A recent study revealed that outfitting an office with a sit-stand desks helped employees become more active at work. However, just because the desk exists and motivates physical activity doesn’t mean people are maximizing the health benefits. How you use height adjustable desks largely determines the degree to which it will impact your health. With that in mind, here are some best practices for using a sit-stand desk at work:
Don’t Sit Or Stand All Day
Sit-stand desks give you freedom of mobility, so you’re not confined to one setting all day. Make use of this feature. While sitting for the extent of your office hours may not be the best option for your back health, neither is standing. In fact, spending the entire day on your feet can have negative health side effects, such as back, knee and arch pain.
“Standing all day isn’t the answer,” Alan Hedge, professor of design and ergonomics at Cornell University, told the Boston Globe. “That’s where we were 100 years ago, and we needed to develop chairs to prevent curvature of the spine, backaches and varicose veins.”
Ideally, you should alternate between sitting and standing, which is why having an adjustable height desk as opposed to a strictly sitting or standing desk is important. Aim to spend 15 minutes of every hour standing and the rest sitting.
Don’t Wear Yourself Out
Standing desks have become popular because they can reduce sedentary behavior. Basically, this means that you can burn more calories by standing than sitting, and desks that allow workers to stay trim are in demand. However, calories are a measure of energy, which means standing can wear you out.
Sticking to 15 minutes of standing each hour not only protects your back, but it also prevents you from getting too tired during the work day. You need that energy to stay focused and produce quality work.
If it helps you follow the 15-minutes-an-hour rule, create a timer on your computer or phone. Set it for 45 minutes at the start of the hour, and when the bell rings, stand up. Set the timer for 15 minutes, then sit when it goes off. Using alarms ensures you’re sitting and standing at optimal times and not overdoing it.Time Your Activity
Manually setting a timer all day can get a little annoying, though, so look for software that lets you create a cycle of repeating alarms. That way, you won’t even have to think about your physical activity while at the office – after all, you’re better off using that brain power to focus on work.
Know Your Brain
Sometimes, constantly sitting and standing can interrupt your concentration, causing you to fall behind. Additionally, some people are more productive in certain positions. With that in mind, it’s best to choose to either sit or stand based on your needs for that day. For instance, if you need to concentrate for a few hours, consider forgoing the hourly trade-off to just sit instead. Ultimately, an adjustable height desk should serve your needs, and sometimes, that means staying still.
Listen To Your Body
Pay attention to what you need to mentally focus and also listen to your body. If you feel an urge to either sit or stand, follow it. The body is good at letting you know what it needs – all you have to do is know what it’s saying.
Sit-stand desks give you the ability to monitor their health at work. Whether you follow a schedule or adjust the desk’s height based on what you need at the moment, you can burn more calories and maintain an active lifestyle with the help of these desks.