Health Effects of Sitting Vs. Standing at a Desk
As people continue working from home without a defined end in sight, it’s essential to create an ergonomic workspace that increases productivity while decreasing discomfort. Thankfully, there are several options when setting up your home office, including a traditional desk or the increasingly popular standing desk. Here are the pros and cons to consider before rearranging your work area.
Should I Sit While Working?
Sitting has been the traditional method for office work since its inception. However, studies show that this setup can be detrimental to your health without proper conditions. There are still several benefits for sitting, including body stabilization to perform tasks and less stress on the body during an 8-hour workday.
Nevertheless, poor sitting posture can strain the neck, shoulders, and spine. This sedentary position compresses the spine for hours at a time, leading to nerve pain and disc herniation or degeneration. Not to mention, desk jobs require less energy, which can cause weight gain and have been linked to increased risk of death. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure a conducive workspace.
Tips for Sitting Properly
- Support your low back with a pillow
- Keep your hips and knees at a right angle, with your feet flat on the floor
- Rest your elbows at a level height with your keyboard, and keep your wrist at a relaxed downward tilted angle
- Take frequent 1- to 2-minute breaks to stretch or walk around every 20 to 30 minutes
Check out our blog for a comprehensive guide on sitting at a desk all day.
Should I Use a Standing Desk?
More people are turning to standing desks in the hopes that it provides the opposite effects of sitting. Standing uses 20% more energy and engages the muscles, which increases core strength. With good posture, a standing desk can even help decrease neck and upper back pain.
Regardless, standing for 8 hours a day also has drawbacks, including added pressure on the knees, hips, and balls of the feet as well as compromised wrist posture, which can lead to carpal tunnel. Bad posture can make the situation even worse, because as you tire, you may lock your knees, disengage your core and cause imbalance. Plus, continued energy use strains the circulatory system.
An increased focus on your stance can make standing a beneficial part of your workday.
Tips for Standing Properly While Working
- Wear supportive shoes and stand on an anti-fatigue mat
- Stack your shoulders, torso, and hips
- Periodically shift your weight onto either leg
- Work your way up to standing, starting for a couple of minutes each hour and gradually increasing the time
Chiropractic Care for Office Workers
Either method you choose can cause some strain on your body, so it’s crucial to find a sit-stand balance and keep your body aligned. Chiropractic care is a holistic treatment option, so your chiropractor will offer the best advice for your working conditions.
Additionally, chiropractic adjustments address spinal misalignments from sitting and relieve joint pain in the lower extremities from standing. Your chiropractor will help restore proper posture so that you can maintain it while working. One vital part of chiropractic care at Total Body Chiropractic & Massage is massage therapy, which can also relieve swelling and release tension in the muscles to help you feel more comfortable throughout the day.
If you’re feeling pain during your workday or considering changing your setup, schedule a visit with our skilled staff. We’ll ensure that you’re prepared to make the switch and keep you balanced while working from home.