Research shows it’s bad for your health to sit for prolonged periods of time. An American Cancer Society study found sitting for six or more hours per day has been linked to higher risks of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes.
But for many of us, a day at work means hours of sitting. Now, an alternative seems to be gaining popularity. A recent survey found that 60% of companies provide or subsidize standing desks.
Studies have shown that standing desks can be good for your health, but there are correct ways to use them to maximize these benefits.
For starters, it’s not good to stand for too long, either. If you’re new to using a standing desk, allow your body to acclimate by using it in 15-minute increments, slowly building up to one hour of continual use. Doctors suggest alternating between sitting and standing every hour when using a standing desk.
Standing idly puts pressure on your legs, which can increase swelling, knee pain and varicose veins. As a result, it’s important to incorporate movement and stretches while you stand. Calf raises, neck rolls and yoga poses are good ways to keep your body moving. If possible, invest in an anti-fatigue mat, which combats exhaustion by encouraging you to move your legs frequently.
When using a standing desk, wear proper footwear. Find shoes with arch support or insert gel soles into your shoes.
Finally, remember to take breaks. A standing desk helps break up the monotony of sitting at work, but standing and staring at a computer screen for too long isn’t great, either. Walk away from your screen, socialize with colleagues and get fresh air.