are, youíre sitting right now. Your back may be aching. Or
maybe itís your shoulders.
us donít have a choice: Weíre locked into our offices for
eight hours a day, and thatís if weíre lucky. And that
means that our bottoms are firmly tucked into an office chair.
years ago, standing desks were all the rage. You could burn
calories and combat the risk of heart disease and premature
death linked with sitting all day by standing while you
recent study published in the International Journal of
Epidemiology found that standing is no better for your health
than sitting because being still was what was negatively
affecting your health. So office workers went back to their
the past decade, weíve circled through exercise ball chairs,
treadmills for chairs, standing desks and now weíre back at
must be a better way.
there is, said Luca Carr, assistant professor in health and
human physiology at the University of Iowa. The answer, he
said, is a combo.
good rule of thumb is to purchase desk that easily adjust
between sitting and standing," Carr said. "Desks
that have electronic lifts or air lifts tend to be easiest to
way, Carr said, youíre always on the move, with frequent
those simply looking to retrofit their current desk, the
Varidesk Pro Plus 36 ($395 at Varidesk.com) is a good option,
Carr said. But he also recommended the Uplift Height
Adjustable Sit Stand Desk (price varies by configuration and
by desk at Upliftdesk.com) for those interested in a
completely new adjustable desk.
who donít want to adjust their desks and chairs throughout
the day may want to look into chairs that are simply better
for their bodies.
should make sure they have a chair that allows them to move in
a range of healthy seated postures," said Ken Tameling,
general manager of global seating and surface materials for
are a variety of ergonomic chairs that will support your
lower, mid- and upper back, even when youíre hunched over
your computer or your paperwork, said Alan Hedge, director of
the Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory at Cornell
University. He said ergonomic chairs that provide good support
for the entire body are the Humanscale Freedom Chair with
Headrest ($999 at thehumansolution.com), the Embody chair by
Herman Miller (starts at $1,229 at Dwr.com) and the Leap chair
by Steelcase ($919 at store.steelcase.com). Those looking to
combine a core workout with active sitting should get the
CoreChair ($1,195.95 at Fitter1.com), Hedge said.
also important that your computer be placed at the correct
relationship with your neck and head ó specifically, it
should be at your eye level, according to the U.S. Department
computer screen should be 18 to 30 inches from your body, with
no change in sight line or angle when you change posture,
Tameling said. Your head should remain over your neck, versus
hunched forward. If your computer isnít the right height for
your neck and head, try raising it with a Monitor Stand
adjustable options should be combined with creating an
inconvenient office environment. Yes, inconvenient is best.
have designed our work spaces to be so convenient that itís
having a negative impact on our health," Carr said. He
suggested moving the printer, trash can and anything else that
you use regularly so that itís out of reach, forcing you to
get up and move in order to reach them.
do that next. One step at a time.