Will a standing desk really improve my well-being at work?
Answer: YES, it will.
There are many advantages to standing while working that most of us don’t even know about:
- Posture: Keeping your spine straight while you work and training your core helps you correct your posture, which significantly reduces back pain. Also, standing while working will rid you of neck pain. Why? Well, because your head will be much better aligned with the rest of your body when your computer screen is at eye level.
- Productivity: Standing as you work keeps you alert and awake. This is especially great after lunch when you don't want to be sedentary since your digestive system will have to work twice as hard and slow you down.
- Circulation: Standing up boosts your blood circulation as well as oxygen levels and promotes metabolism. Since your brain will be getting more oxygen and nutrient-rich blood flowing to your brain (complete with mood-enhancing substances), standing will also increase creativity.
Standing at work: the gradual approach
At first, we recommend standing up an hour for every two hours you sit down to fully optimise your performance. You can gradually raise the ratio over two to three weeks.
It may take you longer or less time to develop the habit of working standing up because everyone has a different adaptation curve for habits. A seamless, easy shift to a healthier working environment is the main aim of the game, so take your time, relax, and enjoy the journey. Never force yourself.
Now that you know the benefits of being vertical, you might be wondering which standing desk will suit your needs? Let’s take a look.
1. MECHANICALLY ADJUSTABLE STANDING DESKS
You must set the height of the desk at the hip level and position the laptop on the platform. The fundamental characteristic of these standing desks is that they require constant manual adjustment.
This sort of standing desk has the drawback of rarely having a second shelf to put the screen or monitor, which forces you to gaze down at the screen. To raise the computer screen to eye level, you will usually need to buy a laptop riser or a desktop stand.
2. ELECTRICALLY ADJUSTABLE STANDING DESKS
The way these standing desks work is the same as the mechanically adjustable ones, but with the benefit that you may change the height by pressing a button. Some of them even have memory buttons.
The price of these standing desks range from 200GBP to as much as 3,000GBP (that’s eye-watering).
3. CONVERTER STANDING DESKS
There are many models, types of materials, and price points in this category, including HumbleWorks.
Generally, converter standing desks let you elevate the computer screen to eye level and provide a shelf or platform at elbow height for your keyboard and mouse. These standing desks are designed to complement your sitting desk. Also, converter standing desks usually fold down and adjust easily, allowing you to switch between sitting and standing while working.
So, which standing desk to buy? There is no right answer.
Everything will rely on your needs, available space, and budget. That said, keep in mind that the whole purpose of having a standing desk is to improve your posture.
Some types of standing desks, primarily the mechanically and electrically adjustable ones, allow you to work while standing up. But, depending on the model you choose, you may still need to stoop down to look at the computer screen. This defeats the entire purpose of getting a standing desk.
The things that we suggest you MUST consider when buying a standing desk is to:
- Make sure that your head is NOT bending down towards the computer screen. You need to keep your head up at a 90-degree angle from the screen.
- Always have the keyboard at elbow level.
For more wellbeing-boosting advice and inspiration, read about these four essential standing desk exercises at work.