If “sitting is the new smoking,” when can we stand? We sit at work, we sit at school, we sit as we drive from one place to the next and we sit on the couch when we get home. Since the average office worker spends about six and a half hours per day sitting at a desk, standing desks have been introduced as an alternative in the workplace. But do they really work? What are the pros and cons? Here are some things to think about as you decide if a standing desk is right for you.
Standing Desk Pros
- It improves posture. Standing while working forces you to stand up straight and have good posture. Some employees report less back, neck and tailbone soreness.
- It keeps the blood flowing. It’s harder to nod off or feel sleepy when you’re in a standing position, so you may feel more alert while standing at a desk. Work may feel more urgent, so you may be more productive as a result.
- It reduces some types of diseases. Standing reduces the risk of developing diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. It can also reduce back and neck pain by 54 percent.
- You will burn more calories. When you stand at a desk for 3-4 hours during the workday, your heart beats about 10 times more per minute. That’s the equivalent of running 10 marathons a year.
- It’s easier to engage with co-workers. If you are in a shared office space, you are at eye-level with co-workers walking by, which may encourage brief exchanges that take the place of an email.
Standing Desk Cons
- It can be uncomfortable. Some workers have complained about stiff legs, aching backs and sore feet after standing for long periods of time, especially if they have a health issue. Watch out for swelling in your feet and ankles, stiff knees and varicose veins.
- It stifles the creative juices. Some workers have reported that creative work, like designing or writing, is more difficult to do in a standing position.
- It’s hard to eat at your desk. Standing over your desk to eat lunch can be awkward and messy. It might be better to find a comfortable place to sit.
If you do decide to invest in the standing desk option, we suggest you consider the following:
- Invest in an anti-fatigue mat. These are mats that cushion your feet and may reduce the discomfort in your body.
- Wear supportive shoes. Standing all day won’t be possible in heels or in bare feet. Find a pair of shoes that will give you the support you need to be on your feet the whole day.
- Take your time. Ease into your standing desk. You may need to work your way up to standing the whole day, and/or take frequent sitting breaks.
- The best of both worlds. Consider a standing desk option that raises and lowers to allow you to both stand and sit throughout the day.
Do you have questions about the impact sitting or standing has on your body? Live Well Chiropractic Center is available to answer your questions, help you determine the cause of your pain and develop a treatment plan so you can start healing. Contact us today at 513-285-7482 to schedule an appointment! Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for our latest tips and updates!