Here at Posture People, we’re very much proponents of the ergonomic chair, it’s all about a healthy posture and exceptional comfort for us. But there are other schools of thought and among them is the increasingly popular concept of the ‘standing desk’. Some of you may already work in an office where people have taken to this practice, some of you may have never heard of it, yet others may in fact already be standing desk users. This post hopes to enlighten, inform the curious and perhaps even tell the experts something new.
Are Standing Desks Good For You?
This is the crux of why people even bother with standing desk setups. We humans weren’t designed to sit around all day, and a standing posture is a task our bodies have evolved to assume. Standing keeps the back in its natural curve, to the same extent of an ergonomic office chairs. And to us posture is paramount, you need to look after your spine and standing is one of the best ways to go about it.
Sitting, of course, isn’t bad for you, but you do burn fewer calories whilst sitting than when you are standing. To be more specific you’ll burn about 1 calorie per minute when sitting, but 3 per minute when standing. Now think of that in terms of your average day at work, eight hours, nine, or more? If you were to work sitting down for eight hours you’d be burning around 480 calories, if you stood up for the duration of that time we ‘re now talking around 1440 calories being burned.
The benefits should be obvious; burning an extra 1000 calories during your working day without stepping foot into a gym or anywhere near a scrap of Lycra will have almost immediate effects.
Setting Up Your Standing Desk Correctly
In order to reap the most of your standing desks bounties, you have to ensure everything is laid out perfectly. Just like we recommend with sitting workstations: aim to have your eye-line meeting the top of your monitor. Then keep your arms at right angles with the surface of your desk. After this, we’re into the unknown territory of standing desk specific advice.
- Wear comfortable footwear; something you can stay in for hours at a time like trainers, not shoes
- Use a footrest; it may seem counter-intuitive when standing but having something to rest one leg on and shift your weight around can keep you a lot more comfortable
- Keep your chair handy; there will be times when you need a rest or simply can’t stand all-day
What Do I Need?
Creating a standing desk set up does require a little more thought than just deciding to stand at work one day. First of all, you need your desk to be considerably taller. Some desks can be adjusted to reach the height required, and there are even fantastic electric height adjustable desks that make switching between a sitting and a standing desk even easier.
Then there are a few extra options to consider. A lot of standing desks have issues with computer cabling, not just keeping them tidy across the new extra distance they have to travel but also issues because the cables won’t stretch far enough. A common solution is to have the computer slung under the desk in a special mount, which many desking ranges already accommodate as an optional extra.