Are Rising Desks Beneficial for the Worker?

April 21, 2021

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Rising desks are becoming a popular trend in recent years. This is because people are becoming more health-conscious during their office hours. The rising desk helps make the workspace as ergonomic as possible. An ergonomic workspace is created for both efficiency and comfort.


“Sitting is the new smoking” is the new catchphrase that’s becoming viral on many blogs and online articles. 


Features of the Rising Desk


One of the important features of an adjustable rising desk is its height range. The rising desk should be around the elbows whether the user sitting or standing. 


  • When adjusting the height there should little or no sound. Too much noise can be distracting not only to the worker but also to other co-workers if in an office space.


  • The rising desk should have a weight capacity of at least 355 pounds so that the desk will not strain under the weight of the office equipment and prevent from wobbling.



What is a rising desk?


A rising desk, otherwise known as a standing desk, allows the user to work comfortably while standing up. These can be adjusted according to a person’s height and aim to provide the same ergonomic support while sitting.




Rising desks offer several health benefits that include:

 


  •  Standing consumes more calories than sitting down. Thus, standing throughout the workday can help lower weight gain.

    

  • Reduction of blood sugar spikes in people using rising desks. Standing is especially beneficial after lunch, while the body is digesting food.

    

  • It helps lower the risk of heart disease.

   

  •  It can reduce chronic back pain.

    

  • It reduces fatigue and boosts energy levels. People who used standing desks say they are less tired at the end of the day.



But using a rising desk can have its disadvantages:


  • Leg and foot pain: Standing too long puts pressure on the knees, hips, and feet and could result in pain. When lifting one foot to relieve the pressure can affect the posture.


  • Vein problems: It makes blood pool in leg veins when standing for an extended time. The veins in the legs expand to fit the extra blood and get weaker causing varicose veins. Standing for more than 6 hours a day is three times more chance to need surgery for varicose veins.


  • Standing won’t replace exercise: Walking can more than double the calorie burn. Studies showed treadmill desk users have great improvements in blood sugar and cholesterol levels than standing desk users.


  • Standing desks are not suited for every task. Experts recommend the best way to use a rising desk is to stand for a few minutes, sit, then stand again. Repeat this throughout the day. Do this incrementally, stand for just 30 minutes a few times a day. You can add an hour each working day once you are able to build up resistance.



The importance of posture


When it comes to posture, the most important thing is to make sure that the worker is always moving and maintaining good posture. A combination of both sitting and standing throughout the day is favorable to good health.


  • Good posture can lead to many health benefits. It also reduces back pain resulting in fewer headaches. Muscle tension in the neck and back has been long associated with headaches.


  • Alternating between sitting and standing can reduce muscle soreness. Thus, switching positions can wake the body up, improve circulation and make the user more alert.


  • Good posture can improve breathing. Standing gives the lungs more space to expand.



Here are some tips for an ergonomic workspace that includes both sitting and standing:

 

  • Avoid ”vulture neck” – this is the result of leaning the head too far forward when looking at a screen. Massage therapists have seen many patients suffering from neck soreness when leaning too much.


  • Avoid hanging the phone on the neck all the time, use a headset or speaker when speaking on the rising desk.


  • Make sure the head is at eye level with the computer when looking at the screen


  • Keep the arms level with the desk, and keep your mouse within easy reach from the chair.

   

  • When you sitting, place a footrest to elevate the feet whenever possible. This helps minimize lower back pain.

    

  • Stand for just 10-15 minutes at a time. If sitting for a long period of time, the body needs time to adjust. Starting in small intervals is essential.

    

  • Stand squared in front of the computer with the arms at 90 degrees.


  • Remove the habit of hunching or leaning on the desk as if it’s a counter.

 

  • When standing, have one foot elevated, and one on the floor. This helps the lower back throughout the day with the shifting of the bodyweight between your feet


  • Adjust the rising desk so the body is properly aligned. The head, neck, and spine should be in a straight line when standing. 

 


  • An anti-fatigue mat that is made of rubber helps in reducing fatigue from standing on a hard surface.



Go for a walk


The next best thing to do during the workday is to go for a walk.  The research was done using 74 healthy participants doing computer work while sitting, standing, or walking on a treadmill showed:

 

  • When sitting down, the participants burned 80 calories per hour each.

  

  • When standing up, they each burned 88 calories per hour.

   

  • When walking, each participant burns 210 calories an hour.



Conclusion:


The best thing to improve the health of workers doing their jobs throughout the workday is to get up and move.


Standing can burn just 8 calories more per hour than sitting. It’s not much, but this can eliminate unwanted weight gain. Adding movement by walking while working offers the most health benefits with more calories burned and can improve muscle tone and cardiovascular health. 

Treadmill desks like the Home office All-in-One Desk Bike/Bike Workstation V9 are a great way to add movement at work. But the best way to add movement is to take a break from work and go for a walk. Walking is the best form to burn calories faster.


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