The Standing Desk
The standing desk seems to the latest new craze to avoid work related back problems. But do you know how to get the most out of your standing desk?
Yes the standing desk is a great way to avoid the sustained flexion we experience when sitting, but standing in one position for long periods can also have negative effects on our posture and musculoskeletal system. The best option is to alternate between sitting and standing positions throughout the day. One study found that a ratio of 2:1 sitting versus standing is optimal for body posture and for best productivity results.
It is key to remember the correct set up for both a standing and a sitting desk. Whether it is sitting or standing the correct desk height and computer screen position is crucial.
As a guide, the desk should be positioned so the elbows are at approximately a 90 degree angle. It has been found that the screens optimal position is 20-10 inches from the face, with the top of the screen at eye level. So as you don’t tilt your head forwards or backwards, the screen itself should have a 10-20 degree tilt back
When either sitting or standing, regular breaks are required. The spine loves movement! Staying in any one position for long periods will cause the spine to become stiff and the surrounding muscles to either shorten or lengthen away from their optimal position. Some people will naturally change positions regularly. For those who don’t, an app on your smart phone or installing reminder software on your computer may be a better option.
- Vary sitting and standing throughout the day
- Correct desk set up is crucial
- Regular breaks are necessary to decrease occurrence of poor posture and musculoskeletal abnormalities