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How Best to Use a Standing Desk?

Many office workers who spend most of their day at a desk complain of neck, shoulder or back pain. This pain is often caused by poor posture. Slouching over a keyboard can lead to hunched shoulders. This constant tension can cause tight back and shoulder muscles that ache even after the workday ends.

An incorrect desk setup can also lead to muscular pains. Straining to see a monitor that is too far away or tilted at an incorrect angle can lead to neck strain and improper spine alignment. Improper keyboard height can also cause tension in the shoulders from having to hold your arms at an awkward angle to type effectively.

Scientists at Columbia University Medical Centre (CUMC) found that adults who spend one to two hours seated without a break have a higher mortality rate than those who sit for the same amount of time, but for shorter periods.

The researchers at CUMC’s Department of Medicine, based their study on 8,000 people aged over 45. Some 77% of participants were sedentary for a shocking 12 hours per day, while for some that figure topped 13 hours. The results? People who spent most time seated, often in periods of 60-90 minutes, had an almost two-fold increase in death risk compared with those who sat less and for shorter periods of time.

Public Health England support Active Working guidelines recommending that office workers stand at least two hours a day, and eventually work up to four hours. Many people are now becoming aware of the negative health effects of prolonged sitting, and so may opt for active sitting arrangements.

As a result, stand up desks are becoming increasingly popular in the workplace. A standing desk can relieve most of the that issues that office workers suffer due to the sedentary nature of their job. When properly set up, a standing desk should allow for a 90-degree bend in the arms to the keyboard. The monitor should be tilted upwards at roughly 20 degrees and located about two feet from your eyes. It is also best to stand on a flat yet supportive surface, like an anti-fatigue mat. Sensible footwear, not high heels, also promotes natural posture.We ensure guidelines for best use of standing desks are sent to every Sit-Stand.Com® desk customer. These things combined realign your body to its natural centre and ease tension in the muscles.

Rik Mistry, head of business development at Sit-Stand.Com® says:“Web traffic for both Sit-Stand.Com® and Yo-YoDesk.Com® websites has grown 300% in the last 12 months. Google reports show that the search results for ‘Standing Desk’ have quadrupled since 2012. Furthermore, the wave of interest at shows and industry events, continues to escalate. Simply put, the provision of workplace solutions which help build healthy working habits and increased productivity are becoming front of mind for facilities professionals.

“It’s no longer just the person with the bad back who wants an adjustable workstation, it’s increasingly a must-have for the whole team, or sales team, then marketing team and then everyone wants one. Also, when people move companies, it’s only logical that they take their standing desk habit with them.”

We get brilliant feedback on Sit-Stand.Com® products from office-based workers, but we wanted to know what bloggers would think of our Yo-Yo DESK® product. Here are a few testimonials from some bloggers who tried our products:

Home-based SME blogger Joanne Dewberry knows that people working from home are at high risk of sedentary behaviour when there are no distractions in the form of co-workers or meetings to get you away from your workstation. She found that a Yo-Yo DESK® was the perfect way to bring more activity to her working day.

Joanne says: “I’ve found that standing when I hit the office first thing is probably the most productive part of the day. I’ve just had 7 hours sleep followed by driving the children to school; by standing at my desk to sort emails and dive into my to do list I’m raring to go and full of energy. Previously mornings were met by slumping in my office chair feeling tired and sluggish, drinking vats of coffee. If I’d have known the effects of standing earlier, I’d have been doing it years ago.” Read the blog.

Glasgow-based Stephen Morrison is a civil servant by day, but also posts regular blogs about his fitness journey at howmanymiles.co.uk. Every year, his departmental staff survey requests that standing desks are provided for employees, so he was keen to try one out for himself.

Stephen says: “Firstly and most importantly, I am sitting less. At home, I am now spending at least two hours a day standing at my computer as I write, answer emails and watch TV shows whereas previously I would have been sitting on my backside. “Rather than being hunched over a desk, I now find myself standing straighter, with less rounded shoulders and less curving of my back. I also feel that I am being more productive.” Read the blog.