Sit-Stand Desktop Workstation – Budget Friendly Way to a Healthier You

Sit-Stand Desktop Workstation – Budget Friendly Way to a Healthier You

As part of the freelance community, I’m sure you’ve heard by now that sitting all day is ‘silently killing’ you, and they’re not wrong. However, there are some easy things you can do to get up out of your chair while still being productive. One of those ways is by using a Sit-Stand Desktop Workstation to convert the desk you already have into a standing one. Below I’m going to run you through what you should look for and some of the better options if you’re working on a budget.

Sit-Stand Desktop Workstation

The science behind sitting all day

As I mentioned above, and probably the reason you’re reading this article, is because you’ve heard that sitting all day is ruining your back, slowing your metabolism, wreaking havoc on your blood flow and making it twice as likely to die from cardiovascular disease. As scary as that all sounds, actually it’s supposed to be a bit scary. However, the thing to remember is that it is not a lost cause! There are many things you can do to combat and even reverse those effects.

VIVO Black Sit-Stand Desktop Workstation

The first and easiest thing you can do: don’t sit so much. It’s really as simple as that. Our bodies, two legs, arms, heart and big head are made to move around. We were never made to move from our beds to the sofa, to the desk chair, and vice versa all day. Our bodies were meant to go looking for food, hunting, and gathering. All the while burning the calories that we were collecting.

When we sit, our bodies shut down. This infographic from medicalbillingandcoding.org has been circulating around and I think it does a great job explaining what happens to our body in a seated position.

Why use a sit-stand desktop workstation?

As you can see from the photos above, the designs of a sit stand desk top workstation all have a pretty similar shape with a top stand for the monitors and a lower, ergonomic keyboard shelf with space for a mouse. Some are simpler, some are fancier (and very expensive) but all in all, they should cost you anywhere from 30 to 450 USD. No matter what you spend, this will definitely pay for itself. For that price, you can lower back pain, increase productivity, and avoid doctor/masseuse visits. In the end, this will probably pay for itself and then some.

Full sit-stand desks, on the other hand, can run you anywhere from 200 (hand crank -not recommended) up to 1,000’s of dollars. Right now, I’m looking at one, a comfortable design with everything I’d like and it’ll run me 750 USD. Not bad actually, but since I live in a pretty small apartment, I have to budget my workspace and get the small desk. A larger one would easily break 1,000 USD.

The science behind standing vs sitting:

 

Health Benefits from Sit-Stand Desktop Workstation

 

How to use your new desktop workstation

So now you decided on your workstation and it’s on its way, but how often do you stand? Isn’t standing for 8 hours just as bad as sitting? What’s the right ratio?

Well, a study done at Cornell has you covered:

Hedge's 3S's Ideal Work Pattern Sit-Stand Desktop Workstation

 

 

This infographic says that for every 30 minutes you work you should sit for 20, stand for 8 and do some stretching for 2 minutes. The stretching can include standing on your tip toes, putting your hands over your head and side-bending, really anything to get some blood moving. Throughout the day you should move from standing to sitting and back again 16 times.

The image below describes (exactly) how your set up should be when you’re standing and sitting. In the end, they’re very similar. Eyes should be at the top of the screen, shoulders, hips, and knees in a straight line, head up, and elbows at about 90º. This way your weight is distributed evenly and you’ll have a natural curve in your back.

Proper ergonomics seated/standing Sit-Stand Desktop Workstation

 

Eyes should be at the top of the screen, shoulders, hips, and knees in a straight line, head up, and elbows at about 90º. This way your weight is distributed evenly and you’ll have a natural curve in your back.

Small steps to a healthier you

So we’ve gone over some of the pitfalls of sitting all day and how a sit-stand desktop workstation can help you lead a better and healthier life. As a freelance translator, I sit almost all day and I was looking for something to help me combat the monotony and sore back I get. I came across these workstations and fell in love, I hope you do too. If you’re interested in one of the better ones on the market, take a look at my post, Ergotron sit stand workstation – Full Review of the WorkFit-TL to see what they’re all about. Lastly, I’ve written about how to find the perfect place for your office, How to Organize a Home Office – Function and Comfort over Form.

Have you tried a sit-stand desktop workstation? Which ones do you like the most?

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