I have been asked about the benefits of stand-up desks on numerous occasions from people who would like the option to stand and sit while working. So, I thought I would share what I know about the stand-up desks I’ve recommended and installed for clients. There is a variety of solutions to get you up from your desk and into a standing position.
When we are able to be physically moving while working and remain effective and efficient, then our productivity is increased and we feel better. Our bodies are designed to move and when we sit, studies are showing that sitting is affecting our health negatively, we are spending most of our days sitting this is contributing to the obesity rate and heart issues. Not only do we sit at work, we drive to work and drive home and then sit at home, exhausted from being at work and we sit down.
When we are in static positions for long periods of time our bodies respond with aches and pains, MSD (musculoskeletal disorders) and residually sitting has negative effects on our bodies.
Musculoskeletal Disorders or MSDs are injuries and disorders that affect the human body’s movement or musculoskeletal system (i.e. muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, discs, blood vessels, etc.). Common MSDs include: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Tendonitis. The Definition and Causes of Musculoskeletal Disorders
In Canada, musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) account for the most lost time injuries, the highest lost-time claim costs, and the most lost time work days of any type of injury. Worker's compensation board figures from various jurisdictions indicate that MSDs account for 25% to 60% of total annual compensation claims.
MSDs are often painful and disabling. They can interfere with all kinds of tasks at work, at home, and in recreation. Even in early stages, recovery from MSDs often requires months or even years of treatment. In severe cases, there may be permanent disability. CCOHS http://www.ccohs.ca/products/publications/msd/&print=true
With the options to alternate between sitting and standing while working, we can create more comfort, less injuries, and the added benefits of less time lost due to physical injury, and less insurance claims. Move movement keeps our body limber, adds to our physical well being, less fatigue and engaged at work.
It’s recommended to get up every 30-60 minutes for a mini break that helps our bodies function, keeping the blood flowing and our muscles engaged. A mini break can be going to the coffee station, when able and capable do a flight of stairs and return to your desk. You can also stand at your desk and do some stretches to keep your body energized and minimize fatigue.
To decrease the amount of time we sit, the new alternative is a height adjustable desk. Manufacturers are creating a variety of adjustable desks to accommodate most offices, they have created full desks that are able to lift, clamp on to your existing desk, and sit on top of your desk. Plus, there are adjustable arms and mobile stations. Height adjustable desks are a benefit to any workstation. Ergonomic products will continue to evolve as we change how we interact with our work spaces.
The best way to know if a height adjustable desk is right for you is to have an ergonomic assessment to ensure you are purchasing the best adjustable desk for your application and work flow.
The value of an ergonomic assessment:
· preventative injury reduction
· return to work after injury
· how to avoid MSD’s
· learn to adjust current furniture and equipment for better use and comfort
· implement small changes for huge impact
· create new behavioural habits
· easy steps for healthy bodies
· ergonomics and home life
· furniture and equipment knowledge
The goal is to create a healthy work environment for staff and employer and when we are able to alternate sitting to standing at our work station we add value to our health. It’s important to keep moving throughout our days as much as we can and to eat a nutritious and balanced diet.
When we implement new changes, a dedication to change is the key to your lasting change.
I SEE YOU, I HEAR YOU, YOU ARE IMPORTANT!