What if there was a way to be chained to a desk without having to sit the entire day? Research has consistently linked prolonged sitting to obesity, poor posture, and chronic pain, plus studies indicate many spend significantly more time seated at work than in their free time Sedentariness at work: how much do we really sit? McCrady, S.K., Levine, J. A., Endocrine Research Unit, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, 2009 Nov;17(11):2103-5. . One way to combat excessive sitting is to find alternatives during the workday. Meet the sit-stand workstation.
Get Up, Stand Up — The Takeaway
Sit-stand workstations give users the option to easily adjust their desks from normal seated height to standing height, allowing them to either pick one configuration or easily alternate between the two. Incorporating standing into the daily office routine may improve posture while reducing the pain caused by slouching in a chair The introduction of sit-stand worktables; aspects of attitudes, compliance and satisfaction. Wilks, S., Mortimer, M., Nylén, P., Right HälsoPartner Occupational Health Unit, S-721 83 Västerås, Sweden., Appl Ergon. 2006 May;37(3):359-65. Epub 2005 Aug 15. . And surveys indicate those who stand for part of the day work just as efficiently as those who only sit, and some suggest standing actually boosts focus and creativity Comparisons of musculoskeletal complaints and data entry between a sitting and a sit-stand workstation paradigm. Husemann B, Von Mach C. Y., Borsotto D., et al. Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität, Institut für Arbeits-, Sozial- und Umweltmedizin, Obere Zahlbacher Str. 67, Mainz 55131, Germany. Hum Factors. 2009 Jun;51(3):310-20. . Of course, it also makes it harder to fall asleep on the job...
Like most lifestyle changes, benefiting from a sit-stand workstation requires actually using it. One study found that even among people who reported less back and neck pain after using the station, many didn’t use the standing configuration as often as they initially planned The introduction of sit-stand worktables; aspects of attitudes, compliance and satisfaction. Wilks, S., Mortimer, M., Nylén, P., Right HälsoPartner Occupational Health Unit, S-721 83 Västerås, Sweden., Appl Ergon. 2006 May;37(3):359-65. Epub 2005 Aug 15. . Sit-stand workstations may expand workers’ options, but personal motivation is still a vital factor in escaping the chair.
Interested in making the switch? Before investing in a sit-stand workstation, a test run can help determine if it’s the right choice (some people might feel foot pain from the increased standing, though this tends to wear away with time). Start by creating a raised work surface using books, trash cans, or sleeping coworkers to get a feel for standing while working. If buying a new desk isn’t a feasible option, consider getting creative with extra home or office furniture.
Try using a sit-stand workstation to ease the pain of sitting for long hours and unleash the creative spirit inside.