Monday, August 4, 2014

How To Work With Your Stand Up Office Desk

Standing office desks are definitely a trend that has skyrocketed in popularity the past few years. Many scientists and standers alike boast about the incredible health benefits to be attained just by standing throughout the work day. However, for many, the conversion from sitter to stander is less illustrious. While there are many health benefits of standing desks, the lifestyle can also present problems. So, in today's article, we're presenting some great tips to help you work with your stand up office desk!

Why Stand Up?

Healthy Office Workers

In a word, health. With all the health problems attributed the modern sit-down lifestyle (like obesity, back pain, joint problems, poor blood flow, and a lack of exercise), many doctors and scientists have claimed sitting as "the smoking of our generation." These days, it seems like 99% of the reason folks look for an alternate work style is because stand up ergonomic desks improve health in so many ways. Scientists, along with many stand up desk users themselves, maintain that a standing work style can work wonders. Tones muscles, reduced chance of disease, and more energy are just the tip of the iceberg!

*Here's a list of health benefits commonly attributed to a stand up work style:

Improved focus
Improved digestive health
Reduced risk of obesity/ type 2 diabetes/ cancer/ cardiovascular disease
Toned muscles
Lower long-term mortality risk

The Controversy

Sit To Stand Office Desk

"So, what's the big deal? It seems like there's only good to be gained."

Well, unfortunately, the stand up desk life was a little too hyped up from the start. Many people seeking a healthier way to work jumped to getting stand up desks without taking into account potential risks. While stand up desks may be great for active artists, architects, and those used to an energetic standing lifestyle, the sudden switch can be horrible for a lifelong sitter. Without taking seated breaks, standing in one place for hours at a time can cause terrible pain. The lower back, knees, calves, and feet (which aren't used to bearing so much weight) will definitely start to feel the burn in a way that isn't healthy. Many users found out the hard way that a standing lifestyle isn't always right for everyone.

*Here's a list of common annoyances and health risks of standing desks:

Soreness (particularly in legs, feet, calves, thighs, and lower back)
Forces the circulatory system to work harder (not good for those with heart problems)
Higher risk of varicose veins
More tiring, requires 20% more energy than sitting (Cornell University)
Strains circulatory system, legs, and feet
Improved focus... on pain, not on work

A Smart Solution

Smart Office Worker

At first glance, the standing versus sitting controversy seems like a catch-22. While it is more widely regarded that sitting is very unhealthy, many doctors and ergonomists are beginning to discover that standing isn't always the healthiest pick either. Thankfully, there are ways to manage! All the best office furniture brands of today are hip to the standing desk dilemma, and reputable manufacturers like Mayline, Global Total Office, Flash Furniture, ESI, and OFM, Inc. have devised a solution. Office desks like the 8432SO-MECBLK sit to stand workstation by Mayline can be used from both a sitting or a standing position!

"Is a Stand up Desk Right for Me?"

Workplace Health Trends

The change from a sitting to a standing work style can be tough. We recommend that users considering the switch to a standing desk take a good look at their current work style, habits, and needs. Try to imagine how those needs would be met from a stand-up position, and with the dimensions of a standing office desk. Then, if you think it will work, get a desk with an adjustable height feature. This way, you will always have the option of one lifestyle or the other, and the opportunity to take breaks whenever needed.
Another smart choice that will lets users keep their current desk, while also benefitting from a standing work style is the MRFSWS-EDGE by ESI. This smart ergonomic standing workstation clamps onto most desks. Each part is independently adjustable, and provides a non-permanent installation that can be moved or removed as the user needs - it's also much cheaper than the average standing desk!

How To Manage

Healthy Stand Up Office Worker

Try to get a desk that can adjust without too much hassle. Even for most standers, sitting almost always remains a necessity in the workplace. Eating lunch, intense work with coworkers, specific projects, and fatigue will all demand a chair at some point. When organizing your work day, be sure to allow time for seated breaks as they are very important for balancing health. Remember, healthy ergonomic tasking chairs, cushioned foot mats, pressure socks, and comfortable shoes all have their benefits too. You should never use a stand up desk without these things if you want to maintain optimum health. Don't forget to throw in a few leg stretches before each standing session to keep you limber!

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