By now almost everyone has heard about the benefits of a standing work station, or at least the terrors of sitting too much.
(Graphics are from Custom Made)
You’ve also likely heard a counter-argument. As with most things these days, there’s plenty of strongly voiced opinions published on any side of any topic.
“Stop sitting!” shouts a chorus of voices.
“Standing too long is bad for you!” responds a different chorus.
Of course the unspoken common ground is where the answer usually can be found…
Yes, standing workstations are a good idea. See our previous blog posts HERE.
No, standing all day is not the answer. (Gradually build up to about 50% of your day standing.)
The underlying principle that gets diluted by both of these statements is that moving is key. Obviously sitting for 8 hours is harmful. But while standing for 8 hours is better in many ways than sitting, it gets painful, and can still be rather sedentary. Similarly, if you sit for 4 hours, followed by standing for 4 hours, you’re really not doing any better.
The best option? For every 30 minutes of sitting OR standing, move for 2 minutes. Movement is medicine – and those aching knees and back will thank you.
Office Air Squat tournament, anyone?
Implicit in all the above is a recommendation for a workstation that allows you to sit and stand. Reviews.com recently published the results of their reviews of 67 sit to stand workstations. You can see that HERE.
The first thing that stands out is that these workstations are priced for corporate budgets, and not necessarily for home or small business use. With the low end starting at around $500, with options and add-ons these easily top $1,000.
The rationale for these price points is that you probably spend more time at your desk than any other place besides your bed, so invest in something that works. Seems logical, but if you’re dealing with just a laptop, you can build your own for $22 (which is what we have in our home office).
The website Lifehacker posted survey results of the top sit to stand workstations, and here’s what their audience preferred:
1. DIY Options (53%)
2. Ergotron Workfit (15.5%)
3. Uplift 900 (15.2%)
4. Varidesk Pro (10.2%)
5. Updesk UpWrite (6%)
Making Your Choice Work for You
Whatever standing workstation you decide, maximize the effectiveness of your workstation by doing the following things:
1. Move. Set an alarm – on your phone, fitbit, timetracker…anything – to ping you to move every 30 minutes. That does not just mean changing positions. Squat, lunge, handstand, walk, etc. for 120 seconds. Whether you exercise that day or not, it’s irrelevant. Move often – your physiology needs it.
2. When standing, squeeze that butt! Squeeze those glutes to about 15-20% of full contraction, and tighten the abs gently as well. Keep the rib cage from flaring and you’ll be in a good position. This will be tiring at first, but before long it will feel natural.
3. Use a standing mat and/or foot rest. When standing, use a gel mat of some kind to slightly soften your standing area. Just as good, if not better, is a small step or raised object to put one foot on while standing.
4. Ergonomics matter. Follow the guidelines below for keyboard and screen height (source: www.custommade.com). Keeping your shoulders or neck in a poor position while standing is pointless. It’s like smoking while running…