Why A Height Adjustable Sit Stand Desk Is Healthier Than Sitting All Day In An Office Chair

Using a sit stand desk makes a lot of sense as recent research has shown that prolonged sitting is not good for us.

A new study carried out by the American Cancer Society of some 120,000 people with no previous history of serious illness shows worrying statistics. It found that mortality rates increased by 37% for women and 18% for men who spent more than 6 hours a day sitting compared to those spending less than 3 hours a day sitting.

Sobering as this is, perhaps it isn't so very surprising when you consider human evolution over thousands and thousands of years was built around walking and moving. Suddenly in no time historically speaking this has fundamentally changed and sitting has taken over our lives.

When we are sitting we simply aren't burning off calories in the same way that we do when we are standing and on the move.

Recently a thought provoking Businessweek article Your Office Chair Is Killing You drew attention to the problems with sitting. It points out that sitting concentrates the most pressure on the back’s discs whereas when standing the body's weight is distributed through the hips, knees and ankles.

The article suggests that the best sitting option is a semi standing position because this enables your weight to be carried through the legs reducing the load on your back.

This makes good sense and chairs like HÅG's Capisco and the Via Swopper Stool perform very well for this way of working. They give good support and allow a more open healthy posture, and if you feel the need they can still be used at a regular seat height too.

Given the evidence that sitting for prolonged periods every day is unhealthy and undesirable what should you do if you have a conventional office seat?

Standing Offers A Healthier Alternative To Only Sitting At Work

Rather than trying to find the perfect office chair a healthier alternative may well be to think about working at a height adjustable desk. In an interesting study by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Research Laboratory at Cornell University it was found computer workers noted substantial decreases in musculoskeletal pain after just 4-6 weeks working at a sit stand desk. Not only that, it found 4 out of 5 taking part preferred this way of working instead of a fixed height desk.

Using a sit stand workstation opens up the possibility to a much healthier way of working. By making it possible to both stand and sit when working you are able to gain much more variation and movement during the day.

This additional healthy activity relieves aching muscles and changes the focus from your office chair. Instead it becomes an alternative way of working rather than the only way of performing your daily tasks.

This approach to office work has a number of key benefits including:

  • Better back health, relieves pressure on spine and pelvic area
  • Higher energy levels, feel more alert and mentally awake
  • Improved working comfort, through variation of working posture
  • Greater productivity
  • Better blood circulation and muscle nourishment
  • Stronger and healthier muscles reducing aches and pains

This way of working whilst relatively new in the US has long been common place in Europe and Scandinavia where it has been enthusiastically adopted over many years.

So whilst replacing your office chair might still seem important, it could well be that the better option is to begin by investing in a height adjustable desk first. In fact you may even find you no longer feel the need to change your office chair once you move to this method of working.

For further information read this review of an excellent range of electrically height adjustable desks, offering a wide choice of top styles and designs.

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