Do you find yourself with lower back pain every time you finish work? It might be because you ruin the ideal posture due to prolonged sitting ( for example, slouching). That’s why most modern offices rely on standing desks for their employee’s lumbar health. So, does it mean that a standing desk is better for posture than a regular one?
A standing desk would be far better when it comes to maintaining a good posture. Now, you are practicing a good posture when the spine is carrying your body weight evenly.
There are a lot of ways a standing desk makes that happen. But for the most part, it enables you to move comfortably between sitting and standing instantly. Keep reading, if you are keen to see how a standing desk impacts our posture.
What’s Called A Good Posture?
It makes sense to know what a “good posture” means, if we are trying to achieve it, right? So, hear us out. A good posture ensures your spine feels the least amount of pressure whether you are sitting, laying, or standing. It should restore the natural “S’ shape on our back.
To achieve that, stand on your feet. Make sure you are not putting all the weight on one leg only. Don’t bend your knee for obvious reasons. Your shoulders should be parallel to the floor. And your ears should be in line with your shoulders.
While working, make sure the elbows are creating a 90-degree angle. Don’t shuffle your body weight from one leg to another. Try to distribute the weight evenly across the feet. It shouldn’t be just the heel or the toes. That’s what we call a good posture for standing.
It doesn’t burden our spine with extra weight. You don’t feel lower back pain, stiffness around the shoulder, and so on. Try to practice this posture right now. If it feels unusual, then you have been standing wrong the whole time.
Many people believe that only standing a couple of minutes each day will minimize the effects of their unhealthy lifestyle. When it’s all about practicing the right posture. It doesn’t matter how long you stand. If you bend over the desk, the results won’t be the same as someone who stands correctly.
What’s Wrong With A Regular Desk?
With a regular desk, you must sit for the entire work shift. That’s what’s wrong with the desk. At first glance, it might look like the most innocuous thing ever. You don’t feel any pain or discomfort. But it’s slowly taking your body away from what we know as good posture.
Give it a year, and you might not be able to stand upright for 10 minutes without feeling joint pain. But why does sitting affect your posture so severely?
Because our hips or discs hurt when we sit for a lengthy period. This part of our skeleton carries the upper body during this whole time. And, to reduce the pain, we subconsciously slouch or slump over the desk, causing our lower spine to feel compressed. The natural shape of our back is compromised. Does it make sense now?
Doctors highly recommend you leave the desk for at least two hours if the shift is 8 hours long. But for many people, especially busy students or researchers, it’s not possible. That’s why a standing desk is preferable to a regular one. This ergonomic design helps you avoid leaving the workspace for a good stretch. You can just adjust the desk height and keep working. It’s an excellent way to reduce muscle fatigue and improve overall productivity.
Is Standing Desk The Answer To A Better Posture?
Actually, no. We have to get over the fact that using a standing desk will miraculously improve our bad posture. To be honest, the key is knowing the best way to utilize a standing desk.
Many people try to stand all day long in front of the desk. Needless to say, such plans backfire by increasing joint pains. And, soon, you find yourself hating the standing desk more than anything. So, what’s the right approach?
Well, the right approach is to switch positions from sitting to standing quite frequently. For example, it’s too hard to maintain a good posture while standing for hours. You will have a sore foot, hunched shoulders, and so on.
To balance it out, try to sit for 20 minutes without slouching. Just when you have the urge to slouch, shake it off. Adjust the desk height and stand on your feet. Now, stand for at least 5-10 minutes if you are just starting out. Don’t stretch the standing time too much. After 10 minutes, sit again. That’s the pattern. Stand after every 20-25 minutes of uninterrupted sitting time. That’s the best way to adjust your body to the new working style.
Your body will resist for the first couple of minutes. But don’t give up. Just follow the 25-5 rule. Soon, your body will love getting back its old shape.
How Does A Standing Desk Help Your Posture?
The sole reason employees are switching to standing desks is that it helps with our posture. But how does it happen? Keep reading to find out.
1. Adjustable Height
Ergonomic desks are the best thing ever if you are considering a good posture. There’s no fixed position when you are in front of a standing desk. You can choose to sit or stand depending on your mood. As you stand, the desk follows you, and vice versa.
The height is highly adjustable. If you are 5’2” or 6’, you can choose a height that feels the most comfortable. You can choose to increase the desk height up to 48 inches if that’s what your ideal standing height demands. There’s no scope for compromise.
Most of the time, we sacrifice those one or two inches, thinking it won’t matter that much. But it does. Daily tilting your neck just a little bit becomes a huge neck pain after several months.
However, an adjustable standing desk customizes the desk height to your body’s preference. Hence, there’s no need for awkward positions at all. Over time, this added flexibility improves our body posture.
2. Ability To Move
Even if you customize a desk according to your sitting or standing height, you are still gonna end up with a bad posture. Both prolonged sitting and standing are not healthy for our spine.
When you stay in a position for too long, blood flow in that particular area gets reduced causing you to feel sore afterward. But not just that, you unknowingly start to slouch or slump over the desk to reduce the pressure from your hips or feet. Even though it feels slightly comfortable at first, it takes you away from a healthy posture.
The ideal way to avoid this situation is by changing the position several times per hour. Having a standing desk makes it all possible. You don’t have to leave the workspace for several minutes. Just change the sitting height to standing. There you go. You are standing before the hips feel sore and vice versa.
3. Lose Weight
It’s scientifically proven that a lighter body is easy to control than a heavier one. Here, we mean maintaining a good posture and being mindful of it. If you weigh more than you should (according to BMI), it’s gonna be harder for you to stand a long time without hunching your back.
Luckily, you don’t have to sign up for a workout routine to help yourself. Using a standing desk continuously for your work is enough. As you slowly start to stand for a specific time period, you burn more calories per hour. It’s also a form of stretching in the middle of work. If you can manage to stand for at least two hours every day, you are gonna feel much lighter than you did before.
It will become easier for you to stay in a healthy posture for more minutes without the urge to just give up.
4. Boost Energy
Believe it or not, it takes willpower and lots of energy to hold the right posture. If you get tired easily, there’s a chance you might get back to your old problematic sitting or standing position.
Now, a standing desk doesn’t directly impact your internal health. You need a healthier diet and exercise routine for that. However, a standing desk indirectly helps your body by lowering the blood sugar level (almost by 2%). It boosts your energy and you feel more active than ever.
Include some healthy eating habits in your daily routine to increase the benefits caused by a standing desk.
As you get more energetic, you will find it easier to hold a good posture during work.
Before You Go!
If you are looking for ways to lose some weight, you might have certain expectations from your standing desk as well. After all, we also just mentioned how you can cut some extra calories with it. But is it enough to transform your body? Check out our discussion on whether a standing desk helps you burn calories or not.