Office jobs are largely sedentary in which people sit at least eight hours per work day. Remaining seated for most of the day only lets us burn fewer calories and can also have detrimental effects to our health.
To solve this problem, someone has devised a standing desk along the way, but is it really worth it? We weigh in on its pros and cons in this article to help you decide whether or not to get it.
An Overview of Standing Desks
Standing desks are the latest craze in the office industry. Many people are thinking of buying it or adding it to their offices for their employees for improved productivity.
There are standing desks that are fixed in place and those that are adjustable. Adjustable standing desks allow you to change their height to vary between sitting and standing, hence the nickname sit-stand desks.
The Benefits (and Cons) of Standing Desks
As to its benefits, researchers have yet to conduct more studies. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that standing desks reduced neck and upper back pain, as well as improved general mood compared to sitting down in their 2011 research.
Other than that, a lot of people said that even though you stand while working, there are only slight benefits you can get. In a way, it helped to reduce discomfort like lower back pain from sitting for too long.
That said, standing for hours on end isn’t completely good either as it can hurt your knees. Also, the calories you can burn aren’t much, but it’s certainly better than sitting all day wherein your upper and lower body is just inactive.
And you can’t just expect to be able to stand for hours, if you’re accustomed to sitting for long periods. Hence, you’d have to adjust yourself little by little—such as thirty minutes a day and go up from there.
Other hacks for this is to use shoes with soft padding underneath and a gel mat so you won’t feel as though you were being ‘tortured’.
Anyway, concerning standing or sitting, what’s best for your spine is to vary your postures throughout the day. Keep it straight at all times, enough so your spine retains its natural S shape, but not ramrod straight.
Furthermore, you should aim to get up every hour of work and move around. You can drink from and refill your water bottle, brew coffee, order food, or do a quick errand. And, after standing for a while, take a break and sit down—therein lies the beauty of sit-stand or height-adjustable desks.
Is a Standing Desk Truly Worth It?
|Standing Desk||Shown to reduce back and neck pain Can improve general mood and productivity Allows you to work standing or sitting as preferred Sit-stand or height-adjustable desk models available||Beneficial effects are only slight Not many employees are using it yet Can take up a lot of space at the office|
They can be worth the money you pay for it. In short, it all depends on the person’s preference and how he feels working while standing up.
Whereas some people can feel discomfort even on their first try standing, others won’t, and if you put age in the equation, it’s really hard to say.
Also, people differ in the way they work. Some feel more productive while seated down, others while standing up, and the rest when they mix up both.
For those who want to break their consistency in being seated and want to somewhat burn more calories, go for a standing desk.
If you can, get one that you can adjust so that you’re free to sit and stand whenever your body demands them. That also helps improve your whole-body positioning, especially your spine, as you can easily change between standing and sitting, and thus, are better able to focus on your work and take care of yourself.