The human body was never designed to work in a sitting position. If one were to go way back to the beginning, mankind carried out all activities with an upright gait from walking and running to hunting and throwing. With no machinery, computers or electronics to take the load off us, we practically did everything ourselves.
The history of the standing desk can be traced back perhaps to 1797 when Presbyterian minister Job Orton uttered the following words:
“A sedentary life may be injurious. It must therefore be your resolute care to keep your body as upright as possible when you read and write; never stoop your head nor bend your breast. To prevent this, you should get a standing desk.”
Standing desks were very popular in the 18th and 19th centuries when more people started to see and experience the benefits of working and writing in a standing position; increased productivity, enhanced concentration, and greater creativity were just some of the benefits of working at a standing desk.
Standing desks were even seen as a sign of prestige, and used by several notable leaders, artists and writers including Leonardo Da Vinci, Ernest Hemingway, Napoleon and Winston Churchill.
With the increasing mechanisation of the 20th century, machinery has come to occupy a significant space in the life of a human being, be it in industry, farming, business or home. The increasing use of machines has also seen a corresponding rise in sedentary jobs, especially since the 1950s. According to the American Heart Association, sedentary jobs have increased 83 per cent since the middle of last century; today, 75 per cent of our jobs are sedentary, compared to the 25 per cent that are physically active.
Poor posture and sedentary lifestyles
Bad posture comes from a combination of routine activities and bad habits such as sitting at the desk all day, driving, slinging a bag over the same shoulder and bad sleeping positions. All being second nature to us, we are setting ourselves up for a lifetime’s worth of sore backs, shooting neck pains, and stiff shoulders. The more we delay correcting ourselves, the more difficult it will become to correct; till even seemingly simple tasks such as lifting or carrying can cause significant damage to a back that has been weakened by years of prolonged sitting.
The human being has evolved from an active upright posture to a sedentary, weak lifestyle. The only way to correct this anomaly is to ditch the regular chair and office desk routine for a stand up desk adjusted to the user’s correct height so there is no choice but to stand up straight, strengthening the back muscles that have previously been in a state of disuse.
How adjustable standing desks can change the way you work
An adjustable standing desk gives you the ultimate freedom and flexibility to switch between sitting and standing positions throughout the day. Switch positions at the push of the button and see the difference the standing desk makes to your productivity, work quality, posture and health.
In Part Two of this series, Ergomotion will explain the difference between standing, sit stand, and height adjustable desks.