Height-Adjustable Desks: The Future of Office Workstations
Are height-adjustable desks a potential solution for an improved workplace? Our work conditions play an essential role in our comfort, ergonomics, and job satisfaction. This applies in both the office as well as in the home office. The working environment can and should adapt to promote good posture and healthy habits.
This has been one of the largest areas of concentration in research. Modern health professionals and researchers continue to seek connections between how we work and our overall well-being. It seems that intermittent movement is one the most important features for a productive working day and long-term health. A height-adjustable desk might be the answer. In this article, we’ll tell you about the benefits of these desks, the options available to choose from, and the best way to use them.
Sit, stand, or move?
We’re no strangers to sitting. Whether it’s at work, at home, or commuting, sitting takes up a large portion of our day. But researchers and publications in the early 2010s began to warn about the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle. They went so far as to print eye-catching headlines like “sitting is the new smoking.” Long sitting times were linked with exhaustion, decreased job satisfaction, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and musculoskeletal disorders.
This led to the new desk craze in office spaces — standing desks. These were once the hot new solution to combat the sedentary lifestyle. After all, you burn eight more calories in one hour of standing vs. one hour of sitting. However, even with the best standing desks, standing still for too long can lead to a variety of health issues. These include lower back pain and problems with leg muscles, tendons, connective tissue, and circulation. These issues are compounded if a user transitions from constant sitting to spending all day at their new standing desk.
So how do we move forward if both constant sitting and constant standing have negative impacts on the body? Newer research indicates that balance is the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. That doesn’t just mean sitting all day and then hitting the gym three times a week. It means adapting the work environment to promote frequent shifts in posture and body movement.
A height-adjustable desk can help here – and there are many options to choose from.
The benefits of height-adjustable desks
In one UK study, people using sit-stand desks were more engaged and productive at work than their chair-bound peers. They had less job-related fatigue, less daily anxiety, and higher overall quality of life. They also reported fewer lower back issues than the control group. The research suggests that sit-stand desks adjusted throughout the day may be a better option than either static sitting or standing desks.
Which height-adjustable desks to choose
Which height-adjustable desk you choose depends on your needs and the working environment.
Mechanical vs. an electric height adjustment: Premium standing desks have dual motors that raise or lower the desk at the touch of a button. This is optimal for someone who wants to alternate their working positions throughout the day. However, some more-affordable height-adjustable desks require mechanical adjustment with a crank.
A sit-stand desk vs. a height-adjustable sitting desk: Some desks have features that adjust the height of a smaller section, particularly where a computer is used. This can be helpful in some cases. It also requires less time and effort for self-assembly. However, the gaps in the workspace can be frustrating for some users.
How much space is available, and how large should the work surface be? In a small space, a height-adjustable desk can prevent the need for a user to periodically transfer workspaces. However, consider the constraints of where the desk will be situated and whether the area can accommodate a standing desk.
What additional equipment or desk accessories make sense? Some people opt for an ergonomic sit-stand stool that makes semi-frequent height range transitions easier. If you’re at a standing desk, you might need a laptop stand or monitor stand to bring your monitor to eye level.
Lightning-fast height adjustment thanks to innovative electronics? Discover the fastest motorised table in the world here!
The best way to use height-adjustable desks
When you invest in a height-adjustable desk, that’s only part of the equation. You must properly use the sit-stand desk to boost productivity and health outcomes.
- The best way to use sit-stand desks is to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day. To start, stand for just 30 minutes intermittently, then add time as you get more comfortable.
- Adjust the desk’s standing position so your body is aligned correctly. Your head, neck, and spine should be in a straight line when you stand. And your elbows should form a 90-degree angle when your wrists are flat on the desk. Put your computer monitor at eye level. Don’t forget to adjust your keyboard and mouse, too.
- Wear comfortable shoes with no heel or a low heel. You can also stand on a cushioned mat (anti-fatigue mat) for more support.
- Try to alternate between sitting and standing. A ratio of 1:1 or 2:1 sitting versus standing time may help comfort and energy levels without affecting productivity. Don’t forget to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise outside of work, ideally five days a week.
- Keep shoulders back and head straight over your spine.Many people working at standing desks will lean their heads into the screen to see it better. This can strain the upper neck. Keeping your head directly above your spine decreases the risk of this, reducing strain. If you’re struggling to see the screen, move it closer.
Making the most of it: ergonomic sitting and standing at work
The bottom line: workers are happier, healthier, and more productive when they can choose the most comfortable way to work. Excellent quality height-adjustable desks like the ones offered at Sedus allow for workers to combat prolonged sitting or standing, have better posture, and ultimately become more satisfied employees. Check out their award-winning products and resources so you and your company can start maximizing workplace wellness.
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