Standing desks have become very popular over the years to reduce time spent sitting at the office. As we know, sitting for long periods of time is not recommended due to risk factors associated with sedentary lifestyles. However, could standing be worse than sitting?
Standing is another form of being sedentary and is only slightly better that sitting. When people stand at the desk for long periods of time, they adopt poor postures due to muscular fatigue which leads to pain and injury. Thus, when working at the desk, sitting is preferred over standing.
The best way to avoid pain and injury in the office is regular movement! It is recommended you get up from your workstation and move every 30-60 minutes. If you do have a standing desk, it is recommended that you stand for no more than 30 minutes at a time. Standing should be used as regular small breaks from sitting. Alternating between sitting and standing is a great way to increase productivity, however standing desks are not necessary if you are moving regularly throughout the day.
It is important to have correct posture no matter if you are sitting or standing!
Correct posture for sitting:
- Chair height – the chair should be set at a height so that there is a 100-degree bend in your elbow when your forearms are resting on the desks surface.
- It is important to sit tucked into the desk and lean against the back rest for support. The back rest is there to support you. Don’t try to hold yourself up all day as that will only lead to fatigue in your back muscles.
- The back rest should be tilted back slightly at approximately a 100-degree angle.
- Your feet should be supported. If your feet don’t touch the ground when sitting at an optimal height relative to the desk, a footstool is recommended.
Correct posture for standing:
- Desk height – the desk should be just below elbow height. Your forearms should be able to rest lightly on the desks surface without shrugging your shoulders.