We spend around 7-8 hours being seated at work, apart from the time spent sitting while travelling, eating meals, reading or watching television. Sitting for a prolonged period of time is bad for both our physical and mental health and can cause a host of ailments including obesity, slower blood circulation, heart diseases, spine problems, attention disorders, diabetes and even cancer.
Well, to avoid all this, standing desks may just be the answer.
SO, WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A STANDING DESK?
A standing desk or a stand-up desk is a desk where you write, read or work on your computer while standing up or sitting on a high stool.
-Standing encourages movement which helps circulation, keeps you active and helps you burn, on an average, 50 calories an hour.
-A standing desk will help maintain good posture thus keeping your back and neck in form.
-Standing at work will increase your ability to focus, as you develop a sense of urgency as compared to the lethargic feeling you get after being seated for a few hours.
AND, HOW SHOULD YOU GO ABOUT IT?
Simply standing is not enough, you need to keep the following things in mind while setting up and using a standing desk:
1 . Keep The Right Height
Make sure your standing desk is built as per your height. Your computer screen should be elevated to eye level and should be an arm’s length away so that you are looking straight at it without straining your neck. The height of your desk should be such that when your elbows are positioned at 90 degrees they sit right above the desk, enabling you to write or type without straining your wrists or having to bend and slouch.
2 . Start Off Slow
Don’t just jump right into it. Gradually increase the amount of time you stand and decrease the amount of time you sit. Your body will soon get used to the pattern.
3 . Maintain Correct Posture
If you plan to make the switch, you have to do it right. Posture is the most important factor. Your head, neck and torso should be in line. Avoid bending forward or looking down at the screen.
4 . Cushion Your Feet
Cushioning your feet is as important as maintaining the right posture. For your feet to get accustomed to standing, wear comfortable shoes. Walking or running shoes will provide most support. If you’re at home, bare feet or slippers are okay but the hard surface may be too much on your feet. A simple solution is an anti-fatigue mat with sufficient cushioning. You can use a thick yoga mat or a rug as well.
5 . Keep Moving
Standing desks give you the incentive to move because once you’re up, you tend to keep moving. However, it is necessary to consciously do so, so as not to put too much pressure on your heels and knees, and to avoid sedentary behaviour. For every hour of standing, take a 5 minute break, look around, and maybe take a little walk. This will help you relax your muscles and help you focus better.
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Keep these things in mind and you will never go back to your office chair.Stay Active, Stay Healthy!