We often talk about the dangers of prolonged sitting, and encourage finding ways to tackle the sedentary lifestyle many office workers experience.
A 2015 study from University of Toronto found that sitting for more than 8-12 hrs/day increases disease risk – even if you exercise. They found that although exercise can decrease your risk of disease, it doesn’t completely erase it. Minimizing the amount of time you spend is as important to a healthy lifestyle as eating a nutritious diet, a regular exercise routine, and adequate stress coping and self-care.
In our seminar entitled “Stop Sitting: Standing Up To A Sedentary Lifestyle” we propose a number of ways to reduce sitting, one of which is to implement the use of a standing desk. There are a vast number of standing desks on the market, and recently, we had the opportunity to test-drive a local standing desk from a Canadian company.
The AnthroDesk Standing Desk not only provides a desk adjustable to your height when standing, but it can also manually lower to enable switching between a standing and sitting position without disrupting the workstation. Adjusting the standing desk to your preferred height will allow an ergonomic position to improve posture, as well as reducing strain on your back and shoulders. Some people find prolonged standing as difficult as prolonged sitting. Prolonged standing can cause strain on your feet, knees, and back – especially if your posture and footwear are poor. Switching easily between the standing and sitting allows the user to change their desk position throughout the day, easing the strain on their joints and back, as well as adjusting the position to suit the task at hand, thereby maximising productivity. The Anthrodesk is lightweight enough that you can also move it around to different workspaces, from office to meeting room, with ease. I have been using the Anthrodesk in my home office and have found it moved to my husband’s office on many occasions, and I’ve even taken it out to the backyard to work in the warm weather.
5 Tips For Successfully Using a Standing Desk:
1) Ensure you are wearing proper footwear that provides adequate arch support. Avoid high heels and overly restrictive/tight shoes. Consider getting an anti-fatigue mat.
2) Keep both feet evenly on the ground. Distribute your weight evenly. This will help you maintain good posture, and avoid strain on your knees and hip joints.
3) Keep your feet shoulder width apart to best support the weight of your body.
4) Adjust the height of the desk so your arms are at a 90 degree angle while you are typing. Ideally, your upper arms should be aligned with your body, not out in front of you; your elbows bent at 90 degrees; and your lower arms parallel to the floor.
5) Don’t forget to stretch and move. Standing still in one position can be hard on your joints and back. Having a standing desk enables you to easily move around, walk on the spot, stretch your legs, hips and upper body.
– Review by: Dr. Jaty Tam, ND, Medical Director