Why a Stand Up Desk Could Save Your Life

Considering standing up to work, here are some guidelines that will help you ease through the process

It is a proven fact that sitting for long periods of time is not good for the body. Annoyingly, it cannot be avoided because for most of us, our work keeps us tied to a desk. So what can you do? You can get a stand-up desk that allow us to do our work, yet allow us to remain in a standing position, which has much greater health and wellbeing benefits. It’s a win-win actually.

Luckily for us, there are many modern versions that are fully adjustable, so you can get the best of both worlds – the height of the desk can be changed and the user can alternate between sitting and standing. These are called height-adjustable desks or sit-stand desks.

There are many benefits to our health, and mental alertness and productivity when using a stand-up desk. There continues to be a variety of studies and research around the benefits, but it’s safe to claim that they negate the harmful effects of prolonged sitting.

Let’s look at some of the positive impacts of standing:                            

  • Standing up brings down the risk of weight gain and obesity – Exercising is the best way to burn calories but if you cannot exercise, simply standing instead of sitting is already beneficial and burns more calories.
  • Standing up brings down blood sugar levels – Standing up reduces blood sugar spikes considerably. This is especially true when you stand up after a lunch break.
  • Standing aids digestion – Many of us eat food at our desks, by standing to eat and just after it speeds up the digestion process and eliminates bloating, cramps and heartburn.
  • Standing reduces back pain – Prolonged sitting puts strain on the lower back, neck and shoulders, and this is exacerbated when you sit hunched in front of the computer for a long time. Stand-up desks allow using the computer in a back-friendly manner, which helps to improve back pain, neck strain and posture.
  • Standing desks helps improve mood and energy level – Yes, standing up causes less fatigue than sitting down for long periods. And, when you don’t feel sluggish, you feel happier and more awake.
  • Standing desks increases productivity – Standing up gets more blood and oxygen to the brain, increasing our energy level and making us more productive. Standing up keeps you on your toes, quite literally, so you move and react faster.

Before You Make The Stand….     Now that you are considering standing up to work, here are some guidelines that will help you ease through the process:

  1. Slowly but surely – Do not go from zero to hero. You have to take baby steps to not shock your system. Begin with just 20 minutes at a time until your body gets used to it. Increase the 20 minutes and let your body adjust. Once you have adjusted, keep on extending your standing time.
  2. Use a mat – Be friendly to your knees, hips and ankles by standing on a gel mat. It would be tons better too if you wear non-slip, support shoes as well.
  3. Keep the chair nearby – It may take some adjustment to work standing up. Sometimes, you will find it hard to think or concentrate when you’re on your feet, as it may feel strange at first. If this happens, have a chair nearby. Big changes take time; so don’t worry if you feel the need to sit.
  4. Ensure proper set-up – The computer monitor should be 15 to 30 inches away from your eyes, with the eye level even or slightly below your screen. Wrists should be flat with the elbows at a 90-degree angle. Keep on making adjustments seeing to it that you body is not straining while you’re standing.
  5. Keep moving – While standing burns more calories than sitting, walking burns even more. Take walking breaks once in a while to stretch your muscles and improve your circulation.

Desk Converters

Don’t worry, this won’t cost you a fortune and you don’t need to throw out your existing desk if you want to make a positive change and do your work standing up. There are products that can convert your sitting desk into a standing one.

  • StandStand is a portable standing desk converter that can be assembled and disassembled quickly. It is lightweight, durable and affordable which is good for those who want to try first and see what it’s like to work standing up. It comes in four different sizes between 9 and 16 inches and has enough room just for the laptop. The StandStand is an affordable AU$250.
  • Varidesk Pro Plus. It comes ready to use. Just put it in your desk, place the monitor or laptop on the top shelf, keyboard and mouse on the lower is a two-tiered system that lets you adjust your monitor, keyboard and mouse in one easy motion shelf and adjust the height to your preference. Varidesk Pro Plus is on the expensive side, starting at AU$445 and going up to AU$690.
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