Sit-stand desks are the latest trend. There are endless articles convincing you of the health benefits of using a height adjustable desk. A casual browse of the literature out there would have you convinced that using this desk is the key to immortality. What they don’t tell you is that using these desks incorrectly is just as detrimental for your health as sitting at a cubicle desk all day. Check out the 5 most common mistakes people make when using sit-stand desks and so you can get the most of your buy.
1. Standing for Too Long
Standing at your desk all day may feel like a healthy alternative to sitting. But, failing to alternate between sitting and standing is just as unhealthy as sitting all day. Standing for prolonged periods of time strains the muscles in your legs and can cause cramping. Instead of jumping on the standing-only bandwagon, listen to your own body’s intelligence by sitting when you feel tired and standing when you feel ready again. Experience the greatest health benefits by switching between the two options throughout the day.
2. Standing with Poor Posture
Standing desks are only as good for you as your posture is. If you buy a standing desk only to slouch, congratulations, you’ve defeated the entire purpose of using a height-adjustable desk. If you want the health benefits of using a height-adjustable desk, you’ll need to sit and straight with great posture. What are some ways you can improve your posture? Raise your screen to eye level, stand and sit with your shoulders rolled back, and position your keyboard at elbow height.
3. Straining Your Legs
Whenever you stand, your feet, legs, and knees are forced to support your weight. Why do we think we can stand at our desk for hours without paying attention to the support we give our lower extremities? Break up your sitting and standing with restoration times. Stretch and flex your legs and feet, rest them on a step stool, and mess with a foam roller. If you really feel like showing your legs and feet some love, invest in a good old pair of ugly dad sneaker and stand on a soft mat.
3. Using the Desk Alone
If you are one of those green smoothie gulping 4-am gym members who stand with perfect posture, get out. Jokes aside, most people do not stand or sit with great posture, just like most people don’t chug a spirulina shake with vigor. If you struggle with good posture, use accessories that enhance your ability to use your sit-stand desk effectively. Use props that elevate your keyboard, apps that remind you to stand or sit tall, and position your laptop screen to minimize neck strain.
4. Spending too much money
You don’t need to shell out hundreds of dollars to get the most out of your sit-stand desk. Figure out what you need and pour your resources there. For example, do you already have good posture but experience muscle cramping in your legs? Focus on a yoga strap or step stool to stretch your leg. Strategize your spending to save money while getting the most out of your desk.
Yes, sit-stand desks are great, but they’re only as good for your health as how you choose to use them. Follow the suggestions above to get the most out of the desk, and if you’re lucky, maybe it will grant you with enough health to become immortal.