Review of a stand up desk converter

Movement is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.  Sadly, many of my low back pain patients are suffering with adisc injury because they sit for long periods of time. For these patients I often recommend they move more, get out of their seat more, going for walks, performing back bends, etc.  To keep them productive at work, I may suggest a stand up desk.

For most companies and patients, the cost of purchasing an adjustable desk is too costly.  An alternative to an adjustable desk is having a high desk and then using a stool to quickly go from sitting to standing. But again this can be costly too.  Another alternative is to use a regular desk and have a standing desk converter placed on the desk.

I was recently asked by AnthroDesk to review one of their products; the AnthroDesk: Sliding Standing Desk Converter (Black.

** Please note that this is not an affiliate link. The product was given to me so I could do a review.  I told them that despite receiving the product for free my comments on their product would not be biased. *

Anthrodesk Standing Desk Converter Review

I would like to note that I have only had the converter for approximately 3 weeks but here are my thoughts:

Pro:

  1. It was quick and easy to assemble the converter. An Allen key is provided and no added tools are necessary. It took me 10 minutes to assemble it.  The website said it could take up to 15 minutes.
  2. Once assembled, the converter feels sturdy.  In my video you can see the monitor shake but the converter felt solid.
  3. The latches have a safety mechanism to prevent accidental unlatching.  Though this might be difficult to unlatch when needed i’d rather have difficulty unlatching than having my monitor fall.
  4. With the monitor as far back as it can and the front end of the bottom shelf right at the edge of the desk the monitor is an arms length from the user.  A general rule of thumb for monitor distance is one arm’s length from the screen
  5. At the current price (February 3, 2019), the converter is $99.99 CAD.  This is a lot cheaper than an adjustable table.

Cons:

  1. It is loud when changing the heights of the shelves. In an open office setting this might not be desirable but in an home office room this might not bother you.  
  2. At the lowest position of the lower shelf it can be difficult to get the shelf up.
  3. When moving the shelves there are moments of sticking.
  4. The support post height is limited to the heights that it can support.  For shorter individuals this will be of no use.

Other Thoughts

At its lowest position the bottom shelf will stand 1.25 inches off the desk.  If your desk is currently at the right height for your keyboard this may alter your ergonomics.

It takes approximately 15 to 20 seconds, for me, to adjust the converter up or down. This may be considered long when comparing to a fixed height desk with a tall stool which takes seconds to adjust. I also don’t know how long it takes for an adjustable desk to change heights.  I would think that if it feels even remotely inconvenient you may end up not using it at all.

I’m curious to see if the noise from my converter is just a flaw in the converter given to me or if it is experienced on others. If this is what happens on all of the devices this might not be a product that would be desirable in an open office setting or a reception area.

Conclusion

 For the price, this product is a cheap alternative, and if you don’t mind the time it takes to change the heights of the shelves or the sound then this could be a good option for a stand up desk.

Effects of Long Standing

Remember movement is the most important part.  If you think that just switching to standing all day is going to fix all your problems, long standing can have its own negative effects.

  1. Lower back fatigue and discomfort.
  2. Carotid arteriosclerosis, leg edema, orthostatic symptoms (light headedness or dizziness), heart rate, blood pressure, and venous diseases (varicose veins, chronic venous disease and chronic venous insufficiency).
  3. A number of studies have shown that exposure to prolonged standing tasks can increase the physical fatigue and discomfort reported by workers.

Self myofascial release of the medial pterygoid

The medial pterygoid is a muscle of mastication (chewing).

It attaches onto the jaw near it’s angle but can’t be easily touched from out side of the mouth because there is bone is in the way.

Most of this muscle is found on the inside of the mouth just behind the bottom molars.

The action of this muscle is to close the jaw and to shift the jaw to the opposite side.

When it is a problem the ability to open the jaw is restricted.
and it can be quite tender to touch.

Pain can often be felt in the mouth but also around the TMJ.

I’m going to show you to methods to methods to treat this muscle. But remember that this muscle can be quit tender to do not be overly aggressive.

Method One

Slide your index finger down the inside of your cheek. The pad side is against the cheek and the nail said up against the molars. When you get to back of the molars you will bump into bone. Open your jaw and slide your finger in to the inner side of that bone . The muscle is right there. Apply mild to moderate pressure and wait for it to relax. Hold until it relaxes. Perform once 1 to 2 times a day.

Method two

Though not direct, this method helps treat the distal part of the muscle. As you can see, the muscle ends up at the angle of our jaw. Take your thumb and tuck it underneath your jaw at this point. Use the pad of your thumb to contact the tender point o this muscle. You will have an easier time getting into this spot if your tuck your chin down. Hold until it relaxes. Perform once 1 to 2 times a day

when trying to contact the muscle from the outside you need to be aware that there are salivary glands near here as well. If you feel like you are starting to salivate that tender spot may be the salivary gland.

Get your knees rotating better with this exercise

Dr Notley, Winnipeg Chiropractor and athletic therapist, demonstrates closed chain knee circles to emphasis the rotational mobility of the knee.

The knee has the ability to rotate. A lack of range of motion in rotation can alter the movements around the ankle and hip. This may be a cause of pain in the knee, ankles, hips and even the lower back.

Closed Chain Knee Circles

The reason these are called closed chain is that the chain of joints (toes, foot, ankles, knees, hips, stay in contact with the ground.  You can see in this other knee circles/cars exercise that my foot is off the ground. This is an open chain exercise.

To perform this exercise start with both feet together.  Bend your knees and then separate the knees out wide as far as you circle around the knee straightens out again.

Make sure you keep your feet from coming off the ground. If your foot comes up the rotation is occurring elsewhere.  This knee circles emphasizes knee internal rotation.

To emphasize knee external rotation, which often is not a problem for people, separate your feet and this time flex your knees and bring your knees together as you circle around back  to a straight leg.

You will see in this video that my left knee doesn’t come out to the side as far as the right. I have sprained my left ankle before and have knee pain to the inside of my left knee

Please note that there should be no pain with this movement. If you do experience pain seek out care from a professional. Knee rotation, when the knee is flexed, is a mechanism of injury for the menscii of the knee. Perform this movement slowly. **

Dr Notley’s practice is an evidence informed, multi-modal treatment method which combines spinal manipulation/mobilization, exercises, acupuncture and other modes of care, along with patient education.

Dr Notley is available, by appointment, through the following link http://bit.ly/Drnotley-Contact

Knee circles for healthier knees

Dr Notley, Winnipeg Chiropractor and athletic therapist, demonstrates open chain knee circles to emphasis the rotational mobility of the knee.

The knee has the ability to rotate. A lack of range of motion in rotation can alter the movements around the ankle and hip. This may be a cause of pain in the knee, ankles, hips and even the lower back.  Those who have pain with squatting may be having a problem with rotation around the knee

Open Chain Knee Circles

The reason these are called open chain is that the chain of joints (toes, foot, ankles, knees, hips, are not in contact with the ground.  You can see in this other knee circles/cars exercise that my feet stay on the ground. This is a closed chain exercise.

To perform this exercise begin by holding your thigh so your movement is coming from your knee rather than from your hip. Turn your foot to the out side and pull the heel up as close to your buttocks as you can.  Make sure you are keeping your foot point out the entire time

Once you have reached as far up as you can turn the foot inwards and straighten your leg out.  As you near complete straightening of the knee your foot will naturally end up loosing the inward rotation of the foot so don’t worry about that.

You can also perform this exercise in the opposite direction by first turning the foot in and then pulling up towards your buttocks.  

Don’t rush through these movements. Take your time.  Going too fast allows your body to skip through problem areas.

If you experience pain while performing this exercise consider making an appointment to be examined by a professional.

Dr Notley’s practice is an evidence informed, multi-modal treatment method which combines spinal manipulation/mobilization, exercises, acupuncture and other modes of care, along with patient education.

Dr Notley is available, by appointment, through the following link http://bit.ly/Drnotley-Contact

Self myofascial release of the massetter muscle

The masseter muscle is located at the angle of your jaw. As you clench your jaw you can feel this muscle contract. it’s primary action is to close the jaw but  can also contribute to retracting (pulling the jaw backwards) the jaw.

Pain can refer to the ear, TMJ, over the eye and into the upper and lower teeth. It can be involved in tension-like headaches, cervicogenic headaches, ear aches or molar pain. Problem with this muscle can also be a cause tinnitis, ringing in the ear.

This muscle may be aggravated due to head posture, prolonged open jaw during dental surgery, habits of clenching the teeth, gum chewing, cracking hard candy.

Often overlooked systemic perpetuating factors are low thyroid function, anemia, vitamin deficiencies, electrolyte disorders, and depression.

To treat the superficial component of the masetter find a tender point using your thumb or ball then open up your jaw.  Feel the tension under your thumb or the ball.

To relax the deep masseter partially open your jaw.  Then attempt to jut your jaw out while using your hands to resist this movement.  This causes the muscles that retract (pull the jaw backwards) to relax.