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Home > Resources > Standing at Work Revolution

Standing at Work Revolution

In more recent years, businesses have been looking for a way to maximize the efficiency, health, and comfort of their employees. This desire has resulted in a revolution that has changed the work environment as we know it: standing at work!

Standing at work may only seem like something for health fanatics, but in reality it offers a variety of other benefits in addition to the prevalent health advantages.

Efficiency

Sitting can make workers lethargic and unfocused due to the fact that sitting relaxes our bodies and similarly our minds. This relaxation often incurs the need for sleep, making us sluggish and incapable of thinking at our full capacity.

Standing while working does the opposite of sitting by stimulating the use of our bodies and our minds, allowing for better efficiency and focus in everyday work. This significantly reduces your feeling of relaxation and thus eliminates the desire to sleep, allowing for concentration and productivity.

Health

Scientists have recently labeled sitting as "the new smoking." Standing at work offers a variety of proven health benefits including the reduced risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

Obesity

A 2013 study found that, on average, those that stand while they work burn 50 more calories per hour than those that sit. This fact alone helps individuals who stand reduce their risk of obesity one day at a time.

Type 2 Diabetes

A 2008 study by the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health found that individuals who sat for long periods had reduced effectiveness in regulating levels of glucose in the bloodstream. This is known as metabolic syndrome and it significantly increases an individual’s chance of type 2 diabetes. Reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes is just another reason why standing at work can help improve your health and your life.

Cardiovascular Disease

Recent studies found that even with limited exercise, excessive sitters were still 34 percent more likely to develop heart failure than those that stand.

Cancer

A 2011 study found that prolonged sitting could be linked to nearly 49,000 cases of breast cancer and 43,000 cases of colon cancer. While the exact link between sitting and cancer is still unclear to scientists, high levels of certain cancer indicators were found in those who sat excessively.

Comfort

It is important note that standing in an awkward position for extremely long periods of time can have a negative effect on the body. Thus it is important to know how your body should be positioned when standing and working at your desk.

Back Position

When standing at work, your back should be straight; not in a bent or slouching position. A straight back relieves the most pressure on the discs within your spine, relaxing your muscles and preventing any pain usually due to too much pressure on the spinal discs.

Although a straight back is the best back position to maintain, it is recommended that you never remain in any one back position for an extended period of time. Thus be sure to change your back position throughout the workday, for example, by standing with a straight back and then after a while leaning on your standing desk in a more bent position or vice versa.

Arms Position

The angle or position of your arms is determined by the height of your standing desk. Thus, your desk should be adjusted so your arms are at a 90° angle. A 90° arm position not only promotes proper circulation, but ensures the straight positioning of your wrists. It is very critical that your wrists remain in a straight position especially when typing on a keyboard. Even a slight bend in your wrists while typing can result in arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Feet and Lower Legs

The most common physical strain or discomfort standing can put on an individual can be identified in the feet and lower legs. This discomfort can be counteracted in three ways:

Shoes

Wearing high heels or uncomfortable shoes is not the best choice of footwear when at your standing desk. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes that provide good arch support and breathing room.

Feet Positioning and Movement

It is important to distribute an equal amount of body weight between your legs when standing at work. Position your feet at about shoulders length and feel free to move your feet about when standing to constantly change the stress and relief on your feet and legs.

Stress Mat

You may also want to look into purchasing a stress mat for your standing desk. The stress mat will provide a softer surface for you to stand on as opposed to hardwood or carpeted floors.