A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic

Make your sit-stand station work for you

Sitting too much is harmful to your health. A sedentary lifestyle has been linked to obesity, heart disease and cancer.

But standing too much isn’t necessarily healthy either.

“The key is moving around,” said Brenda Castellano, a physical therapist assistant with Marshfield Clinic. “Sit-stand desks allow employees to move, which is key to being healthy.”

When to stand versus sit

Castellano said not to let 30 minutes go by without some kind of movement.

Something as simple as 15-20 seconds of standing and stretching, or doing some shoulder blade pinches can help,” Castellano said. “I actually tell employees to drink water throughout the day so they walk to the bathroom more often.”

Make reminders or cues if you find yourself in one position over the other.

For example, stand:

  • After a long meeting
  • After lunch
  • When you take a phone call

“Once your body feels stiff and sore, it’s almost too late to move,” Castellano said. “You should try to move around and stretch before that happens.”

Your body will cue you when to sit. If your feet are achy or you find yourself slouching, lower your desk and work on your sitting posture.

Find the right adjustable desk

“We’re different heights, so we require appropriately-sized adjustable desks. Not all sit-stand stations work for everyone,” Castellano said.

Desks that are too small can create a risk of carpal tunnel, rounded shoulders, back pain and neck pain.

Find an adjustable height desk with a range of movement where you can properly align ergonomics to fit your needs.

It should have various points of adjustment like keyboard, monitor and writing areas to name a few.

“Finding a desk that works well with your daily tasks is important. If you write a lot or refer to hard-copy documents, an entire desk area that raises and lowers may be better-suited for your needs. That way you can easily move from your keyboard to writing areas,” Castellano said.

Follow this guide to successfully fine-tune your adjustable desk.

Standing desk illustration/infographic

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