Standing the Right Way
As humans evolved to stand on two legs, it might sound silly that we’d have to consider proper ways of standing after investing in a standing desk. After all, we’ve been propping ourselves up for hundreds of thousands of years. What makes a standing desk so special?
Like all things in life, too much of it is bad. Just like sitting, the ability to stand all day is just as detrimental to the body, resulting in even more long term health issues, ranging from varicose veins to incorrect posture. Luckily, like most things as well, there are precautions that can be taken to prevent any sort of permanent damage.
Buy a Chair
Every standing desk should come with a standing chair. The only way to truly stave off the negative effects of standing too much is to vary the body between standing and sitting throughout the day. Keep in mind that this chair doesn’t have to be anything fancy. It could even be a stool. The most important feature to keep, however, is adjustability. In order to save workers from the hassle of having to adjust their desks to meet their chair’s requirements, get a chair that can adjust to fit the desk.
Buy a Footrest
Beyond the chair, there are other ways to protect the body when it is forced to stand for extended periods of time. A footrest allows the user to help ease pressure off of one side of their body, allowing it to decompress and return to a rested state. Keep in mind, though, that the footrest can never replace a chair. One side at a time when resting doesn’t do much in the grand scheme of permanent body damage.
Like sitting, standing becomes a lot less harmful if you actually stand correctly. Unfortunately, this is something few people understand and even fewer people practice. In order to stand properly, it’s all about keeping the shoulders back, chest out and head held high. This posture can easily be found by standing with your back to a wall with the head, shoulders and bottom rested against it.
It should be noted that even if you do practice this perfect posture, you are still at risk for a malformed back should you stand too much. Gravity pushes down on our vertebrae. Allowed to do this for an extended period of time, the back begins to permanently contort, resulting in the numerous back issues we see today.
Is there a proper way to use a standing desk to avoid physical harm? Yes. Alternate between standing and sitting based on what your body is telling you. Do not allow your office to order standing desks without also ordering chairs. Footrests are optional but further help the cause and practicing a straight back will do more for your health than an added on treadmill.