Most people who work in an office setting are familiar with the standard desk set up – you get a chair and a desk at which to sit and work.
However, in recent years, standing desks have become increasingly popular as people look for ways to improve their health and well-being while at work.
So, what are the benefits of using a standing desk, and are they right for you?
There are a number of benefits to using a standing desk, including:
- Improved energy levels and mood – when you’re standing, your body is constantly moving and circulating blood, which can help to improve your energy levels and mood throughout the day
- Increased productivity – standing desks have been shown to increase productivity as you’re kept standing upright and not slouched in a chair.
- Improved posture and reduced risk of back pain – by standing, you are forced to maintain better posture than when you’re sitting, which can help to reduce the risk of back pain in the long run
- Increased calorie burn – standing desks can help you burn up to 50 more calories per hour than sitting. That’s not a huge deal but every little helps.
However, before you rush out and buy a standing desk, it’s important to consider whether they are right for you. Just before you make the leap from your current desk setup to a standing desk instead.
Some people find that they struggle to adjust to standing all day, and can experience discomfort or even pain as a result. While our physiology supports walking around on two legs, we’re not designed to stand completely motionless in one spot for 8 – 10 hours per day.
That’s never going to be good for your health, from your joints to your vascular system. No doctor or physiotherapist would recommend it, especially if you have any existing health issues.
This allows you to adjust the height of your desk so that you can alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day. These are available in both manual and motorized versions – the motorized versions are a lot cheaper than they used to be.
So if you’re concerned that a purely standing desk isn’t going to work for you then you may want to try a sit-to-stand desk/adjustable standing desk instead.
Another option is to use a desk riser – this sits on top of your current desk, holding your screen, mouse and keyboard. Then with a push of a button the motors or pneumatic pistons force the riser to elevate itself into a position suitable for a standing worker.
If you’re looking for a way to improve your health and well being at work, a standing desk could be a good option for you. Just be sure to listen to your body and make any necessary adjustments to ensure that you’re comfortable and safe when standing.
Trivia: While it might feel like the standing desk was only first created a few decades ago, the first recorded instance of somebody using a standing desk was in the 1400s by Leonardo DaVinci. Although there’s no proof that he invented it.
How long should you stand at a standing desk?
There is no one definitive answer to this question. Some people find that they are comfortable standing all day, while others find that they need to take breaks every few hours.
It’s always best practice to take a break from your standing desk, regardless of whether or not you’re happy standing there all day.
Take a trip to the water cooler or a 2 minute stroll outside. It’s important to keep your circulation in good working order.
What are the best standing desks?
The best standing desks are the ones that are best suited to your specific physical needs, the amount of space you have available, and how much you can afford to spend.
Basically, everyone has different needs and preferences, so the answer is “It depends”.
However, some popular standing desks include the Jarvis Standing Desk, the UpLift Standing Desk, and the Vivo Height Adjustable Standing Desk.
There are literally hundreds of different makes and models on the market, with something to suit almost every budget.
Are standing desks good for your back?
Yes, standing desks can help to improve your posture and reduce the risk of back pain in the long run.
By forcing you to maintain better posture than when you’re sitting, a standing desk can help to reduce the risk of issues with your back.
But again, it’s essential that you take breaks from your standing desk at least every 2 hours.
What are the disadvantages of standing desks?
Although standing desks might sound like the answer to workplace ergonomics, health and productivity, they’re not without flaws.
There are a few disadvantages to standing desks, including:
- Increased risk of fatigue – standing all day can be tiring, and some people may find that they quickly become fatigued if they don’t take regular breaks
- Increased risk of foot pain – if you’re not wearing the correct shoes or if your desk isn’t adjustable, you may find that you experience foot pain as a result of standing for long periods of time
- They’re not always suitable for everyone – some people find it difficult to adjust to standing all day, and may experience discomfort or even pain as a result.
How much do standing desks cost?
Standing desks can vary in price, depending on the features and quality.
However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $1,000 for a standing desk.
Wrapping things up
Is a standing desk a good idea for you?
They have their pros and cons, but if nothing else they encourage you to change from a sitting to standing position a few times per day.
For me, I have back injury that prevents me from standing up all day but I also can’t sit down all day because I start slouching after about 4 hours.
That’s why one of my future purchases is a height-adjustable standing desk.