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Sit-Stand Ergonomics

The average American spends 55% of their waking time sitting! (Vanderbilt University Study, American Journal of Epidemiology, 2008).

The news is full of reports on the detriments to our health from sitting for extended time periods and the list of illnesses attributed to sitting is growing.  Our bodies just weren’t made to sit for long periods of time.   

But is standing all day healthier? The health benefits and risks of using a standing desk versus a seated desk are disputed. Research has linked health risks with both sitting and standing for prolonged periods. Changing your posture frequently is recommended. Your best position is your next position, so move!  Movement helps reduce fatigue and discomfort and addresses the risks of prolonged standing or sitting. 

Sit-stand workstations are designed to provide an effective solution that allows you to easily change your posture throughout the day. 

Benefits of a Sit-Stand Workstation:

  • Avoid fatigue and improve attentiveness
  • Increase blood flow and metabolism
  • Improve posture and comfort
  • Burn more calories at work
  • Boost your productivity and energy

Things to Consider When Buying a Sit-Stand Workstation Solution: 

  • Your height, especially your elbow height when standing and when seated.
  • Do you require independent adjustment of monitor and keyboard or a fixed position?
  • Number and weight of monitors and other desktop equipment. 
  • Do you need an adjustable work surface for writing, or for your phone and other equipment?
  • Consider your current needs (one or two monitors) and future needs so that the products you select will adapt as your needs change.  Will the product allow you to add a second monitor or a laptop?  Can the monitor be adjusted to the right height?
  • Do you need your keyboard height to be lower than desk height? Look for products that allow lower than desk height positioning.
  • How does the product attach to your desk?
  • Design for pinch points to ensure user safety.
  • Ease of assembly and installation, and stability of product.
  • Look for products that allow you to move effortlessly between standing and sitting throughout your work day.  Easier adjustments increase likelihood of adjustments.  Noisy, slow or otherwise inconvenient adjustments may not be effectively used.

Generally the more adjustable a sit-stand solution is and the more options it has, the more costly it will be.

Concerns: About Standing and Sitting  

Standing Concerns

Prolonged standing at work is associated with the development of diseases of varicose veins and lower leg discomfort.  Research has shown that standing in the same position for longer than 30 minutes may cause back pain, a reduction in circulation, and increased risk for cardiovascular disease.  Individuals with existing knee, ankle or hip problems may not be able to stand for longer periods.  Also, standing all day can be fatiguing.

If you choose to stand:

  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • Shift or elevate one foot to reduce low back stress
  • Consider using an anti-fatigue mat or shoe inserts, especially for a hard floor
  • Move! Alternate your posture or walk in place
  • Ease into standing by increasing the amount of time each day to allow your body to adjust

Prolonged Sitting Concerns

The list of negative health consequences that may happen as a result of sitting  for extended periods of time or a sedentary lifestyle include:

  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Deep-vein thrombosis
  • Glucose and insulin levels are adversely impacted with an increased risk of diabetes
  • Higher incidence of obesity
  • Reduction in metabolic rate

If you choose to sit:

  • Avoid static postures by standing up every 30 minutes for at least 30 seconds
  • Invest in a supportive, comfortable chair that provides good lumbar and thoracic support.  Adjustable chair arms allows shoulders and back muscles to relax

Need help configuring your Sit-Stand solutions? Call us to discuss alternatives.

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