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Adjusting To Your Adjustable Height Desk

by Jonah G on October 4, 2013

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The UpLift 900 adjustable height desk in action.

Starting a new job is stressful. There are new names to learn, complex protocols to master, TPC reports to fill out. However, when I started working for The Human Solution last week, there was an additional challenge: I had to learn how to get the most out of an adjustable desk. I’m lucky enough to work in an office where we all have access to amazing ergonomic furniture, but even if you’re buying a brand new adjustable desk, like our insanely popular UpLift 900 standing desk, the challenge is the same. Once you have it, how do you make the most of it?

Leonardo Da Vinci was an early proponent of standing desks. His Vitruvian Man drawing, a study into human proportions, is a symbol for the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

What I quickly realized is that I had been engaging in ergonomic practices at my old jobs without even thinking about it. Every day at lunch, for example, I used to use the opportunity to walk around in the vicinity of my office and stretch my legs. I often took slightly longer routes to printers and copiers just to get a little extra movement. My body was trying to tell me that sitting all day wasn’t good for it, but it was tough to listen to it without eating into my productivity.

Fortunately, that’s no longer a choice I need to make, however, I still needed to learn the habits I’d need to make the most of my new adjustable desk. At first, I anxiously eyed the control panel of my UpLift adjustable desk like it was a nuclear launch button. I had images in my head of using it at the wrong time in the wrong way and accidentally burning down my new office or, even worse, being laughed at by my colleagues. But I also saw how they were using their desks and the ways it seemed to really help their posture and physical well-being. I read interesting blog posts about how to get the most out of my new desk. And, finally, I decided to take the plunge.

At first, I started slowly, only adjusting my desk to a standing position once or twice a day. What I quickly found was that there were times of day when my body wanted to stand and specific tasks where my focus was really amplified by standing. Calling a supplier, beating the after-lunch blues, or even typing this blog post took on a new energy and focus when I was upright. I was aware of the physical benefits of standing at work when I started, but it’s one thing to read it and quite another to actually feel it in your own body. What’s more, I had no idea how much more focused and productive I could be.

That said, I’ve come to really appreciate the adjust-ability of my desk. As someone who likes to bike to work, the last thing I want to do when I get into the office is have to stand up. I was also surprised to discover that standing at your desk all day can also negatively affect your health. Fortunately, I can sit down when I arrive and let my body rest before standing.

And that’s the biggest lesson I learned. No two people’s habits are the same and what works for me might not work for somebody else. Don’t be afraid to push yourself, try new things, and get a feel for what works for you. Once I stopped being afraid to experiment, I found I was really on my way to getting the most out of my desk. Now, like smart phones, DVR, and Doritos Locos tacos, I can’t even remember what life was like before it.

Learn more about setting up a healthy,ergonomic office at TheHumanSolution.com.

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Written by Jonah G

Jonah G

Jonah is a content writer and sales associate with The Human Solution who has fallen madly in love with his Evoluent mouse. He moved to Austin from Brooklyn and couldn’t be more excited to finally be able to get a real taco and legitimate salsa. When not helping people bring ergonomics into their life, you can find him on his bike, at a coffee shop, or in the punk and indie section of the nearest record store.

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