Sitting is shaving precious years off of our desk-bound lifespans: We’re told, “men who sit six hours a day are 20 percent more likely to die than men who sit three hours a day, and women who sit six hours a day are 40 percent more likely to die.” The beauty of a sit-stand desk is that it allows you to either sit or stand throughout your computer-bound time. That means, throughout the day, you can be doing both. But if you are not utilizing your sit-stand desk to its full potential you are missing out. The following are some suggested add-ons that will help you maximize your standing desk benefits:
Get a Good Chair
There is a good chance that you’ll be sitting more than you’ll be standing. So, a good ergonomic chair designed for both the task and the sitter is critical. The chair must fit the sitter. One size cannot fit all. The ergonomic design, size, and its ability to adjust the task and to the individual, matter. To provide proper support, the width of the seat pan and the distance between the arm rests are vital factors. Some individuals require a short seat pan, while others need it to be fairly deep. The width of the back and the location of the lumbar support are important. The chair height range is also critical. In addition, the chair must be easily readjusted to relieve pressure points.
Get a Mat to Stand On
Often an afterthought, an anti-fatigue mat greatly enhances productivity by reducing fatigue and discomfort caused by standing. Anti-fatigue mats, or sit-stand mats, protect feet, legs and back from physical aches and strains while enhancing a sense of well-being and making it easier to stand for longer periods. This product goes a long way in helping you maximize standing desk benefits.
Get a Reminder App for your Mobile Device or Computer
It’s easy to get absorbed in what we’re doing. Suddenly we realize that time has flown by and we’re still plugging away at our computer and haven’t moved for hours. Because of the widespread recognition, a multitude of apps that address this are now available. The list below, provided by the University of Missouri System, may help you find one that works well for you.
iPad & iPhone
Android Phones & Tablets
Use A Detached Keyboard with your Laptop
A detached keyboard and mouse are essential to your laptop’s transition into an ergonomically designed device. These components are relatively inexpensive and readily available online or at your local box store. This should be considered mandatory if you use your laptop at work as your main computer. If you want to go more in-depth with laptop ergonomics, you can read this blog post.
Using a detached keyboard allows your keyboard to be positioned at the proper keying height while the screen of the laptop can be placed at the right distance and viewing angle, which bring us to our next point.
Use a Monitor Arm or Laptop Holder
Experts continually advise: “Have your monitor directly in front of you and the top line of your monitor at or just below eye level, and approximately an arm’s length away from your body. You will need to have your monitor much lower and likely closer if you use bi or trifocals so you can avoid having to frequently extend and flex your head. Expect these viewing angles to change as you transition from sitting to standing.
--Tip your monitor slightly back and away from you. This makes it easier to read and less stressful to your eyes natural reading angle.”
These recommendations are often unattainable with monitors that are attached to a monitor stand and virtually impossible with laptops without a detached keyboard.
Stick with the Program Until it Becomes A Habit
Some optimistically say it takes 8 days to form a habit. The more popular belief is 21 days. In 2009, a research study was performed by University College London involving 96 participants which concluded that it takes 66 days to develop a new habit to the point where it becomes automatic. Getting a new sit-stand desk will do nothing for your personal well-being. Making a habit of using its attributes and the accessories that are available could be a lifesaver!
How do you maximize the benefits of your sit-stand desk?