Workforce health has become a targeted topic of discussion over the last few years due to the increasing number of corporation employees experiencing health problems caused by an improper workstation. A study has emerged recently that link standing desks to a positive health boost among individuals with an office job.
The Deakin University was the one that researched the major role sit-stand desks could have, health-wise, following a number of 230 study participants and reaching viable, accurate results. According to Dr Lan Gao, who was the least researcher in this study, sitting for long periods of time can increase risks of dealing with various health problems and diseases, starting with obesity and up to diabetes, and could also decrease one’s life expectancy.
Incorporating an active workstation, as the specialists claim, may just be the work environment intervention needed to keep health at an optimal level and save somewhere around 7 “health-adjusted life years.” Experts continue to state that the following exercises should also be pursued to get the full-benefits of using a sit-stand desk.
Whether sitting or standing, shoulder stretches are good for posture, and keeping the body relaxed, and thus avoid dealing with the stiffness that usually comes with working in front of a computer. Stretch each arm across the chest, bringing the other arm in front and under, reverse the move and repeat it at least 5-6 times. Then move on to other, more complex exercises. Try to not skip the shoulder stretches, because they can make an immense difference in flexibility.
Something that doesn’t involve a lot of effort, and can be the starting point in each desk workout would be to extend the body, while still sitting down. Try to sit in an upright position and put both feet on the ground – make sure to place the feet at an appropriate angle. Start extending each leg, for as straight as possible, until it feel like the quads are contracting. Keep the leg in that position around 4 seconds, and then start lowering it. Do that for about 10 times on each leg, and repeat the process 3 times.
Once standing up, start with some easy exercises to get into the overall vibe of the new standing desk workout routine. While they might not seem to do much, calf rises will have a great effect on posture.
What staying on the toes can do is promote lower extremities circulation, getting the body in that workout readiness feel. Spread legs apart, leaving enough space between the two, and begin lifting both heels in a gradual, slow manner. Try standing on the toes for a couple of seconds and then return to the regular position in the same gradual way. While on the toes, try to keep muscles contracted for the exercise to have a more powerful effect.
Repeating the exercises a dozen times is recommended, but the actual number depends on each individual. Always start with a lower number of repetitions and increase sets with each passing day. When ready to take this part of the routine one step further, do calf raises on one leg at a time.
Latest studies reveal how standing desks could improve health and increase life expectancy
Especially at work, doing a few squats from time to time is advised, especially now there is the necessary space thanks to the new active workstation upgrade.
Squats are known for being extremely effective to keep muscles toned, especially the glutes, which are the largest muscles in the body. Most people probably know already how to perform a squat correctly. One tip to remember is to perform the knee bending with care. Aggressive squat repetitions can have a harmful effect on knees in the long run.
Keep the feet hip width apart, making sure they are parallel, and step to one side, bending one leg, while keeping the other straight. Stay in that position for a couple of seconds and then return to standing. Do a switch and repeat. Anywhere between 2 to 4 sets will be enough. Side lunges will work great for hips, thighs and glutes.
Take it to the next level – combine exercise with healthy dietary choices
While all of these exercises do a lot of good, and upgrading to an adjustable standing desk will have a remarkable effect on health levels, that doesn’t mean it will help everyone stay in shape without good dietary choices. A completely healthy lifestyle means being more careful about food.
Avoid snacking on sugary and starchy treats, which might be tempting when there is no time for lunch and decide to eat at the desk. Give up on soda as well. A bit of effort in the dietary department can go a long way. Also, always keep a bottle of water on the desk, whether exercising or not – keeping hydrated is highly important.
Although it has taken some time for a noticeable improvement to be seen within the regular office workspace, now with standing desks becoming highly popular, it seems more people are embracing the concept of active workstations and have started to adopt this office change.
People who understand the positive impact a standing desk could have on their health and general state of well-being, and decided to incorporate one in their workplace setting, should also try to make the most of it and engage in a few simple exercises daily. Start with the ideas mentioned above and move towards more difficult exercises over time.