Standing desks / Mobile standing desksPrint
Ideal: standing and sitting in the office and home office!
The human body demands movement. Sitting all the time makes you ill, even in the most perfectly adapted chair. So standing's better than sitting? But standing for a long time also causes problems.
As in so many things, the solution lies in between. In this case, between sitting, standing and moving for dynamic office work, activating and stimulating mind and body.
Standing and sitting put different strains on the body. Sitting puts almost twice as much pressure on the intervertebral discs than standing uprights.
This is why we should always get up from the desk now and then to relieve the strain on the spiral column. Alternating between sitting and standing trains the back and leg muscles, improves respiration, stimulates the cardiovascular system as well as the digestion and the vegetative system. When we stand, we are more alert, more concentrated and react more quickly. The brain works 5 to 20% better when we're standing than when we're sitting down.
Encouraging frequent changes in posture
A standing desk is recommended in order to integrate this essential standing/sitting dynamic in the office. Both a free-standing mobile version (handy for the home office) and a version mounted on a base are available.
The standing desk workstation has to be designed to encourage frequent changes of position, for example, by positioning the telephone so that you generally take phone calls standing up, or by always handling your e-mails at the standing desk. It can serve as a good complement to a classic desk that cannot be used standing up.
Simple height adjustment
It must be easy to adjust the standing desk to the user's height so that different people can work here with an upright posture in any position. When it is quick and easy to adjust the height of the standing desk (without tools!), it will be put to a wide range of different uses. The most important thing with the standing desk is the correct height of the front edge. There should be a gap about two fingers wide between your elbows and the front edge of the desk top when you hold your clenched fist under your chin (standing upright).
Characteristics of the desk top
The worktop has to be of sufficient size – at least DIN A3.
It also has to have a tilt mechanism (easy to operate!). The more the desktop can be tilted, the less the head has to be leaned forward while reading or writing. That considerably reduces muscle tension.
In case of a workstation with a standing desk that is retrofitted, the flexibility to rotate the work surface position around its own axis (360°) is also important. That permits the back-friendly positioning of the desktop in any situation. What this means is that the work surface can also be adjusted so you can stand directly in front of the desk/work surface as you work.
Ideally there should be an integrated foot rest (simply arranged in the right position for retrofitted solutions). The foot rest helps to relieve the legs and prevent the pelvis from tipping backwards, which would cause a round back. The feet should be placed alternately on the foot rest with bent knees (so-called "bar effect").
The standing desk must be stable. It must be easy to brake the castors (in mobile standing desks) to prevent the desk from rolling away.
Retrofitting standing desk
When integrating a retrofitted standing desk in the workplace, it makes sense for the fastening to be independent of the actual furniture. The standing desk must be installed wherever it makes most sense for the specific individual work processes. This can change with different uses. The standing desk must also be stable enough, i.e. it must be possible for the user to lean against the desk.
As an equation for ideal office work, occupational health specialists recommend: maximum 50% sitting, approx. 25% standing and approx. 25% moving.
Companies offering the best, top-quality workplaces will survive in the face of global competition because they will have the best, most motivated and most innovative staff.
Balance sheets meanwhile provide clear evidence of the connection between workplace quality and competitiveness. Life in the office needs to keep moving: this fosters mental productivity and is the only way to facilitate mental performance in the long term.