In the past, we’ve touched on how back pain is directly related to sitting at a desk. From hunching over your desk to having your arms rest at a less than ideal position, sitting at a desk can severely damage your back. While our first suggestion is to focus on proper posture, using a standing desk is beneficial for overall back health.
Many office jobs involve extensive sitting while hunched over a computer at your desk. When seated, your lower body remains relatively inactive, reducing your blood circulation. Lack of ergonomic furniture design and poor computer screen and/or keyboard placement contribute to poor posture. Poor posture directly leads to uneven weight distribution and puts additional pressure on your joints.
“Researchers have linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns, including obesity and metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions that includes increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels.
Too much sitting also seems to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.” –James Levine, MD, PhD, endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic.
Standing Desk Benefits
These desks are one solution to relieve back pain associated with sitting at a desk all day. Standing naturally improves posture, tones muscles (which in turn provide much-needed joint support), increases blood flow, and burns extra calories compared to working in a seated position for extended periods of time.
According to Science Daily, the average worker spends 5 hours and 41 minutes sitting at their office desk per day. Standing instead of sitting, for even a small amount of time, can have direct benefits to your health. Just the simple change from sitting to standing burns an additional 50 calories per hour.
An adjustable standing desk offers you the ability to position your desk at the correct height. Additionally, since you are already standing, these desks provide an incentive to move around the office.
Standing Desk Ergonomics
Whether sitting or standing, it is important to have the correct monitor height and keyboard height to avoid neck cramps and joint strain. Improper posture leads to uneven weight distribution, which puts unnecessary strain on your spine, joints, and muscles.
You’ll want to plan your standing desk based on your height. The Human Solution offers a desk height calculator to determine your ideal ergonomic workspace specifications.
DIY Standing Desks
You can take advantage of standing desk benefits by purchasing one pre-built to meet your specifications, or you can build one yourself using one of these many tutorials available online. Below are a few you can use for inspiration.
- Floating Corner Desk – Lifehacker
- Sawhorse Standing Desk – Mint Design Blog
- Standing Desk + Drafting Table – Barrett Morgan Design
- The Standesk 2200 ($22 standing desk) – Colin Nederkoorn
As with any health-related change, it is important to consult your doctor if you have any concerns about potential effects on your specific pain condition. Before you dive into standing desk benefits and the ergonomic pain relief they offer, give Metropolitan Pain Consultants a quick call at 201.729.0001. We have trained pain specialists on staff at three locations to assist you in reducing and eliminating your pain.