Striking the Perfect Balance: The Ideal Sit-Stand Desk Ratio
Work Wellness

Striking the Perfect Balance: The Ideal Sit-Stand Desk Ratio

|Aug 29, 2023
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Standing while working has become a norm in the current world due to the numerous benefits that it provides. The practice has increased in popularity so much that many brands and furniture stores have started selling out standing desks for corporate and home offices.

However, standing or sitting all the time is not the right way to go either. So, here is how you can set a perfect sit-stand ratio to stay healthy and active while working, but before we jump onto that, let's discuss some of its benefits.

Benefits of Maintaining Sitting and Standing Ratio During Work

Burn More Calories

When you take in more calories than you burn, you gain weight. Standing and sitting every few hours while working would reduce weight by burning more calories throughout the day. The loss of fat occurs when you continuously move your body and keep it active. Compared to sitting, standing can help you burn 170 more calories, making up to 1000 calories burned every week. Imagine not burning these 1000 extra calories and gaining this amount of weight every week.

Burn More Calories - Sit-stand ratio

Lower the Risk of Heart Disease

Standing being better for heart health is an old study that still has relevance in the modern world. According to an NCBI report, workers who stood all day during work were at half a risk of getting heart disease than the ones sitting all day. Further studies show that sitting for long hours can increase the heart rate disease risk to 147 percent. The effects of it are so severe that even hours of workout cannot make up for it.

Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels

Every time you have a meal, you increase your blood sugar levels. The more your sugar level increases, the more dangerous it is for you. According to a small study for sit-to-stand instructions, office workers standing for at least 3 hours after their meal had their blood sugar levels decreased by 43 percent compared to the ones who sat at their desks during the hours.

Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels

Reduce Back Pain

Back pain has become quite a problem amongst young and old office people. This is mainly due to long sitting hours that keep the workers to stay in one position. Constant movement with standing desks can help solve this problem. Another NCBI report states that people who stood while working reported having a 32 percent improvement in their pain in only a few weeks period. A CDC study showed a 54 percent improvement in back and neck pain in just only a month's time for people with sit-stand desks.

Increase Productivity

Working while standing increases productivity. People who benefit from standing desks and use them over normal ones were found to have less fatigue and stress throughout the day. Their energy levels are way high, allowing them to work more efficiently and effectively. All the studies mentioned in this section suggest that working while standing has a major impact on one's mental and physical health. Thus, it is important to set a perfect sit-stand ratio balance throughout the day.

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How to Maintain the Perfect Sit-Stand Ratio

The 3:1 Golden Ratio

The ideal sit-stand ratio that the experts suggest is the 3:1 sitting/standing ratio, which means that you need to stand for at least 15 minutes every hour of working time. On the other hand, some studies go even beyond these to say that you need to balance the amount of time on a sit-stand schedule. However, some people find it extremely difficult and stick with the golden ratio (3:1).

Check Your Fitness Level

One major factor that determines how much time you can spend sitting or standing is your fitness level. People who are fitter with active muscles will be able to stand for longer before feeling any pain or discomfort in their legs or back. Following the golden ratio rule for longer periods will make you more active and help you increase the standing time to take it to a 1:1 sit-stand ratio.

Check Your Fitness Level

Check Your Posture

Using ergonomic equipment such as ergonomic chairs and other standing desk accessories can also play a huge role in maintaining good health while working. Buying a proper mouse, keyboard, and monitor stand would keep your neck and other body parts in position to make you feel comfortable for longer while standing. Ergonomic equipment makes the joints feel less stressed and keeps the spine in its natural position, making it easier to work for long hours.

Check Your Posture

Frequent Motion

Frequent motion is another essential practice that you need to make a habit during your work. Sitting and standing would do more than half your work when it comes to frequent motion, but you will still need to stretch your body every 15 minutes. Staying still would affect your blood circulation and make your hands and legs feel numb after a while. Movement is what provides oxygen to all your body parts and makes them active throughout the day.

The Age Factors

The age factor is an important consideration when setting your sit-stand ratio. Youngsters are more fit and can stand for longer than adults over 40 years of age. A study from Richard W. Bunch from the industrial safety and rehabilitation institute suggests that people under 40 should balance the sit-stand ratio, which means it should be 1:1. On the other hand, people over 40 should stick to the ratio of 3:2.

The Age Factors

Frequency of Transitions

Changing positions over the course of the whole day would sound more relieving than changing positions every hour. However, this is not the case, as changing positions every 30 minutes or 45 minutes was seen to produce better results in research by Katie Lonsdale, an employee of an ergonomic consulting firm called Options Incorporated.

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