Between a lifetime of aching knees, plus injuring my left knee more seriously a couple of years ago, I suffer the occasional knee pain, especially after spending time on the computer.
I reasoned the pain was because I mindlessly wrapped my feet around the chair wheels, creating a strain on the joints.
So, I DIY'd a standing desk.
It worked! There was still pain, but not as frequent nor as intense.
At the recommendation of a friend, I went to a kinesiologist. He did a couple of quick tests, then said, “You don’t have a knee problem but a back problem,” and set about fixing it.
When I asked what I can do to keep my back aligned, he said, “If you can, don’t sit, especially in a soft chair.”
Little did I know, I was not only one step ahead, but two.
Sitting is the new smoking.
1. Excessive sitting (consider computer + driving + meal times) is linked to muscular and skeletal issues, obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and even premature death (link and link).
2. Standing can reduce some of the risks.
3. Sitting will not have a strong effect if you are active. However, most of us are not active enough.
- Sitting, butgetting up frequently to move, compensates for the poor posture and inactivity. Set a timer to get a glass of water or to use the washroom (the one will cause the other, and not getting up won't be an option).
- For people who needmovement to focus, standing to work is effective, once a transition period is allowed.
6. Standing for long periods of time is also not the answer, possibly because of the temptation to lock the knees. Like the adage goes, everything in moderation.
7. Makeshift standing desks can be easily created. Try before putting money into it. My standing is not pretty but was free.
8. Slight movement while standing helps to engage muscles and blood flow. I found I would lock my knees when I first started using my DIY desk (pictured above). Now that I use aSpooner Board (*see below for why I added the rows of cardboard), and consciously bend my knees slightly, I can stand much longer. I don’t move continuously but shift a bit every once in a while.
We are down to only a few Spooner Board and Batboards and are uncertain if we will be getting more in. If you are interested, buy now!
Take a stand for your health today!
P.S. Because I've injured both knees, I work to reduce any stress on them.
I wondered if the curve of the Spooner Board created an inward stressor that was too much for my knees. By stepping half on the blue and half on the cardboard, my feet are flat.