The human body demands movement. Sitting all the time makes you ill, even in the most perfectly adapted chair. So standing's better than sitting? But standing for a long time also causes problems.
As in so many things, the solution lies in between. In this case, between sitting, standing and moving for dynamic office work, activating and stimulating mind and body.
Standing and sitting put different strains on the body. Sitting puts almost twice as much pressure on the intervertebral discs than standing uprights.
This is why we should always get up from the desk now and then to relieve the strain on the spiral column. Alternating between sitting and standing trains the back and leg muscles, improves respiration, stimulates the cardiovascular system as well as the digestion and the vegetative system. When we stand, we are more alert, more concentrated and react more quickly. The brain works 5 to 20% better when we're standing than when we're sitting down.
The best way to integrate this necessary standing/sitting dynamic in the office is with a standing desk. Here we differentiate between freestanding, mobile versions and those retrofitted to a table.
The standing desk workplace must be designed to encourage frequent changes in posture, e.g. by putting the phone there.
It must be easy to adjust the standing desk to the user's height so that different people can work here with an upright posture in any position. When it is quick and easy to adjust the height of the standing desk (without tools!), it will be put to a wide range of different uses. The most important thing with the standing desk is the correct height of the front edge. There should be a gap about two fingers wide between your elbows and the front edge of the desk top when you hold your clenched fist under your chin (standing upright).
It must also be possible to turn the position of the working surface flexibly through 360° around its own axis, thus allowing for back-friendly positioning of the desk top in every situation. In other words, the working surface must always be adjusted so that the user can stand and work directly in front of the desk/top. It must also be large enough - at least DIN A3.
The standing desk top must have a tilting mechanism (easy to use!): a generous tilting range for the desk top reduces the need to tilt the head forwards when writing or reading. This helps to reduce muscular tension.
Ideally there should be an integrated foot rest (simply arranged in the right position for retrofitted solutions). The foot rest helps to relieve the legs and prevent the pelvis from tipping backwards, which would cause a round back. The feet should be placed alternately on the foot rest with bent knees (so-called "bar effect").
The standing desk must be stable. It must be easy to brake the castors (in mobile standing desks) to prevent the desk from rolling away.
When integrating a retrofitted standing desk in the workplace, it makes sense for the fastening to be independent of the actual furniture. The standing desk must be installed wherever it makes most sense for the specific individual work processes. This can change with different uses. The standing desk must also be stable enough, i.e. it must be possible for the user to lean against the desk.
As an equation for ideal office work, occupational health specialists recommend: maximum 50% sitting, approx. 25% standing and approx. 25% moving.
Companies offering the best, top-quality workplaces will survive in the face of global competition because they will have the best, most motivated and most innovative staff.
Balance sheets meanwhile provide clear evidence of the connection between workplace quality and competitiveness. Life in the office needs to keep moving: this fosters mental productivity and is the only way to facilitate mental performance in the long term.