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October 07, 2021

Standing Desk Ergonomics

Standing desks and productivity are very closely linked and for many people. They are the best option for a healthy work environment. We are going to show you exactly how a standing desk can work for your workspace.

Not only does a proper workspace improve productivity, but it can also prevent several adverse physical conditions from arising. Astanding desk is a great way to ensure you have a workspace that you thrive in.

We are going to show you how standing desks are ergonomic, how to use standing desks correctly and the benefits associated with them.

standing desk ergonomics

Are Standing Desks Ergonomic?

The short answer is that standing desks can be a great ergonomic factor in your office. You just need to know how to make them work for you. 

In essence, ergonomics describes the process of arranging a workspace to fit the worker. Ergonomics aims to create workplaces that are productive, comfortable and safe for employees. With a standing desk, you are embracing the positions your body is suited for. 

Some of the main principles relevant to an ergonomic environment are: 

  • Working in a comfortable and neutral position
  • Working at the proper height for your head, eyes and arms
  • Being able to move and stretch often 

These principles basically mean that to optimise your workplace, you need to make sure your body is in a natural position while you work. You also need to make sure your computer and desk are the correct height for your eyes to avoid unnecessary strain on your back and neck. 

Lastly, you need to ensure that you can move around and stretch during your work hours. Staying in one position for too long can be harmful to your body.

When used correctly, a standing writing desk can be a great ergonomic accessory. This is because it encourages you to move more than a standing desk would.Standing work desks allow for easier movement and stretching throughout the day. 

Standing desks give your body more space to spread out naturally. This is opposed to sitting desks where your limbs are often confined. 

When it comes to productivity, a standing position makes an employee more alert and attentive to their tasks. These factors combined mean that standing desks are very efficient for an ergonomic environment. 

How to Set Up a Standing Desk Ergonomically 

Whether you are using it as astanding game desk or astanding reading desk, the guide to a standing desk’s ergonomics remains the same. This tutorial will help you get the most out of your standing desk.

Desk Height

First up, you need to set the height of the desk. Your standing desk should be set to the height of your elbows. This means that when you are working on your keyboard, your forearms should be parallel to the floor. 

The aim is to minimise the movement of your arms, hands and neck while you work. The desk should be a comfortable height to rest your forearms on.

Monitor Height

Next, you need to ensure the monitor of your screen is set up correctly. The top of your computer monitor needs to be level with your eyes. The top of the monitor should be slightly tilted backwards (about 2 or 3cm backwards).

The idea here is to prevent you from having to tilt your neck to see or type. Tilting your head too much for long periods puts a lot of stress on your neck muscles.

stand up desk ergonomics

Arranging Items On Your Desk

Your computer mouse should remain close to your keyboard to avoid unnecessary strain or pressure on your wrists. This strain can come from moving your hands and wrists too much in unnatural positions. This is particularly important forstanding desks for video editors who use their mouses often. 

If you have any extra items on your desk, arrange them so that the items you use the most are closest to your hands. This improves efficiency. For example, if you keep stationery, a cup of water or a phone on your desk you will not have to unnecessarily stretch.

Extra Accessories For Your Standing Desk 

You can get some optional add-ons to your standing desk to optimise your comfort. For example, you can get an anti-fatigue mat designed to reduce fatigue on your feet. 

Anti-fatigue mats combat fatigue by encouraging subtle movement in the legs. This combats tiredness caused by standing by improving blood flow to the legs and feet. 

Additional arm supports are also an option for your standing desk. They attach to the desk to provide soft padding underneath your arms and wrists. This avoids unnecessary movement in the wrists and is more comfortable than resting your arms on the desk. 

You can also get a leaning seat that creates an angle between your torso and legs. These ‘seats’ give you the option to lean back while working at your standing desk. This is helpful for creating a variety of positions for your body to be in while working. 

How To Stand at a Standing Desk 

After setting up your desk for your personal requirements, there are also a few things to note when you are actually working at your desk.

Position Yourself Correctly

Make sure you have enough distance between your eyes and your computer screen while working. The distance from the screen to your eyes should be between 51-71cm. This distance should be measured when you are in the correct posture and not slouching forward.

Work in a position so that your wrists are at a 180-degree angle to your forearms. In other words, you need to try and keep your wrists as flat and straight as possible. If your wrists are in an arched position, this can be damaging in the long run.

You can also rest your one foot up on something like a small bin or footrest if it feels right for you. You can then change your position frequently from standing on both legs to just one at a time. With time, you can even move into stretching positions once in a while. 

Posture

While you are working at the desk, try to keep a good posture with your shoulders back. You should not let your shoulders get into a rounded position. Keep your back straight but not too arched.

Good posture also means keeping your knees slightly bent while you stand. This is a good neutral position to avoid hyperextension and your joints locking. 

Your head should be straight, staring directly at your computer monitor and not tilted up or down. If you have set up the desk correctly, you should not feel the need to do this. 

Lastly, remember that comfortable shoes are your best friend. High heels are not complementary to standing desk ergonomics. 

ergonomics standing desk

Are Standing Desks Worth It?

It may seem like a strange concept to stand while working on a computer. Are standing desks even worth it? Yes, the benefits of a standing desk are worth the adjustment. Let us explain why.

Standing Desks vs Seated Desks

Sitting on a chair for long periods is bad for your health. In fact, those who sit while working have been shown to have a higher propensity for diabetes and heart diseases. 

Those who sit while working also burn fewer calories in the day compared to those who stand or move around and work. This is why there are links to sitting for prolonged periods and obesity.

Sitting all day reduces the amount you move around. Your body is not in a position where movement is encouraged. Less movement decreases your blood circulation and increases any aches and pains experienced in your body. 

Studies have also shown that users of standing desks tend to have more energy and less stress overall. This improvement returned to normal when users went back to a seated desk. Using standing desks in your office can improve the morale of your employees. 

standing desk ergonomic

Other Benefits of Standing Desks

Not only do standing desks reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease and weight gain, they also reduce the back pain experienced by many office employees. Impressively, participants in a study reported a 32% improvement in their lower back pain after trying standing desks. 

Standing desks are also well known for boosting productivity in the workplace. Studies have shown a huge increase in the daily work done by employees behind a standing desk. They make it more bearable for workers to be behind their computers.

Overall, yes, standing desks are worth it. There are both physical and mental benefits when using standing desks. 

How Do I Get a Standing Desk at Work? 

If the article has convinced you of the benefits of a standing desk, you may be wondering, ‘how do I ask for a standing desk at work?’ If you are working for someone else, you may feel a bit awkward asking for a standing desk.

Are Employers Obliged to Provide Standing Desks?

Do Employers have to provide standing desks? Unfortunately, no. Your employer is notobligedto provide a standing desk for you. This does not mean you won't be able to convince them though.

If you do want to ask your employer to provide one for you, make sure you have your facts ready. If you can explain the benefits (short and long term) of standing desks, it will be difficult for your employer to refuse your request.

How to Ask Your Employer For a Standing Desk

Explain to your employer thatstanding desks in Australia can be bought for very reasonable prices. Your employer’s main concern will likely be how much they are going to have to spend on a standing desk. Fortunately, standing desks will cater for any computer or laptop system so these will not need to be replaced.

While it will still be an extra cost to purchase a standing desk, it is much cheaper than your employer paying a WorkCover claim down the road. Emphasise the research in favour of standing desks boosting productivity and reducing the chances of injuries. 

Aside from preventing physical injuries, standing desks reduce the chances of employees tripping over wires and cords. Believe it or not, this is a big contributor to workplace injuries. 

In this sense, standing desks are investments for the workplace. If you can show your employer these facts, how could they refuse?

Related Reads:

  1. What Is The Ideal Ergonomic Monitor Height For Me?
  2. How To Set Up An Ergonomic WorkStation
  3. Ergonomic Assessments By Occupational Health & Safety Experts In Melbourne
  4. Do Standing Desks Increase Productivity?
  5. Correct Posture For Office Chairs
  6. How Long Should I Stand At My Standing Desk?
  7. The Benefits of Standing Desks
  8. Standing Desk Height
  9. Standing Desk Stance Posture
  10. Best Computer Chairs For Long Hours

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