Economics is the study that deals with the interaction between humans and their working environment. Specialists in this field study a lot of factors including human capabilities, and limitations in psychological and physiological abilities to develop environment, management systems, equipment, and facilities in such a way that minimizes the risk of injuries and maximizes efficiency and the quality of work by increasing productivity and decreasing the rate of error. Ergonomics is important in every workspace to gain the maximum output of human efforts.
Why Is Ergonomics Important in Workspace?
More than $58 million are wasted each year by different businesses due to workspace injuries. It not only wastes money but also wastes time as the employees get injured and slow down the business's progress. Different workspaces face different injuries and they need to employ ergonomics accordingly. Let's suppose in an office environment, the most common injuries can be due to prolonged sitting such as deep vein thrombosis and carpal tunnel syndrome. These are either due to employees using chairs with hard bases or tools like keyboards, mouses, and other accessories that exhaust them out in no time. Making use of rules of ergonomics in the workspace can reduce the risk of these injuries resulting in healthy and happy employees and the business making progress in a short period. Not only this but the healthy employees can serve the clients in a better way by establishing a good relationship with them and promoting the business.
Are Standing Desks Ergonomic?
Standing desks are ergonomic in a way that they follow a lot of ergonomics rules. Following are the main ways through which standing desks can prove to be more ergonomic than regular sitting desks.
Improve General Health
There is a rule of ergonomics that says contact stress should be minimized in order to remain healthy. It is not possible with the sitting desk as there is great contact stress between the chair and the pelvis and the support and the back resulting in pain and soreness. A standing desk can give you rest from this contact by allowing you to do work while standing. It also improves general health by reducing blood sugar levels, improving blood circulation, reducing the risks of cardiovascular diseases, and preventing the risk of weight gain. The standing desk also helps you maintain a good posture, keeping your neck and back in the right position leading to no pain or strain.
By improving our physical health standing desks help improve our mental health too. When a person is not sick, there are no risks of injuries, and he is getting less tired, He will be able to focus more on his work. Moreover, as mentioned above standing desks improve blood circulation allowing the blood to reach each and every cell and tissue of the body including the brain. In this way, these desks help in providing the brain's required amount of oxygen and nutrients to function properly. When your brain is in a healthy state, you can focus more on your work and can complete it timely. It can be beneficial at both individual and collective levels. Businesses are run by people, when the people will be healthy, productive, and focused they will be able to make their business progress by leaps and bounds.
Increase Life Expectancy
Who does not want to live a longer life? All you need to do is to sit less, stand more, and take a walk every day. A sedentary lifestyle can decrease your life expectancy by putting you at risk of numerous health hazards. On the other hand, a standing desk can improve your lifestyle and might allow you to live longer. A study was made whose results were published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. According to this study physical activities of 8000 Americans were monitored for 4 days. All the people involved in the study were 45 years of age or older. The study was conducted between 2009 and 2013. Later the investigators kept track of deaths among the participants till 2017. Most of these elderly people have low physical activities but among them who replaced 30 minutes of their sitting time with standing were found to have 17% less risk of early death.
Are There Any Disadvantages?
Standing in a neutral position is among the basic principles of ergonomics. Keeping a neutral position is easy while sitting as one can use lumbar support. While standing, you can slouch or bend the shoulders which results in curving the spine and not keeping the neck and elbows aligned. This can not only ruin your posture but can also give you lower back pain as well as pain in other parts of the body. Overuse of these desks can cause heel pain, leg cramps, and general fatigue. Moreover, there is a chance of developing a medical condition named varicose veins. In this condition blood pools in the lower limbs due to extensive pressure and is unable to return back to the heart. Due to the pressure, the veins become twisted and inflamed.
How to Overcome These?
These issues can be fixed by using some accessories. The major accessory that can help is an anti-fatigue mat. It helps to protect your soles against the hard floor. The second is the standing desk stool that supports your back and pelvis, distributing the body weight and maintaining the proper blood flow.
Wait! Sit-Stand Desks are More Ergonomic
Sit-stand desks also called height-adjustable desks are way more ergonomic than permanent standing desks. It is because they allow you to sit as well as stand at the same desk when needed without changing your position continuously. The reason why one should consider buying these desks is that neither prolonged sitting nor prolonged standing is good for health. The option that allows us to alternate between the two is much better.
What is the Proper Ergonomics to Observe in a Workspace with Sit-Stand Desks?
Not only the desk setup but also the way you stand at the desk matters. You have to maintain your posture. In this case, the first thing that you need to do is to maintain the table at a good height. Working at a suitable height is also enlisted among the principles of ergonomics. Elevate the desk right to the height of your elbow. Your elbow should be making an angle of 90 degrees with the tabletop. Now make sure the screen is at your eye level. Maintaining the screen at the right level is important so that you neither have to rise nor have to lower your neck to access the screen. Use a stool to get a perching posture. Keep one foot a bit forward than the other. If you keep putting pressure or weight on the same foot, you might suffer fatigue. So, try to shift the bodyweight between the two by changing their position from time to time.
Standing desks are ergonomic. They help you maintain good health. They also take your mental health into account and help you boost your focus and productivity. These desks are found to increase your life expectancy. But rather than a permanent standing desk, consider buying a sit-stand desk. It allows you to alternate between your sitting and standing positions. It allows you to work in a neutral position by adjusting it according to your height.