happy about whatever you are doing and look at tasks in a positive frame of mind. This will not only get things done faster, but you might just discover innovative means to get it done.
Helps focus and concentrate – Working at a standing desk can literally force you to 'think on your feet'. Research indicates that standing promotes sharper problem-solving skills and enhances cognitive function as a result of increased blood flow to the brain.
Promotes engagement – Being sedentary can often lead to lethargy. This can adversely impact your interactions with teammates and colleagues. Working while standing makes you active and more aware of your surroundings. As a result, you are likely to mingle more with fellow workers and thus, have stimulating exchanges with them.
Tips to Help You Derive Maximum Benefits From Your Standing Desk
There are no doubts as to the effectiveness of standing desks in bringing about physical and mental wellness. In order to reap all these benefits optimally, there are some things that you can do.
Take quick breaks - Here, taking a break doesn't mean going back to sitting down. A short walk will get your blood pumping and have you back at work reenergized and recharged. Walk to the water fountain or enjoy lunch away from your desk to return refreshed and ready to take on the world again.
Set the right height - Just as with sitting, make sure that your standing desk is set up at the right height. This means you should not raise it so high as to leave you straining to work. At the same time, keeping a low height can defeat the purpose of a standing desk if you have to slump over it.
Wear the right footwear – Buying a standing desk is not the only thing you need to do. Ensure that you are wearing the right type of footwear when working at your standing desk. This is because, standing for long hours can have an impact on your legs and feet. Make them as comfortable as possible and put your best foot forward! If you have flat feet, then consider getting footwear that has been specially made for your needs.
Position yourself well – Make sure you keep your equipment just the right way. If using computer monitors, keep the screen at eye level. Align your body with the standing desk when you work. Ensure that your spine, back, and neck are in a straight line when you are at your standing desk.
Standing desks are definitely here to stay. The benefits of these on human health are being constantly studied and scrutinized. In the long term, a standing desk can help boost your overall health and thus lead you to live longer. While standing desks may not be suitable for all tasks, they are definitely handy. Alternating between sitting and standing has been found to be the best way of getting the best of these desks from not just a health perspective, but also in terms of productivity.
Thus, a desk that can quickly transition from sitting to standing and vice versa is something for you to consider, especially when working from home. FlexiSpot is a leading name in the standing desks segment. They offer a variety of designs, styles, and functions for you to choose from. Determine the type of use you will be getting out of this desk before settling on one. Also, the kind of work you do will influence your choice of a standing desk.
Check out the breakdown of various types of desks to find one that is suitable for you.