We usually do not pay a lot of attention to the way we hold our body when sitting. Unfortunately, some of us notice this only after they suffer pain. But health professionals warn us that feeling pain is not the only consequence of sitting for prolonged periods every day. There are also some serious health risks ranging from obesity to cardiovascular problems.
If you have recently switched to working from home, you’ve probably became more aware of your sitting habits now that your usual daily route is your bed – your desk- your couch.
The Number of People Working from Home Is Growing
Following the global pandemic with COVID-19 and the government measures taken in response to it, many traditional work habits have changed. People find themselves working from home and the jury is out as to how long this will be the standard way of working. That is for those that can work from home.
But while work from home can help people avoid exposure to the novel virus, seating related health issues are present as ever. This is especially true for those that do not have an ergonomic workstation at home. While your employer may be the one that’s responsible to provide you with a healthy work environment, when you’re working from home this is up to you. Even though it requires making an investment, when you take into account the following risks you’ll definitely want to make sure you have an ergonomically-correct workstation.
Health Risks of Sedentary Lifestyle
Remaining seated during prolonged periods of time is discussed as a silent cause of a whole host of health issues. Our daily sitting habits are definitely a major factor and the list of potential health risks is not getting shorter:
A growing body of evidence suggests that spending too many hours sitting is hazardous to your health. Habitual inactivity raises risks for obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, deep-vein thrombosis, and metabolic syndrome.
For that reason medical professionals advocate increased movement to alleviate the harmful effects of seating. This is why many workers consider switching to a standing workstation or exploring the innovative desk sit to stand range.
Beware of Ergonomically Inadequate Solutions
Many believe that the go-to solution is to stand all day and get a standing desk. Sometimes we just think that going from one extreme to the other will solve all our problems. As it turns out, that is not correct either. This workaholic that switched from sitting to standing found out the wrong way:
“I’d assumed that all the people who love their standing desks spent most of their time actually, you know, standing. And they’re not.”
While standing at your work station can initially offset the bad consequences of sitting all day, at the same time, it can create a whole bag of fresh problems. “If you suddenly go from sitting all day to standing all day, you run the risk of developing back, leg, or foot pain” points out this Harvard medical school research.
So, once you decide to replace your standard working desk don’t just go from sitting to standing all day. There might just be a middle ground between the two you are missing. Switching your working position several times during the day actually brings more benefits to your health and to your performance.
A Sit-Stand Desk Might Be Just What You Need
Yes, you read it correctly. A sit stand desk is practically any workstation that allows you to effortlessly switch between working while seated and working while standing. It delivers the best of both worlds and gives you the option to change your position at intervals that are good for your health without compromising productivity.
Over the years different designs were developed to offer this property. The first and obvious choice is to go for a height-adjustable worktable that sits on an existing desk. That way you can simply tweak the top to the comfortable position. Another iteration of this approach is the sit-stand desk converter.
Both designs offer practical options – to work seated and to work standing, however, they also have their downsides. They are ideal if you do not really care about appearance, but just focus on the function. Usually, these desk converters offer a smaller working space in the standing position and have a lower weight capacity.
But now you can also find an electric desk sit to stand model that allows you to effortlessly transform your work surface to match your exact physical requirements and maintain proper spinal alignment all day long. They give off a slick vibe and are easier to customize into your desired workspace. These desks can also be L shaped for greater convenience. And when you transform the desk sit to stand, everything that is on the desk moves as well without the risk of falling over. This type of desk usually supports up to 100 kg weight and uses a 2 stage leg system for safety.
Make the Most of Your Home Office
Whether we like it or not work from home is here to stay. At least for the foreseeable future. And it is your individual responsibility, to yourself and to the people you live and work with, to make it as pleasant as possible.
Having virtual meetings and working sessions has become an everyday activity for many working people. While you are fighting not to snooze through a conference call, just remember that there are other options as well. Standing during such sessions has the potential to bring you clarity of mind and to make everyone more alert to what is being said.
We had our fair share of public figures – journalists, politicians, and other – caught in a less than favourable position during a call. Having a sit stand desk at home can certainly add multifunctionality to your space and affect your engagement in the next virtual meeting. Plus, while standing, you will be more likely to assume an upright position which can help you make sure you maintain your authority.