Several kinds of research have discovered that we put our health at risk when we spend many hours sitting in front of computers. Treadmills and standing desks have offered office workers several options in preventing some of the problems that can be caused by being sedentary. However, these alternatives are not the best solution.
Here, two research experts evaluate the challenges associated with these desk types. They also make a few suggestions on better ways to prevent injuries and handle muscular imbalances.
THE DISADVANTAGE OF TREADMILL AND STANDING DESKS
One of the researchers, who is a certified physical therapist and conditioning and strength coach, implied the following:
It is true that standing desks can play a crucial role in alleviating several kinds of postural pain that can come with sitting for hours. However, these desks do not take away the need for physical activity.
In addition, they can also easily and quickly cause bodily injuries. For instance, neck strain can be caused by an inappropriate monitor height. On the other hand, lumbar hyperextension can also be caused by an inappropriate desk height. Also, treadmill desks can cause you to perform unnatural movements that are best practiced in a sitting position or make you look down slightly. An example of such movements are clicking a mouse and typing.
WHEN STANDING DESK IS THE ONLY OPTION
One of the researchers implied that anyone that has their heart set on buying a standing desk should buy the ones that easily convert to a standard sitting desk instead. This will permit you to move freely throughout your day at the office, increasing the flow of blood to joints and muscles.
THE BEST OPTION IS A REGULAR WALK
It is important to completely get away from your desk during intervals to take a quick walk. This will effectively offset the terrible ergonomics that are associated with both seated and standing desks. This will effectively deal with tightness in the neck and back and the increase in muscular imbalance.
The second researcher, who is also a certified conditioning and strength specialist, and a physical therapy doctor implied the following:
Quick walks should be taken at intervals throughout your day at work. This will help limit muscle tightness and boost your blood circulation. He further showed a few new studies that indicate the importance of taking 5-minute walk breaks at work. These studies showed an increase in cognitive function and quality improvement of mood levels. This helps you become more productive during the day.
Other studies also showed more helpful hints on taking short walks boosting energy levels. They showed that food cravings can be significantly reduced by interrupting prolonged sitting. This can be a vital tip for someone that is seeking to shed some weight.
TIPS TO GETTING STARTED
Taking a quick walk during the day should not be time-consuming and complicated if you use the following guidelines.
- Take a walk around the office every hour. You can set a reminder to help you achieve this.
- During lunch hour, take a 20-minute walk.
It is important that you do not take your phone with you as it can be a distraction and may cause you to stop and be stationary while checking an email or a message. The aim is to take a walk, not to stand.