You’ve probably heard that sitting long hours at a desk hunched over your computer is not great for your back or posture. But does that mean that getting a standing desk is the ideal solution for desk ergonomics?
The Answer is Not so Simple.
I mean, we’ve seen plenty of people with poor posture standing up, right? Standing for hours on end won’t solve this problem. In fact, it’s likely to make it worse.
Take a look at the diagram below from LifeSpan Fitness that shows proper standing desk ergonomics. It shows that the height of your stand up desk (as well as your computer screen) can greatly affect your posture, including the angle of your neck, head and arms.
Optimal Standing Desk Height:
As you have probably figured out already, a desk that is too short can cause you to hunch over forward. A workstation that is too high can result in you arching your back and bending your neck. In either case, after 8 hours of work, your body probably won’t be feeling that great.
Essentially, you will have simply traded one back pain problem for another – all while spending money on a new desk (fabulous!). That’s why it is so important to purchase or build a workstation with an adjustable height – or one that is perfectly sized for you.
Another thing to consider is being in a stationary position all day long. Our bodies are meant to move, and whether you choose to sit at work or stand, your muscles, joints and bones may not appreciate long periods of non-movement.
Are Treadmill Desks Better?
Walking workstations can provide a big benefit if you work in front of your computer for long periods of time. Your body can stay moving throughout the day. This can help prevent joints from getting stiff and muscles tightening up. And heck – you can burn some calories while your at it!
Similar to a standing computer desk, you need to adjust treadmill workstations to the proper height for ideal desk ergonomics. The process is the same because the the treadmill belt remains flat without any incline.
So, What is the Best Standing Desk Height?
In order to figure out the right standing desk height for you, take your body measurements while standing. Have your arms are bent at a 90 degree angle and your eyes looking straight forward so your neck does not have to bend. It’s as simple as that, although if you’d like to use a calculator, you can find one here.
Keep in mind that if you plan to use a treadmill or wear shoes with elevated heals, you will need to incorporate those measurements into the height. In addition, if you use a laptop computer, you may want to consider getting a separate keyboard. Therefore, you can elevate your monitor without having to raise the level of your keyboard.
Sit, Stand or Walk at Your Desk:
Whichever work style you choose, don’t assume that you will be stuck with one option for the rest of your career. Some people like adjustable standing desks that can lower to a seated level. Other people who get under-desk treadmills sometimes stop the belt for periods of time and simple stand.
In my book, moving is good and change is good. Plus, with an ergonomic standing desk, at the end of the day, you won’t feel like you need to have a massage…