The Benefits of Using A Standing Desk

By Dr. Simon Condé

Lately at Fit Chiropractic there have been an increasing number of patients asking about standing desks and whether it would be appropriate for their work situation.  So we thought that we would try and answer this in a few short sentences.  The short answer is yes-if you work at a desk, a standing desk will increase the versatility of your desk and in turn your working position.

Standing desks, especially those that are electronically controlled, give you the ability to change up your working position and slow the onset of many sedentary sitting-type injuries.  These injuries occur over time as the postural muscles of the spine fatigue as you sit at your desk.  This fatigue leads to a slow progressive slump to the back of your chair until you are curled forward nearly at your computer screen.  Yes- even if you try your hardest, it somehow always seems to happen.

Having the ability to raise your desk to a standing position will help open up the hips, stop the progressive shortening of the hip flexor muscle group, and help maintain a neutral posture in the upper back and shoulders.  All of this can lead to decreased pain and tightness in the hips and upper back associated with long hours sitting and working.

How do you set up your standing desk?  This will take a bit of trial and error so be patient.

  • Raise the level of the desk surface and place your hands on top of the keyboard.
  • Your elbows should be at a 90 degree angle and your shoulders and upper arms should be relaxed at your sides.  You should not feel like your are overreaching for the keyboard.
  • Next, make sure that your monitor is raised up enough that you are looking straight ahead instead of down at your screen.
  • Keep your hips tucked under our spine, place your feet shoulder width apart, and try to maintain your upright posture.

The wonderful thing about a stand up desk is that when your feet start to get tired you can shift your weight around and stretch.  You can also lower your desk back down to a seated position for a rest.  Don’t forget your seated posture too!