Let's address the need for a sit-stand desk. This topic has become increasing popular for good reason. Many people have back pain! I frequently recommend a sit-stand desk for patients who present with impaired function, pain and degeneration of the low back. Today we discuss if you are a candidate for this type of load management strategy.
Why a Sit-Stand Desk?
A sit-stand desk is important. Sitting increases the load on discs in your low back. The sit-stand desk is a workstation that allows you to do both, sit or stand at your work station reducing load on your low back. People who sit for four or more hours in a day have a 9x increase in low back pain, compared with people who sit for one hour(1). There are only 168 hours in a week. The average person spends 64 hours a week sitting(2). How much of your life do you spend sitting down?
This setup reduces the load on your lumbar spine. With my experience treating thousands of low back pain patients, reducing pain needs a specific plan. This plan requires a combination of restoring muscle function, improving movement, balancing strength and managing the loads on the low back.
I recommend that you sit for 30-45 minutes and stand for 15-20 minutes. It's time to switch to standing if you are uncomfortable and find yourself shifting around to avoid pain. In fact, I recommend that you subtract 20% off the time it takes to hurt and switch before your back begins to be irritated.
Do I need a Sit-Stand Desk?
There are multiple factors that must be considered for you to be a candidate. First do you have impaired function, pain or a known diagnosis regarding your low back? Any request must be a reasonable accommodation request. Do you have a legitimate request backed by a note from a doctor? Would the request cause your employer undue hardship? Managing the load on the lumbar spine with a sit-stand desk is vital to maintaining health, slowing degeneration and minimizing both pain and missed time from work. If you suffer from low back degeneration, give us a call at 678-1362 to schedule a consultation.
(2) Yeager, S. "Sitting is the new smoking- even for runners." Runner's World, July 20, 2013.