Should You Sit or Stand at Your Desk? The Right Answer is “Both”!


It’s no secret that sitting down at a desk all day may be bad for your health.

A growing number of companies are beginning to understand the negative consequences of sitting for too long and are offering stand-up desks for their employees.

But the transformation from sitting for eight-plus hours a day to standing for considerable portions of the day can be hard on the body. The best course of action is a happy medium, where office workers spend half their time standing and the other half sitting, according to Cedric X. Bryant, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise.

If you’re looking for a healthier workday (and life), here are some tips for proper posture—whether you’re sitting or standing.

The best way to stand:

  • Make sure your eyes are approximately level with the top of the monitor.
  • The monitor should be positioned as far away as possible while still being comfortable to read (usually about 15–30 inches away).
  • Keep your wrists straight and position your elbows at a 90-degree angle and close to the body.

Sitting for extended periods of time can be a contributing factor to back pain for many people. If sitting is your only option, take the following precautions:

  • Support your lower back. Use a rolled towel, small pillow or a specially designed seat support.
  • Sit with good form. Align your ears with your shoulders and keep your chin parallel to the floor. When you lean forward at your desk, bend forward at the hips instead of rounding your lower back.
  • Purchase a quality swivel chair so that you can work without twisting your back. Make sure your chair has an adjustable seat, back rest and arm rests. The back rest spring should be adjusted so that the back rest moves with you.

There are desks—like the one pictured above—that are built for both sitting and standing. They adjust from one position to the next at the touch of a button.

However, if you don’t have the budget for a legitimate standing desk, you can use materials from around the office to make one yourself. Feel free to get creative!

Note: This post is not intended as medical advice, nor do we endorse bagels as a structurally sound building material, delicious as they may be.


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