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Standing desks are trendy right now, but they’re not exactly your ticket to health. It’s actually all about motion.
Staying active — whether you sit or stand — is the best way to stay fit during office hours.
We’ve got sitters, standers and people who do both. Together, we came up with these tips for workplace health.
Take a Stand
It’s no surprise standing desks went viral. The trend hit home when studies started telling people sitting at their desk all day was killing them.
No one wants to hear about their impending demise, so everybody went out and bought a standing desk. Or rigged one up out of old phone books.
But now people are unhappy about standing and finding it’s not great for their legs.
We’ve got a couple workarounds you’ll want to embrace: The stool and the mat. The stool is helpful when you’re ready to give your legs a break, and the mat gives your feet some much-needed padding.
You’re also going to start noticing your shoes more than ever before. Even your typically comfy footwear might be lacking in support after a few hours.
Pull a Mr. Rogers and switch out your wardrobe when you get to work. Your feet will thank you.
Once you’ve got the footwear and the desk, you need the endurance.
Start standing for a couple hours and then sit for thirty minutes or so (on your stool, preferably; once you sit on the couch, you will never leave).
You can still get the full-body benefits of a standing desk with a desk chair. You just need to pay attention to your body.
What’s your posture like at your desk? Are you sitting slumped over? Are your feet touching the floor?
Ergonomic isn’t just a fancy word used to describe desk chairs. It’s a science behind the way we sit and stand, and if something is ergonomic, it will improve your posture, strengthen your core, and better your mood.
Slumping over in your chair isn’t just bad for your joints and muscles, it can impact your mood and your job performance.
You can fix your posture pretty easily.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center put together the snazzy graphic (found on your right), which explains the angles you should shoot for when setting up your workstation. With a standing desk, you should follow similar guidelines, keeping your elbows at a 90-degree angle with eyes looking down on your monitor.
Build a Pattern of Movement
Sitting isn’t bad, and neither is standing. But staying inactive for a long period of time is a killer.
Neither option will work for everyone. People with health issues might find standing impossible. And some people can’t imagine sitting throughout their shift.
No matter what you choose, we suggest breaking up with inactivity and adding some movement to your workday.
Don’t believe me? Just ask the folks at the Cornell Ergonomics Lab. They say “movement is important to get blood circulation through the muscles. And movement is FREE! Research shows that you don’t need to do vigorous exercise to get the benefits … build a pattern of creating greater movement variety in the workplace.”
- Start Small: Set a timer on your phone or computer to give you an alert every 20 minutes. This will give you a clear reminder it’s time to walk across the office or (even better) around the block. You can even stay at your desk and do some lunges or stretches. If your coworkers mock your motions, remind them it’s helping you live longer.
- Move your Workday: Not everyone has the luxury of working remotely, but one tip for those who do is to move your workspace. Start the day at your office and then move to a coffee shop for the afternoon. Work from home and rotate between rooms. This gives you reasons to move throughout the day.
- Hydrate: Yes, water is really good for your health, but this one is a sneaky way to get you moving. The more water you drink, the more often you walk to the break room for a refill … or to the bathroom.
You can easily improve your health at work — it just takes some conscious changes to your routine.
Here at 9 Clouds, we’re committed to a healthy, balanced work environment for our employees. Get more workplace tips along with digital marketing insight on our blog.