We’ve been hearing more and more how sitting for long periods of time at work is bad for our health. There is not much research out there regarding the idea of standing desks, however, the research does support less sitting at work.
Research has shown that the cumulative effects of sitting for long periods of time at work include obesity, cancer and diabetes. Many researchers and doctors are comparing sitting for long periods of time to the “new smoking.” Strenuous exercise on a daily basis does not offset the effects of prolonged sitting, rather adding small bouts of activity and walking throughout your day along with standing at your work station is more helpful in slowing the detrimental effects of sitting.
Specifically, benefits of a standing desk include:
- reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease
- reducing the risk of obesity
- better posture
- reduced risk of diabetes
Considerations for using a standing desk:
- utilize one that is adjustable so that you can use it for both sitting and standing and is easily adjusted
- start slow- like starting an exercise program, it is advised that you slowly increase the amount of time per day that you are standing
- use a mat—give your hips, knees and feet padding
- wear supportive shoes- when increasing time on your feet be sure to wear comfortable and supportive shoes otherwise you can cause other problems
- make sure ergonomics are good- screen should be 15-30 from your eyes, level with eyes or slightly below, wrists stay flat and elbows bent at 90 degrees
- move! The American Heart Association recommends getting 10,000 steps per day! You can use
- a pedometer to keep track of your daily steps
Caitlin Carroll, PT, DPT, OCS