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To stand or not to stand – the benefits of switching to a standing desk

To stand or not to stand – that is the question. Standing desks are more popular than ever thanks to research that shows that sitting for extended periods can cause a range of health problems including obesity, diabetes and cancer.

The average office worker spends on average five hours and 41 minutes seated, and usually it’s in front of a computer.

Ergonomic standing desks are becoming all the rage with converts saying they feel more focused and energetic with improved blood flow and less back pain.

But what’s the big deal about sitting down for long periods?

Experts believe the human body isn’t designed to sit for long periods.

On top of the time we spend seated at a desk we’re also sitting down in our cars, on public transport and on planes.

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Sitting for prolonged periods increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, muscular disorders, chronic back and neck pain, weight gain and give you a higher concentration of sugar in the blood.

And according to the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, these risks are just as prevalent whether you regularly exercise or not.

Some are saying that sitting is the new smoking.

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So what do you need to look for when deciding on a standing desk?

– Choose the right height. Most standing desks can be manually or electronically controlled to reach the right standing height.

– It is adjustable? Most standing desks can actually not only be used when you’re standing but also folded down to use as a regular desk. You’re allowed to sit down sometimes right?

– You don’t have to buy a whole new desk. There are a few options that actually sit on top of your existing desk and can be raised so it can be used when standing up.

– Be sure it can accommodate your computer or laptop. We normally use our computer at our desk so be sure there is space for your laptop or a keyboard and monitor. Also adjust your cables so there is enough slack to prevent your equipment flying off your desk when you raise it.

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– Can it handle the weight? Be sure the model you choose can handle the weight of your computer, monitor, keyboard and all the other things you require – including your coffee cup.

– Do you need a floor mat? It’s recommended that you stand on a cushioned floor mat to reduce foot fatigue. The place that sells you a standing desk will probably try and upsell you on a floor mat or maybe throw one in for free.

– Should I keep my chair? Yes, you’re not standing up for the entire day so sitting for shorter periods is OK.

 

About Stephen Fenech

Stephen is the Tech Guide editor and one of Australia's most respected tech journalists. He is a regular on radio and TV talking about the latest tech news, products and trends.

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  • Amber

    I got some cool looking monitor and keyboard risers from http://www.brixtonbanks.com to convert my desk to a standing desk. Love not having to sit in a chair all day! I sit for about 20 minutes & stand for about 20 minutes.

  • I highly recommend MultiTable Adjustable Height Standing Desks. Vist https://www.multitable.com/ . You can stand part of the day and sit the rest. Always at the correct ergonomic health. Their desks are 5 star rated and very affordable for the quality you receive. They also have over 160 articles written about the health benefits of standing desks, and proper ergonomics. Check it out.

  • Lewis Vinson

    Thanks Stephen! These are really important things when we switch standing desk. When you work at a standing desk, your elbows should be at a 90-degree angle so that your wrists are straight and your neck should maintain a natural posture.