Making a good choice of your working desk is very important to not only boost your productivity and beat fatigue but to guarantee your happiness and increase your chance of living longer as well.
The main benefit of the standing desk is to keep healthy while working. Using this type of desk will preserve you from most of the health issues that arise from spending much time sitting.
With the spread of Covid-19, one-third of the people around the globe have adopted a sedentary lifestyle to reduce the chance of being infected with the Coronavirus, and the fact that people are no longer as active as they used to be, there is a tendency of spending much time sitting while working from home, watching TV, or playing video games.
This is where the benefit of the standing desk will be considered as a rescue since most people are less active and do not exercise as they used to do.
What are the risks of spending much time sitting?
Spending much time sitting increases your risk of developing adverse health problems such as Upper back pain, Lower back pain, neck pain, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Blood clots (Thrombosis), and risk of early death.
What do you need to know about Back Pain?
It is a state of discomfort that occurs anywhere on the spine, from the neck to the hip.
The pain can range from mild to severe to the point where your stability to move is affected and as a consequence of this, a lot of people stay away from work to seek medical care.
Everybody can develop back pain at one stage of their life or another.
In some cases, a person develops back pain without a specific cause and can feel better within a few weeks or months.
In other cases, an underlying cause can be identified based on the location of the pain.
The location of the pain plays a major role in identifying the type of back pain one has developed.
What Are The Different Types of Back Pains?
- Upper back pain (Upper and middle back pain)
- Lower back pain
Upper Back Pain
It is a state of spinal column discomfort ranging from the base of the neck to the bottom of the ribcage (Upper and middle back).
The upper and middle back also called the thoracic spine is composed of 12 vertebrae that attach to your rib cage, and to the discs that separate vertebrae from one another to absorb the shock during movement.
Muscles and ligaments that are in between ribs connect the vertebrae to hold the spine position, support the back and help you move.
People don’t usually develop this type of back pain as compared to lower back pain because the bones in this region of the back don’t flex and are not in movement as the lower backbones.
They play the role of keeping the back stable and protecting the heart and lungs.
What are the symptoms associated with upper back pain?
Back pain can be felt as a pain ranging from dull pain, burning pain, sharp pain, and muscle stiffness, which is also called muscle tightness.
What symptoms should trigger the immediate need to see the doctor for medical care?
- Weakness in your arms.
- Weakness in your legs.
- Numbness or tingling in your arms, legs, chest, or belly.
- Loss of bowel control.
- Loss of bladder control.
- Shortness of breath.
- Pain that affects the chest, jaw, neck, and shoulder.
Causes of upper back pain:
Since the bones involved in this area of the back are not usually in movement as compared to the bones in the lower back, the following can contribute to the onset of what we call upper back pain or upper and middle back pain:
- Overuse, muscle strains, or injury to the muscle, ligaments, and discs that support your spinal column in this area of your back.
- Poor posture. This is due to spending a long period bending the neck while using the cellular phone, working on the laptop or sitting on a non-ergonomic chair while working, or using a desk that doesn’t allow you to alternate between sitting and standing while working on the computer.
- A herniated disc that causes pressure on the spinal nerves.
- An accident that can cause the fracture of one of the vertebrae.
- An osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis that affects small facet joints in the spine, hand, knee, and hips.
- The pain (Myofascial pain) affecting the muscle connective tissue or a group of muscles.
Other rare causes of upper back pain:
- Gallbladder disease
What can be considered as home remedies for upper and lower back pain?
Most of the time you won’t need to seek for medical attention to treat your back pain.
You can just get over-the-counter pain killers to treat yourself.
You can also consider taking a bit of rest when the pain is too much and continue with moving activity afterward as this serves as a physical exercise and plays a major role in alleviating the pain.
Having a good sleep will also help as back pain is sometimes caused by awkward sleep.
Avoiding stress and maintaining a good posture will help you a lot to deal with back pain as well.
What questions will your doctor ask to diagnose the cause of the upper back pain?
- When did you experience this type of pain?
- How could you describe the pain you are experiencing?
- Is it dull, sharp, or burning?
- Are you able to ignore your pain and carry on with your daily activities?
- Which side of your upper back are you experiencing the pain?
- What is the frequency of your pain? Is it going on constantly or on and off?
- Is there any feeling of weakness or numbness?
- Does it happen for the pain to keep you awake or stop you from pursuing your daily activities?
- How do you make a living?
- How often do you exercise?
What types of physical examination can your doctor perform?
- The palpable feeling of your back to search for areas of tenderness or abnormalities.
- Arm movement in different directions to discover if the pain affects and limits your ability to move.
- Muscle strength and reflexes test.
What other tests can your doctor perform to diagnose the cause of your upper back pain?
- Blood test.
- Bone scans.
- Imaging exams such as X-rays, Computed Tomography Scans, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
It sometimes happens that the above diagnostic tests do not help in discovering the real cause of the back pain.
What should be done in this situation to get much information and more answers?
- Look at the underlying disease, disorder, or condition.
- Physical Therapy and follow some basic self-care requirements.
- Follow your doctor’s advice to deal with the pain.
- Invest in purchasing ergonomic products such as desks, chairs, pillows, mattresses to alleviate the pain.
What are the adverse effects of upper back pain complications?
- Absenteeism from work or school.
- Paralysis is a consequence of permanent nerve damage.
- Physiological and psychological as a consequence of the pain.
- Unhappiness due to the poor life quality.
Lower back pain
Lower back pain is a state of spinal column discomfort that affects the lower portion of the back.
It mostly results from injury, muscle strain, and ligament strain.
injuries can arise from damage to the intervertebral discs, nerve roots compression, and wrong spinal joints movement
What are the symptoms of lower back pain?
It is characterized by pain in the lower section of the spinal column.
What symptoms should be considered as a wake-up call to seek medical care?
- A sudden increase in pain.
- Weakness Feeling.
- Loss of bladder function.
- Weight loss.
What are the influencing factors of lower back pain?
Most of the time lower back pain is caused by overuse habits such as lifting heavy objects, sitting for a long period, and awkward sleep.
It can sometimes be caused by organs such as the appendix, kidneys, large intestine, and pancreas.
Please seek medical care if the pain persists for a period longer than four weeks.
How is lower back pain diagnosed?
- Physical examination. This will help your doctor to localize areas of tenderness and abnormalities using palpable feeling.
- Back movement in different directions.
- Muscle strength and reflexes test.
- Blood test.
- Bone scans.
- Imaging exams such as X-rays, Computed Tomography Scans, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
How are upper and lower back pain treated?
Usually upper or lower back pain goes away on its own after two to four weeks.
In certain cases, you might need to consider buying pain killers to get rid of the pain.
On rare occasions, a person might need to go for surgery to correct the cause of back pain.
You can read more about back pain and how to prevent it here.
Neck pain or neck stiffness is an uncomfortable sensation that affects the neck and shoulder due to abnormalities arising from the neck bones, ligaments, and muscles.
Everyone is susceptible to developing neck pain at one moment or another as a consequence of poor posture, injury, or overuse activities.
Usually, neck pain gets relieved on its own within a few days.
Do not hesitate to seek medical attention in case you’re feeling persistent pain for a long period.
The reason why you sometimes need to see the doctor when the pain takes a long period is that certain serious health problems cause neck pain as one of their symptoms.
What can be the cause of neck pain?
It can be caused by a variety of reasons ranging from muscle tension and strain, injury, heart attack, Meningitis, and other causes such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, herniated cervical disc, spondylosis, and spinal stenosis.
Muscle tension and strain
This is caused by your daily unsafe behavior such as poor posture, bending the neck for an extending period while using the laptop or the cellular phone, awkward sleep, or jerking the neck while exercising.
How would you get rid of muscle tension and strain?
To get relieved from muscle tension and strain you’re going to apply the ice to the affected area to lower the pain and heat to increase blood flow.
Massages might also be needed or over-the-counter pain relief medications if the pain persists.
What should you do to prevent it?
Correct the behavior that has caused the muscle tension, rest, and elevate your neck to avoid keeping it bent.
You can also consider buying an ergonomic working chair to correct your posture, a height-adjustable desk so that you can alternate between sitting and standing while working.
A massager device can also be helpful to get rid of neck pain.
To prevent awkward sleep, you might consider organizing a memory foam mattress and memory foam pillows.
Since neck bones are so fragile, they can easily get injured as a result of a car accident, falls, and sports.
You should do your best to always protect your neck because unsafe movements might damage your spinal cord.
Spending a long period sitting while working might also cause injuries to your body because of the lack of muscular activities or lack of movement.
You can read more about neck pain here.
It is an emergency condition that can be caused by a blockage in the artery that supplies blood to the heart.
The blockage can be a consequence of a blood clot that can arise from sitting more without being active.
The longer the blood is not getting supplied to the heart the tissues will lose Oxygen and die.
You should be warned of a heart attack when neck pain is accompanied by other symptoms such as shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, vomiting, pain in the jaw, and pain in the arm.
Please seek medical attention in case you experience the mentioned symptoms.
How could you lower the risk of getting a heart attack?
the following can help you lower the risk of getting a heart attack:
- Blood pressure control. It is a major contributor to heart disease. You should get your blood pressure checked either regularly or once a year and consider changing your lifestyle in case you have high blood pressure.
- Maintain cholesterol and triglyceride levels under control. This is so important because a higher level of cholesterol and triglyceride can form blood clots and increase the risk of developing coronary heart disease and heart attack.
- Observe a healthy weight. You should do your best to maintain a healthy weight since being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing coronary heart disease and heart attack as consequences of higher levels of cholesterol and triglyceride in the body.
- Exercise regularly. Practicing regular exercise will help in maintaining your weight, lower your blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels while strengthening your heart and improving your blood circulation.
- Quit smoking. The act of smoking cigarettes increases your blood pressure and makes you susceptible to developing coronary heart disease and heart attack.
- Stress management. stress acts as a precursor to the increase of blood pressure which in turn will make you susceptible to developing a heart attack. You can manage your stress level by practicing physical exercise, playing soothing music, and doing meditation to relax your mind.
- Diabetes management. Diabetes increases your risk of developing heart disease due to the effect of blood glucose levels that can damage blood vessels. You should get tested for diabetes and if tested positive you will have to learn to keep it under control. You should also consider eating healthy and exercising regularly.
- Get enough sleep. Make sure that you sleep enough because the lack of adequate sleep increases your risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.
This disease is characterized by an inflammation of the brain and spinal cord membranes as a result of an infection.
The infection can originate from the virus, bacteria, or fungus.
What are the symptoms of meningitis?
A person who is suffering from meningitis may experience symptoms such as headache, fever, pain in areas such as the back, muscle, and neck.
This is the reason why It has been advised above to seek medical care if your pain lasts for more than four weeks.
Sometimes a person who is suffering from meningitis may experience fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, skin rash, mental confusion, fear of loud sounds, stiff neck, sleepiness, fast heart rate, and fast breathing.
Meningitis treatment depends on the cause of the disease.
Sometimes it gets better on its own or the person might need to take antibiotics.
What can be done to prevent meningitis?
- Wash hands regularly.
- Observe good hygiene.
- Not sharing straws.
- Not sharing lip balms
- Don’t drink from the same bottle with someone else.
- Stay healthy and strengthen your immune system by eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and foods that are rich in proteins.
- Regular exercise.
- Adequate sleep.
What are the different types of standing desks?
When it comes to standing desks we have the static standing desk and the height-adjustable standing desk.
What is a static standing desk?
It is a type of standing desk that has been designed to be used only while standing.
What is a height-adjustable standing desk?
This is a desk that can be adjusted to be used in either the sitting or the standing position.
The adjustment is dependent on the type of desk that you are going to purchase as there are different types of height adjustable standing desks.
What are the different types of height adjustable standing desks?
The different types of height adjustable standing desks are as follows:
- Manually Height Adjustable Standing Desk.
- Pneumatic Height Adjustable Standing Desk.
- Electric Adjustable Standing Desk.
Manually Height Adjustable Standing Desk
Manually Adjustable Standing Desk is a type of Height Adjustable Standing desk that doesn’t require any electronic components, motor, or pressure to either raise or lower it.
How does Manually Height Adjustable Standing Desk operate?
To operate this type of desk, you are going to use your physical power to raise or lower the desk using a crank mechanism.
- The good side of this type of desk is that you’re going to be exercising while using your physical power to either raise or lower your desk.
- You don’t need electricity to operate it.
- There is less chance for it to get broken because the desk doesn’t have electronic components and doesn’t need the motor to operate.
- You can purchase a treadmill separately and install it at the bottom of your desk so that you can be exercising while typing. With the treadmill, you can set it on the walking motion and keep typing while walking which is a great way of releasing calories and boost your productivity. Besides boosting your productivity, you will always be in a good mood and happy.
- The negative side of the Manually Height Adjustable Standing Desk is the fact that it will require much time from your working hours to manually raise and lower the desk. Imagine you have a lot of work to do and you want to alternate between sitting and standing positions regularly. This process will delay you and might end up irritating you because of the time it takes to adjust your desk.
- Assuming you are not feeling well while working, you won’t be able to either raise or lower your desk due to the lack of energy to do it.
Pneumatic Height Adjustable Standing Desk
Pneumatic Height Adjustable Standing Desk is another type of height adjustable standing desk that makes use of a pressurized cylinder to either raise or lower the desk so that it can reach the desired position.
How does Pneumatic Adjustable Standing Desk operate?
This is another type of adjustable desk that will need your physical power to operate although the frequency of the power that you are going to apply is a little less than the manually adjustable one.
This one will need you to pull of the lever to either raise or lower your desk.
- It doesn’t need electricity to operate.
- It can easily be moved around without the risk of stepping on the cord
- It can allow you to stand while working.
- You can purchase a treadmill separately and put it at the bottom of the desk so that you can be in motion while working (Walk and type).
- It is reliable because it can be used for a long period without getting broken.
- It might be difficult at the beginning for you to work while standing but as time goes by you might get used to it.
- It might experience some difficulty to have lunch while working because some people cannot eat while standing.
- It might be difficult to hold the mouse and use the keyboard while standing.
Electric Adjustable Standing Desk
The Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk is a type of height adjustable standing desk that can be raised or lower by pressing a button.
- You can easily operate the desk without the need to know the technology behind it. All you need to do is to press a button to either raise or lower it.
- You can purchase a treadmill separately and fit it at the bottom of your desk so that you can start doing some walk while typing. A perfect way to keep exercising without the need of going to the gymnasium.
- With an adjustable standing desk, you’ve got freedom of movement. You can easily move around without being obstructed.
- This table cannot alternate from the sitting position to the standing one without electricity.
- The electronic components that help in operating the desk can easily get damaged. You need to consider looking at the duration of the warranty the store gives.
- The table power cable and your other cables from the computer, printer, and speakers can sometimes make your space clustered with electric cables. They can constitute a hazard if you don’t pay much attention.
What can be the benefit of a standing desk?
Like I said above, making use of a standing desk will spare you from adverse health-related problems that originate from sitting too long and it will also reduce your risk of obesity because standing while working increases your calorie expenditure to the body which will contribute to providing much energy and regulate your mood.
Being in a good mood while working will boost your engagement and a boost to your engagement will increase your productivity.
Height Adjustable Standing Desk allows you to have a perfect balance between sitting and standing while working.
Who can make use of the standing desk?
Irrespective of what you are doing, choosing the best working desk will contribute a lot in not only making your workplace pleasant and comfortable but will boost your productivity as well.
Whether your work activity is mostly based on arts, crafts, writing, using a computer, or playing games, a good choice of a desk will not only boost your productivity but will guarantee your happiness as well.
Going for a height-adjustable standing is a great idea because you will have a choice to alternate between sitting and standing while working. Besides alternating between sitting and standing while working, you can also purchase a treadmill separately and install it at the bottom of your desk to incorporate some walking or marathons while working. This will help you being in movement and can help you prevent many health issues that can eventually lead to early death.
Should you have any comments or questions, please drop them in the comments box below and I will be more than happy to get back to you.
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