Back pain, stiffness, varicose veins, numbness — working in a seated position for hours on end can lead to various issues. Being sedentary is also problematic, as it increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease, among other things. However, standing for a long period of time can cause back and leg problems.
The best approach is to regularly alternate between a seated and standing position. This also helps improve work productivity. However, expert recommendations vary: some advise a change in posture every 20, 30 or 60 minutes, while others suggest not working in a standing position for more than five or 10 minutes per hour.
No matter what you decide is best for you, make sure your work position is ergonomic. Whether you’re standing or sitting, your hands, wrists and forearms should be parallel to the floor; your elbows, close to your body; your shoulders, relaxed; and your head, straight or slightly tilted forward. Your computer screen should also be at eye level, or just below it. When standing, make sure you’re wearing good shoes and periodically shift your weight from one leg to the other. Finally, an anti-fatigue mat could also be a valuable asset.