Since the start of the pandemic, many of us have been working from home and are likely to continue doing so until the pandemic is officially over. While waiting for the arrival of the vaccines against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), we have to do our part to curb the spread of the disease in the country. This includes continuing to work-from-home (WFH).
Aside from the WFH essentials such as computers, one of the more eye-catching details is the use or integration of standing desks to their home offices:
A standing desk is basically a desk that allows you, the user, to stand comfortably while working. Standing while working has been proven to improve the health of workers, these benefits are:
Reduces back pain. Did you know that 80 percent of office workers will experience back pain from sitting all day? A study in 2011 called the Take-a-Stand project found that those who spend an average of 66 minutes of their work day standing experienced 54 percent reduction in upper back and neck pain.
Lower risk of heart disease. A study found that a sedentary lifestyle has been linked to a 90 percent increase in cardiovascular mortality and 147 percent increase in the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks, compared to an active lifestyle. A study conducted in 1953 featured bus conductors and drivers. The study found that the conductors had half of the risk of heart disease related deaths compared to the drivers.
Lower risk of weight gain and obesity. Standing while working can burn more calories which results in reducing the risk of weight gain by burning 0.15 calories per minute because of the muscle activity that happens while standing.
Improves mood and energy levels. Standing has also been proven to improve mood and energy levels. The Take-a-Stand project also found that participants reported less stress and fatigue, and an increased vigor and energy throughout the day compared to those who seated.
Boost productivity. Standing while working has been found to boost productivity despite concerns of it hindering daily tasks. In fact, standing for four hours a day has been found to boost productivity rather than hinder it, and had no impact in tasks whatsoever.
With so many proven benefits to standing while working, maybe it is time to convert our desks into standing ones. Here are some ways to do so if buying one is not an option:
Place a lap desk or a small table on top of the workstation. You can also use boxes or any small tables to do this and adjust according to your height or your comfort level. A coffee table or side table can work and this makes for a more stable solution, compared to just lifting the monitor (or laptop), keyboard, and mouse.
Raise your existing desk by placing blocks or other items underneath the legs. This may not be the most graceful or picture-perfect way but it gives you more surface area if you are the type who needs more elbow space.
Move your work station to a dresser. Or cabinet or chest of drawers. You can also use a book case.
Make your own. If you are handy with a pair of tools, then building or making your own standing desk may be the best option for you. There are plenty of videos on Youtube that tutors you how to make your own desk. Just remember that the top of the standing desk should be slightly below the height of your elbow and that the top portion of your screen should be at eye level.
Use a shelf and brackets. If you want a more rustic look, a plank of wood. This kind of set up can work if you have a small space. Install shelving brackets to the wall and place the shelf or plank on top of it. Secure this by screwing the shelf on top for a more sturdy work station.
As with many changes, give your mind and body time to adjust to the new position. Once you have done so, you will see yourself reap the benefits of standing while working.