With the stand up operating movement in full swing, we thought it would be beneficial to our readers to do a little research on the topic to determine if it's really a healthier way of working. Today on the blog we'll discuss the pros, cons, and alternatives to stand up operating to help you decide wether or not to make the switch. Enjoy!
At it's core, stand up operating is meant to encourage continuous movement in the workplace while reducing the need for extended sits. As we sit for long periods of time, strain and fatigue sets in. When this happens, posture suffers. As those good posture habits you've worked hard to incorporate into your work day slip, your blood flow and circulation are also paying a price. To simplify, sitting for hours on end is unhealthy. Standing up to work provides a smart alternative.
With a stand up workstation, you'll be equipped with the tools needed to adapt at a moments notice. If you can't pull yourself away from the tasks at hand to take short breaks and relieve your muscles, making the switch to a stand up station is probably a good idea. They're intended to make you more versatile and efficient during strenuous days at work.
In truth, all ergonomic products are only as good as their owners. If you don't take the time to master your standing desk you'll receive little to know health benefits. All too often, ergo enthusiasts invest in fancy desktop risers, only to leave them unused. If you make the switch, don't allow yourself to fall into this category.
Once you've mastered the features and benefits of your standing desk, you've got to put them to use. Tackling your daily tasks from the standing position is all well in good, but only if done properly. Many stand up workers find themselves leaning over on the heightened desk surface. This hunched over posture can lead to back problems if not attended too.
When standing to work, all of your weight is supported by your knees and feet. Standing for short periods of time may be healthy, but over the long haul, you do need to spend some time sitting down. Standing for the entirety of your 8 hour work day may cause the same effects you were looking to avoid when sitting for too long. We recommend a healthy mix of both. If you're considering a new stand up ergonomic desk for your space, you need to effectively monitor and rotate the time spent in both of your available operating positions.
So what do we know? We know that sitting for long periods of time can be unhealthy. We also know that standing all day isn't exactly comfortable and efficient. A healthy mix is your best bet. Rather than purchasing a stationary standing desk, we recommend going with a sit to stand workstation that raises and lowers as needed to meet your specific needs at any given time.
If you've already purchased a stationary stand up office desk for your space, there's ways to remain functional and effective over the long haul. With the popularity of this trending desk style, height adjustable stools are widely available on the market that will help you remain posture perfect while standing to work. Stand up ergonomic stools like the Perch from OFM are making it healthier to operate from the standing position. They're definitely worth serious consideration!
If funds are tight and a fancy sit to stand workstation is out of the question, don't be scared or stranded. To fight back against extended sits, you can simply take short breaks away from your desk. About once every hour, stand up from your desk and walk around. Allow your eyes to readjust from the computer screen and stretch out those muscles. Cruise over to the break room and grab a drink of water to stay hydrated. Even if you have a stand up desk, short breaks are a great idea that will have you returning to your workstation refreshed and ready to tackle your work.
Stand up operating provides a nice alternative to extended sits. That being said, it's not a perfect solution. There are pros and cons to stand up desks, and they're not for everyone. By taking short breaks you can achieve many of the same health benefits provided by standing to work without spending a dollar.
Before making the switch to a stand up desk, we recommend testing one in person. If you think it's something you'll use regularly, the health benefits are definitely there. However, if it's going to serve as a giant unused paper weight that takes up space in your office, it won't provide you with the benefits you're looking for. To become a healthy worker, you have to practice good posture while investing the time need to form smart operating habits. We truly believe that pros outweighs the cons when it comes to stand up desks. We also feel that sit to stand stations that allow you to switch between both positions are a far more effective option. Regardless of which way you decide to go, a healthy mix of standing, sitting, and short breaks is a must.