The Ergonomic Difference Between Working at a Standing Desk vs Sitting
May 15, 2020
“Sit up straight” – the usual phrase we heard and oftentimes taken for granted.
While we can sit comfortably on our chair while working, slouching, and sitting for a prolonged time isn’t healthy.
Several studies show that calories are burned faster when standing than sitting. However, there are still debates whether work can be done productively if a person works while standing or while sitting.
Other studies has linked obesity, cancer, and heart problems to sedentary lifestyles which put desk job workers at great risk of having these kind of health problems. Today, we’ll delve into a deeper discussion on the difference between working in a sitting desk and a standing desk, and how can you meet your ergonomic needs.
Effects of Prolonged Sitting
For most people who work in the bank, in publishing, or generally with people who have desk jobs, spending too long on a desk has been the norm. In today’s age, sitting at a desk for a long period is equivalent to smoking. Almost 70% of people spend six or more hours each day sitting down, according to a study from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys.
In an article published by Reuters, desk jobs makes people more obese and that has become a serious issue among employers and employees. Some of the lying causes of such problem is the lack of designated areas for employees to eat their food, and a lack of onsite gyms. An experimental study conducted by Diabetes Research Clinical Practice shows evidence that prolonged sitting time appears to be an important determinant of major health outcomes. Standing up and sitting less while at home, at work and during transportation can make a huge difference.
To give you a tip, our hips and thighs should create a 90-degree angles when sitting in a chair, and we can create a movement by moving our feet back and forth for exercise. For added comfort, we can look for comfortable office chairs or pillows dedicated for lumbar support.
Some of the strategies they included to ensure a healthy environment are:
· Standing and taking a break from the computer every 30 min
· Taking standing breaks in sitting time during the long meetings
· Standing during phone calls
· Walking to a colleagues’ desk instead of phoning or emailing
· Using a height-adjustable desk to enable frequent transitions between working in a standing or seated position
· Using a headset or the speaker phone during teleconferences to enable more standing during the meeting
According to researchers, to promote a healthy warefare in the workplace, a fitness incentive and a break from desk-bound routines should be implemented. Here are some of the health hazard when you sit too long.
Negative impact to the spine. Sitting for an extended time can lead to serious problems to the spine. After sitting in a long time, you may feel the soreness and stiffness at your back, or worse, your spine falls into a harmful “C” shape, causing your spinal ligaments to stretch beyond their healthy limit – and this is because from too much craning of your neck toward your monitor when you remain at a sitting desk for hours. To prevent this from happening, the top of your monitor or laptop should be just below eye level, so you don’t have to strain your neck.
Possibility of cancer. There are studies linking ovarian, prostate, and endometrial cancer linking to prolonged sitting. Moving a lot and standing from time to time might help reduce this risk.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Get up and start moving to avoid having Deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It’s a formation of blood clots in the legs from sitting still for too long. This happens when a clot forms in a leg vein, and then it travels to the heart and lungs causing shortness of breath, chest pain and death. In 2012, an article written at health.mountsinai.org said that there were reports that a 28-year old guy who experienced difficulty breathing and pain in his chest, and was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolus that started in his leg. It was then when the doctors told him it was from sitting at his computer for many hours.
Do you often update your social media while standing at your desk? How about doing a quick read on a piece of specific news that interests you, while also standing right now? Then there’s a good chance that standing and working at a standing desk is all the rage now.
A recent study in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that standing for six hours a day instead of sitting not only prevents weight gain — it can help people shed a pound.
Pros of Standing Desk
Ensures you’re standing smart. According Bethany Barone Gibbs, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh who has studied standing and sitting, investing in an ergonomic standing stable are important to ensure you’re standing smart, so what does this actually means?
Having a chin parallel to the floor, an event shoulders, even hips, and neutral spine are signs that you are standing smart and that you have a good posture.
It will make you more confident. Having great posture while working is everything. It’s connected with being physiologically healthy and strong. In a study conducted by co-author of the study and professor of psychology at Ohio State University, he stated that body posture can affect not only what others think about us, but also how we think about ourselves. People are more competent without them knowing because of their posture.
Great option for short and tall people. While people are creating DIY standing desks such as clothes hamper and iron stand to create their preferred height adjustment while working, this might not be a great idea, per se, as it they are putting their monitors and laptops at greater risks of falling.
With adjustable standing desks, people now have the option to match their height in the preferred ideal working position.
Helps digest food better. When you stand and move a lot, everything follows – however, with poor posture including prolonged sitting - it compresses the organs including the stomach and intestines. To put this simply, when you sit in a bad form, your colon tends to kinks up which leads to constipation.
Fewer headaches. A lot of desk job workers experiences headache from working at a monitor and sitting for too long. The reason behind this is that when you slouch forward, rounding the shoulders, and pushing the head forward, it compresses the neck, tightens the muscle and weaken core, this the frequent headaches and joint pain.
With a standing desk, you’ll be able to move around, stretch those muscles, and keep those blood circulating. Better blood flow means more oxygen throughout your system – which also means more energy for you.
“Not sitting” may bring a lot of advantages especially to one’s health, be it from the form walking or just standing. Moderation is our friend. Moving a lot will be beneficial for you in the long run and can also help with the productivity and creativity as studies suggests.
While thinking of other ways to protect yourself from getting sick, start from investing in a standing desk. Try the Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk EC1 as an example – an ergonomic standard electric height-adjustable desk from FlexiSpot. This brand is specialized in home office products, especially adjustable desks, and desk converters, and received positive reviews and feedbacks from trusted sites since its inauguration.
What makes this a unique standing desk is that it’s sold at an affordable price. It’s cheaper than most brands in the market yet it does 90% of the job. To know more about the products, visit flexispot.com.
You get to work and stay healthy at the same time. Having great health and intuition enables us to face all the challenges of life.