A Physiotherapist’s Advice On How To Select A Standing Desk

How has standing desk converter changed the way we work?

An Australian spends an average of 6 hours per day sitting at work according to Heart Foundation. Compared to a traditional desk, a standing desk converter encourages movement.

Why is movement so important in the office? A human body is not made to remain in a same position for long periods at a time. If you are sitting on a chair with a hunched back/neck typing away for hours at a time, your muscles will become overused in some areas, and underused in other areas. Sitting puts 90% more pressure on your back compared to standing, according to Cornell University Department of Ergonomics. After some time, certain muscles will shorten and weaken. This condition is irreversible if nothing is done about it, and it is what causes all the backaches and pains that too many Australians are experiencing.

In fact, sitting for more than 4 hours a day leads to a variety of health problems that cannot be undone despite exercising outside of your working

hours, according to Get Australia Standing. The negative impact of excessive sitting is real and chronic.

The prevalence of back pain in Australia is astonishing, which explains why ergonomic solutions are becoming so popular in Australia workplaces. Employers and employees alike are looking for ways to keep active and healthy at work.

How prevalent is back pain in Australia and can a standing desk overcome this problem

Back pain is a real burden for many Australians. At least 70% of Australians will suffer from lower back pain at one point in their lives. A staggering 16% or 3.7 million Australians already have back problems, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014-15 National Health Survey.

There are many reasons for back pain. However, postural stress or sitting too long in a poor rounded posture is one of the most common cause of lower back pain.

As such, investing in an height adjustable standing desk converter is a logical solution for many Australians to overcome the problems associated with back pain and poor posture. But what’s next?

Invest wisely: 3 most important tips for choosing a sit stand desk

There is more to a standing desk converter other than sitting and standing. A standing desk converter is a mid to long term investment for your health, so you should select it carefully. In this article, we will be helping you list out the most important ergonomic features a standing desk converter should have.

Tip 1: A standing desk converter should not aggravate your back pain further

If you have an existing back pain, I recommend trying out the standing desk before purchasing it.

A manual standing desk works on gas spring and it requires lifting. Please test it out to check that it does not cause further discomfort to your back. Remember that you will be doing the lifting 5-7 times a day at work.

An electric standing desk converter is more ergonomic and back-friendly, especially for models with a pre-set height memory button. All you have to do is to press a button, and the desk moves to your desired standing height. Press the button again, and it moves back down to your sitting position.

Tip 2: A standing desk should encourage a good posture whether you are sitting or standing

There are many standing desks that are designed to just move up and down, and that’s it.

However, you should strongly consider a standing desk converter that can be adjusted to suit a good posture. If you are using your desk for 6 to 8 hours a day, you would not want a poor posture because standing with poor posture defeats the purpose of eliminating back pain.

So, what are the adjustable points that a standing stand desk converter should have?

  1. You should be able to adjust the height of the screen. Your eye level should be at the upper 1/3 of the screen to prevent your back from hunching/rolling forward. You should also be able to tilt your head slightly forward to look down at your screen to prevent your neck from straining.
  2. You should be able to tilt your screen up/down/left/right. This is important for your eyes, neck and shoulder comfort.
  3. Lastly, you should have the liberty to place your keyboard in a location that is comfortable for your body. Your back and arms should be at a 90 degrees angle. The keyboard should also be at a comfortable distance away from the screen to keep your body straight and prevent it from leaning forward.

Tip 3: A standing desk converter should motivate you to move

Some standing desk converters are such a hassle to operate that some people stop using it completely, which is why we recommend electric height adjustable sit stand desks.

The motivation to sit and stand is also psychological. You should love the design of your desk, be comfortable in it, and find it convenient to use, in order to be motivated to move.

One important feature an height adjustable standing desk converter should have is excellent work surface stability. At the desired height, your worksurface should be stable and not wobble. The wobbling is a major turn off for some office workers because it is uncomfortable and distracting. A standing desk converter must have good quality and build to have a stable surface top.

Ok, I have bought a standing desk. How do I use it the right way?

I am sure you have come across articles talking about how standing desks can be bad for you if you do not use it correctly.

Sitting and standing in excess can be bad for you.

We would recommend starting off at 15 minutes intervals between sitting and standing if you have just started using a standing desk. Depending on what is comfortable for your body, most people will be comfortable with a 30 minutes interval throughout the day.

The regular movement between sitting and standing will help to stretch out your muscles and alleviate back pain. It will also keep you feeling fresh, increase your productivity, and help you burn more calories.

Why choose Altizen Electric Sit Stand Smart Workstation?

The Altizen Electric Standing Desk Converter was launched in Singapore in 2016 after a successful crowd-funding campaign. It is an elegant electric sit stand desk with ergonomic features that are hard to beat. Companies like eBay, DHL, Blackmores have purchased Altizen standing desks for their offices in Singapore.

Altizen Electric Sit Stand Desk was launched in Australia in 2018. We find that it is one of the best designed desk in the market in terms of ergonomics for the following reasons:

  1. Using the Altizen standing desk converter is effortless. It has a pre-set memory button that quietly moves you to your desired standing height with a touch of a button.
  2. The Altizen standing desk converter is also fully adjustable. The screen height is adjustable. The screen may also be tilted up/down/left/right. Best of all, it has a large single-layer worksurface that allows you to move your keyboard around.
  3. One important feature of the Altizen standing desk converter is that it flushes with your existing desk at the lowest height. This means that you can use it together with your existing desk, without feeling like your work space has been compromised.
  4. The Altizen standing desk also integrates with a smartphone app. The standing desk converter reminds you to sit and stand at recommended intervals, so that you don’t end up in one position for too long. This is important if you often end up engrossed in your work and need a reminder system to guide you through your sit stand routine.

Any questions?

If you have any questions about how to make your workspace more ergonomic and reduce your nagging back pain, feel free to contact us for a one-on-one consultation.

Contributed by:

Melanie Lim
Capital Physiotherapy (South Yarra)
0401 865 333

Learn more about being healthy at work

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