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Should You Use a Sit/Stand Desk?

by | Aug 23, 2021

These days, millions of more people are working from home than ever before.  Many of those members of the at-home workforce had little to no warning that their work environment would be changing so drastically and so suddenly.  They were given the work-from-home order without being given the proper tools to execute their jobs efficiently and without negatively affecting their posture and their health.  They also have had limited instruction, if any, on how to properly set up an ergonomically correct home workstation.  This has left most to do the best they can with what they have on hand.  Some of the most commonly seen home workstations are a laptop on the kitchen table or counter, sitting on the couch, or even sitting in bed.  All these suboptimal options are a recipe for decreased productivity and increased postural stress, resulting in chronic neck, shoulder, and back pain, as well as headaches and other physical complaints.  Repeated studies have shown that prolonged periods working on a computer that is not set up properly have negative effects on health.

So, what can you do to improve your situation?

First and foremost, it is important to set up your home workstation at an actual desk that is designed for this purpose.  You simply cannot replicate the attributes of a good desk by setting your computer on the kitchen table.  A good quality office chair is also important to give you proper support while sitting.  This brings us to the question, “How can I minimize the stress of prolonged sitting while I’m working?”  One answer is to take frequent breaks to get up, stretch and walk around.  Another option is to incorporate a sit/stand desk into your workstation.  Sit/stand desks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, offering different features.

When selecting a sit/stand desk, it is important to consider the size.  You need to make sure that it is large enough to accommodate your monitor, keyboard, and mouse.  Even if you use a laptop for your home workstation, a separate keyboard and mouse are important to an ergonomically correct setup because they should be lower than your monitor to decrease neck and shoulder strain.  You should also make sure that it is not too large for your existing desk.  This could potentially interfere with your productivity because the other material you may need for your job may need to be displaced to another surface, scattering everything you need to efficiently do your job.

One option is an aftermarket platform that sits on top of your existing desk.  You can raise and lower it as needed.  One drawback is that it takes up a lot of real estate on your desktop and can interfere with productivity if you repeatedly need to reach down to access materials on your desktop while you are standing.

Another option is a desk in which the entire desktop raises and lowers as you go from sitting to standing.  This is helpful, as it leaves everything on your desk undisturbed when you go from one position to the other.  However, one drawback to this type of desk is cost.  These desks often cost more than the other option.  And if you already have a traditional desk, that leaves you to figure out what to do with it if replaced by one of these desks.

Is there an ideal sit/stand desk?

There is no single sit/stand desk that fits everyone’s needs.  You will need to look at the available options and weigh the pros and cons as they relate to your specific situation.  There are many sit/stand desks on the market today, so choosing the right one for you may be no small task.  However, when you find the one that is right for you, your body will thank you.

Dr. David Iszler

Dr. David Iszler graduated Summa Cum Laude from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa in 1994. Dr. Iszler practiced in Casper, Wyoming for 24 years before selling his practice to move to Arizona. He now practices in Glendale, where he is blessed to serve families in the Northwest Valley. He and his wife, Sheryl, are also sought-after wellness speakers, sharing health and wellness advice with businesses and organizations in his community.