Blog - 5 features you should look for in a sit-stand desk

Blog - 5 features you should look for in a sit-stand desk

For many of us office jockeys riding our ergonomic swivel chairs all day, inactivity could be the culprit behind any number of ailments and ill health. It is an insidious side effect of our sedentary vocations that has the potential to destroy lives.

Sounds a little too dramatic? If only it was not true.

A response to the curse of inactivity has been the invention of the sit-stand desk – or standing desk – something that is now largely accepted in the mainstream and incorporated into a number of workplaces looking to walk-the-wellness-walk rather than merely talk-the-wellness-talk.

To see someone standing in an office cubicle, at a desk, or work kiosk is not as unfamiliar as it might have been a decade ago.

But, it’s important to remember that not every sit-stand workstation is the same and, in order to get the maximum value from your new way of working, there are a few points you need to consider before making a purchase:

1. Not just sitting, standing too

The word is: sitting is the new smoking. So the answer must be to stand up at your computer across the course of the day, right? Wrong. Just as you can harm yourself by drinking too much water, long hours of standing won’t do you much good either. Complaints like varicose veins and foot & ankle issues will arise if you opt for this other extreme.

Dr James A. Levine from the Mayo Clinic hit on the magic formula with his 2014 book, Get Up!: Why Your Chair is Killing You and What You Can Do About It, when he concluded the micro movements of standing up and sitting down at regular interval during the day can improve your health and burn calories. That’s why finding a desk that transitions easily (and quietly – so not to annoy your co-workers) is one of the most important features you need to look for in a sit-stand desk.

Think: does the desk have one-touch operation? Does it adjust smoothly without me having to push and pull at its structure? Do I feel at ease changing this desk from a sitting to a standing position and then back again? If you answer ‘no’ to any of these questions, it’s likely you won’t use your sit-stand desk properly and, therefore, you will not benefit from its sit-stand advantages.

2. Plenty of adjustability

What is good for one person is not good for another – in other words, we’re all cast from different moulds – and this is especially relevant if you are hot-desking or sharing your desk with other people.

Similarly, your body shape and height may change, as well as your standing/sitting habits, which means your sit-stand solution must be adjustable if you want to guarantee the longevity of your purchase.

Can your sit-stand workstation hold more than one computer monitor? Does it have a small footprint so it doesn’t clutter your workspace or obstruct your feet? Or does it overwhelm your desk?

In terms of adjustability and the office furniture already at your disposal, you might need an entire sit-stand desk or just an electronic converter that sits on existing furniture transforming it into a functional sit-stand workstation. Bear this latter option in mind, as it might be a more affordable and sensible for you.

3. Height memory & setting options

There are desks with hand-cranks for changing height but, by far, the more elegant and future-proof sit-stand workstations are powered electronically with an LED keypad for entering different heights, as well as different timeframes to alert you to change from a sitting to a standing position and so on.

You need to be confident your desk sit-stand memory is good – and the desk doesn’t slowly drop across the day! You also need to be confident that the electronic componentry incorporated into the workstation is both safe and reliable.

4. High quality materials & good looks

Good furniture, whatever it may be, is defined by the quality of its materials and craftsmanship. By comparing different sit-stand solutions before making a purchase, you will be able to immediately discern whether a workstation is strong, sturdy and stable, or flimsy, inferior and a waste of money.

Don’t underestimate the importance of acquiring a sit-stand desk that is also attractive and fits effortlessly into your workspace. Given you will be using your workstation on a daily basis, a smart and elegant sit-stand solution is going to have a positive impact on both your mind and body – and the two are inextricably linked.

When it comes to choosing sit-stand workstations for either yourself or your employees, skimping on quality is definitely a false economy.

5. Supporting information & after-market care

So you’ve chosen an excellent sit-stand option, but what do you do with it? As we’ve already discussed, it’s not sufficient to swap your sitting all day for standing all day so – if you don’t need to follow the advice of a doctor or you don’t have a physiotherapist to create your sit-stand schedule – the company that supplies your workstation should also have supporting materials and research to start you off in the right direction.

Once again, remember, not everyone is the same so there is no one sit-stand solution to fit all. However, you will always get the best from any sit-stand solution if you do your research. Reputable manufacturers should have done the hard yards for you, and be willing to back their products with after-market care, support and warranties. Don’t be afraid to ask for these details.

For more information about Integra Transform’s AeroSMART & BioSMART workstations, visit www.integratransform.com.au




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Published in Blog
K2_WRITTEN_ON January 13 2017
Written by Erika Hughes