Depending on the audience, you will most likely get different opinions on whether or not it’s worth it to invest in a standing desk. It’s a lasting fad that has been gaining momentum in favour of its benefits to overall wellness. Sitting down for more than eight hours a day – even as much as four hours a day – comes with its own risk of negatively affecting health, and in turn, your overall life expectancy. As emerging statistics cite sitting as one of the unhealthiest things to do at work, most businesses are open to the idea of keeping their workers healthy – and productive.
So, does it really make a difference if you sit or stand to do your work? Turns out – research is saying it does. And doesn’t.
You might want to sit down for this one.
Increased Movement & Productivity
A report out of the University of Pittsburgh says that although the standing desk won’t exactly help you lose weight, it did find that workers were more comfortable and less stiff from leaning over their computers all day. Some workers agree that it is much easier to stand and collaborate with a colleague than it is to hunch and slouch over their shoulder.
So, how do you properly size up a standing desk that’s right for you?
Start by getting on your feet.
Stand up straight with your head forward and pull your shoulders slightly back. Take a breath and hold your arms down at your sides, and then bend your elbow into an l-shape or at 90 degrees. Increase the standing height of the desk until the keyboard sits comfortably under your fingertips. A final best practice is to adjust the monitor so your eyes rest at the top third of the screen. Keep in mind that your shoes will always add variable factors to standing desks, so customized options such as footrests or specialized standing mats offer convenient solutions for the flip-flop days of summer.
Decreased Back Pain
In addition to making workers more comfortable, the report also indicated that standing desks also made them less susceptible to lower-back issues. Proponents of standing desks also advocate for the increase in range of motion for helping make a difference in sports or daily exercises. The early adopters even go as far as to say their core strength has improved!
Too Much of Anything is a Bad Thing
As always, the adage of everything in moderation still holds court in the modern-day, and striking a balance between fact and fiction usually comes from personal experience. For every proponent of the standing desk, comes a dissident – standing for more than eight hours a day is going to cause sore legs and feet. Not to mention standing all day long also promotes poor metabolic health in terms of increased risk for varicose veins – generally associated with higher cardiovascular risk. In the end, movement is more essential for added flexibility and overall healthy lifestyles – and not just a standing desk on its own.
Higher Cost than Traditional Desks
And then, there’s the elephant in the room: price. Standing desks do come with a higher price tag than traditional desks. Play it safe and apply best practices before investing in a standing desk – get a proper ergonomic assessment. The high cost of a standing desk might not even be what the doctor orders.
Not Ready to Commit? Think Hybrid
The verdict is still sitting down when it comes to declaring standing desks as a cure-all solution for improving health and performance issues in business or educational environments. Take a test drive of some models and see for yourself. There are many options available from converters to hybrid models and even variable chairs for standing desks. Explore your choices and find the best fit for your needs.