We’re seriously into our standing desks around here – besides, who wants to sit around all day?
I recently heard someone quip that ‘sitting is the new smoking’ – and here’s one horrifying point to ponder: if your career revolves around office life, you treat yourself to a few rides in during the week and you enjoy chilling out on the sofa at the end of the day, you’re likely to be spending at least 10 hours a day sitting on your sweet behind. You’ve probably heard about “sitting disease” and that it’s going to be the end of us. So get up and move. Every damn hour. And for those of us with a desk job? That’s where the standing desk comes into the picture. Switching between standing and sitting at work is being hailed as the solution to the sedentary lifestyle, with the perks of reducing back pain, improving circulation and even a boost in your productivity. But are desk risers worth it? We introduced some cool customisable standing desks by ErgoEdge at Honeycombers HQ and here’s the verdict…
Let’s get real about sitting around all day
We’ll just leave it at this: It’s widely acknowledged amongst the international medical community that a largely sedentary lifestyle contributes towards obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. You know instinctively that sitting throughout most of your waking life is nothing for you. And that bad posture we slip into every day? Slouching and poor alignment is a sure way to bring on headaches and neck pain. Slouching also flattens your lower back, so stop complaining about your back feeling awful if you’re still slouching at your desk. Quick aside: According to Harvard Medical School, standing desks reduce the risk of shoulder and back pain, and help you burn more calories than when sitting.
Everyone’s suddenly standing
Confession: ever since I cackled over a picture of Victoria Beckham walking on a treadmill while working on her laptop, I’ve been a little standing-desk curious. It was a gloriously OTT moment, but perhaps VB was onto something – Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, recently announced that every single employee at the new Apple Park in California is going to receive a standing desk. No surprise, as the company is known for encouraging its employees to stand and move (and if you’ve got an Apple Watch, it’s why you get a reminder every hour to move a little for a minute). “It’s much better for your lifestyle,” he stated, adding: “A lot of doctors think sitting is the new cancer”. Standing desks are trending hard right now in terms of work perks in the US. And with a couple of members of the Honeycombers team suffering from serious chronic back pain and already standing regularly to get a bit more comfortable, we wanted in.
Is life better standing?
So, where do you get a sweet standing desk setup here in Singapore? We’re into good looks even when it comes to our ergonomic furniture, so we brought in some bamboo-topped, electric full-standing desks from ErgoEdge. We can adjust them to suit the different heights of our team here at Honeycombers HQ (watching them glide up and down at the press of a button still gives us a kick), and they’re our go-to when we want to hot desk or do a standing meeting. We also set ourselves up with ErgoEdge sit-stand desk risers. Here’s what our standing desk converts thought about making the switch:
“I can’t sit or stand for too long due to my back pain – this has definitely reduced the problem as it heightens my desktop to eye level and forces me to sit upright in a neutral spine position. The riser is adjustable to standing height as well so it’s very flexible. I’m going to get one for myself at home!”
“I’m super fidgety and have a lot of tasks competing for my attention at work. I’ve been getting into standing mode when I need to enter the ‘cone of silence’ and focus, and it helps get me in the right mindset to shut up and write.”
“I get a lot of stiffness and leg pain after sitting down for a couple of hours, and was at the point where I’d take off for a half hour walk around Amoy street (which is lovely anyway). Being able to vary between sitting and standing really helps with this, as standing stretches out the leg. Sadly, I haven’t needed to go on the little neighbourhood walks as much (although sometimes I do anyway). I also find that standing up stops you crouching over your stomach and allows you to breathe better.”
“My work productivity and enjoyment has really increased since using the desk riser – I no longer have large periods of my work day where I need to stretch, change position or walk around to ease the tension in my neck and shoulders.”
How to do standing desks right:
- Standing up all day long isn’t the idea – you want to alternate between sitting and standing breaks.
- You still need to watch that posture: your desk needs to be at around elbow height height: think of your elbows being at a 90 degree angle to your keyboard.
- Your screen should be at eye level: you shouldn’t be tilting your head down, so if possible, use a standing monitor rather than a laptop.
- Don’t just use your desk riser/converter as a mezzanine level for all your crap (note to self).
Pssst: Like our setup? Check out ErgoEdge or visit the showroom at 2 Sims Close, Gemini Building, #03-02 Singapore 387298.