Is a Standing Desk Good For You?

In recent years, we have seen dramatic changes in the work environment, especially during the pandemic most the people have to work from home. Using a standing desk is one of the new changes as it offers workers much-needed comfort and more importantly helps them maintain good health.

Is a Standing Desk Good or not?

Is a standing desk good for you? 

Many are shifting to the use of standing desks. And since sitting is the new smoking, there are a ton of standing desk brands that are available in the market today. And every brand promises to be better than the other. But is a standing desk really better than your traditional desk?  

There is so much hype going on right now, that most of it is even padded. To take advantage of the healthy bandwagon people are jumping into, manufacturers are making bold claims. 

So we’ll help you crack these claims and myths. So we‘ll answer this question up and front. Yes, a standing desk may be good for you. But up to what extent? And are the claims true? Let’s see below.

Claim #1: Standing desks will help you lose weight

You’ve seen claims that standing desks can take the place of brisk walking or even simple activities. Since you burn more calories standing than sitting, that should be able to suffice right?

Well, not exactly. Here is our take. 

To be able to burn fat, you have to increase your heart rate. Say, you are running or brisk walking, you can feel your heart rate increasing. And you have to keep this up for a certain amount of time to be able to burn fat. That means you’ll also be huffing and puffing a bit. And you will be sweating. 

Do you experience this if you are just standing? A big no. While we burn more calories when standing compared to sitting, it is not significant enough to result in weight loss, even a minute weight loss. The difference in calories burned from sitting and standing is very meager. 

So a standing desk will not help you lose weight. You have to actually work out. Meaning you have to move, elevate your heart rate, and you have to sweat.

Claim #2: Standing desks reduce stress and anxiety

A big no. Several jobs require people to stand up the entire day. Do they feel less stressed? Heck no. The opposite is that their legs feel too tired and stressed. Standing all day is not necessarily better than sitting all day. 

Try to stand for one day and you will develop leg soreness, foot problems, and even a nagging pain on the back. The same goes with sitting for the entire day.

So using a standing desk alone will not directly reduce stress levels. But you know what will? Moving.

stand up desk good for you today

Our body is designed to move. Sit the entire day and your body will feel limp and stressed. Stand for the entire day and your body will feel tired and stressed too. So the bottom line is, you have to move. You cannot stay in one position for the entire day. 

Alternating between sitting and standing is the best solution. This might be able to help reduce body fatigue and stress. Not standing alone, not sitting alone. 

Claim #3: Standing desks help you be more productive

This is very subjective. And to be productive or not is based on the person and not based on whether he is sitting or standing. You can be standing for the entire day but doing nothing much. And you can be sitting the whole day and doing a lot. And the same goes if we reverse it. 

So it’s all in the mindset. While using a standing desk for the first time may help make you feel all pumped up. But that fleeting feeling will wear out once your legs tire and the pain radiates to your back.

The same thing happens if you just had a new desk setup, even if it’s a traditional one. Or you just bought a new ergonomic chair. That excitement of using something new gets you hyped up, it makes you want to do more. That’s what gets you to productivity initially. But to keep yourself in this momentum, there’s so much more involved than just using a standing desk.

Claim #4: Standing desks can help correct bad posture

Others see the use of standing desks as the best solution to correct a bad posture. If you tend to slouch always in your office chair, a stand-up desk might seem like a good idea. But not really. 

You can still assume a bad posture even if you are standing. And even if you are walking, your shoulder can still be hunched up.

Also, once your legs get tired, you tend to put your entire weight on your arms and rest them on the desk. This will cause your shoulders to get all hunched up. So no, it alone will not help with bad posture. 

What will help you correct your bad posture is regular exercise and mindfulness. You have to be mindful that whatever it is you’re doing, you are not slouching. 

Claim#5: Standing desk help reduce the incidence of diabetes, obesity, and another lifestyle-related disease

When we say lifestyle-related diseases, you have to address those diseases by changing your lifestyle. And using a standing desk alone will not change your lifestyle. You also have to engage in regular physical activity. You have to eat more sensibly and healthily. And you also have to have a positive mindset and get rid of all the negative energy. And of course, you have to be happy.

While using a standing desk might help you in this particular area, it’s not going to work if you’re not going to couple it with other interventions. Preventing lifestyle-related disease involves so much more than just reducing sitting. You can be standing the whole day but munching on chips and drinking soda. 

standing desk good

So does that mean that standing desks are just hype?

The claims above are indeed hyped up. And as we have mentioned earlier, manufacturers are taking advantage of people becoming more conscious of their health. 

While a standing desk alone will not help you achieve the claims that we have mentioned above. There are still benefits to using one.

One, as we also mentioned, standing desks is a tool where you can alternate between sitting and standing. If you just use a traditional desk, you will not be able to use it for standing. While standing desks will be more functional. 

Alternating between sitting and standing is the best position for us. Once your legs get tired you can sit down. And if you feel like you need to move around a bit to jolt some energy back into your veins you can stand up.

Two, standing desks have several features that traditional desks lack. Aside from the fact that they can transition from sitting to standing height, you can enjoy an array of useful functions. Some standing desks have an anti-collision feature. The desk stops if it comes into contact with anything. 

Others feature a sitting reminder. The unit will alarm if you have been sitting down for too long.  Some even have Bluetooth functions and you can even charge your phone on the tabletop.

Three, standing desks make up for a more modern and contemporary vibe. The more premium standing desks look gorgeous and sleek that it can give all traditional desks a run for their money. 

And four, it looks cool. It’s pretty cool to have a desk that can move up and down. And there are tons of choices in the market that you will have a challenging time finding out what to buy.

So is it still worth it?

It will be worth it if you learn to manage your expectations. And do not fall for marketing strategies that boost up the desk that makes the desk a glorified unit and all.   For a  standing desk to be worth it, it must offer great value for you. So you have to consider the cost vs the advantages and the features of the standing desk.

So the answer is it depends. While it may not 100% help prevent lifestyle-related diseases, it can help a bit. It will not be able to help you lose weight or relieve stress. but it might be able to change your perspective at work. It can liven up the vibe in an office.

So the key here is to take everything with a grain of salt. Standing desks might not be the overall solution, but they can be part of the solution. 

You just have to know how to use it to your advantage. And of course, a positive mindset will also go a long way. So don’t go blaming your traditional desk for your zero productivity today haha! 

best sit to stand desk

Serious reasons why using a standing desk is good

Standing while you work offers several health benefits, and reduces the risks associated with sitting for an extended period of time. However, the latest study reveals that using a standing desk is unlikely to help avoid weight gain or weight loss.

Health experts who advocate for the use of standing desks point at studies that suggest that more standing helps the blood sugar levels to drop to normal levels after a meal. In addition, they also cite evidence that shows that standing aids in reducing the risk of back and shoulder pain as well as preventing depression.

Some of the other potential health benefits linked to using a standing desk rely on the fact that avoiding sitting for long hours is recommended in preventing them. These health benefits include preventing:

  •    Diabetes
  •    Obesity
  •    Cancer (especially cancers of the breast or colon)
  •    Cardiovascular disease
  •    Premature death

However, it is good to understand that reducing sitting for long hours does not only mean standing but the pacing, walking, or just standing. The latest study on energy expenditures has shown that these activities may lead to different health effects. The real health impact of using a standing desk cannot be determined with certainty when it comes to these potential benefits as rigorous studies are yet to be performed.

Moreover, if you are planning to work while standing at your desk, you should know that a standing desk comes with its own side effects just like other interventions. For instance, you run the risk of developing leg, back, or foot pains if you choose to go from spending the whole day sitting to standing all day abruptly.

It is advisable to start with 30 to 60 minutes and then increase the hours you spend while standing gradually the time that works for you. This mainly depends on the tasks that you are carrying out as certain functions are performed well while one is seated. Therefore, a standing desk is not necessarily convenient for all individuals that spend most of their time at their desk job.

5 Mistakes People Make When Using a Standing Desk

Using a standing desk appears to be one of the excellent ways to combat the effects of sedentary work habits that increases health risks. However, despite a standing desk being important in reducing the health risks, some mistakes can make it’s used to cause more harm than good. Some of the errors include:

  1.    Spending all day at your standing desk

Standing for some hours while working is better than spending the entire working hours sitting, but standing all day comes with a variety of health issues too. Therefore, using a standing desk is recommended for reducing health issues associated with long sitting hours.

However, spending the whole day standing does not do your body any favor. Instead, it leads to the introduction of new risk factors that would still be detrimental to your health. For instance, standing for an extended time can result in lower back and spine issues over time.

It can also increase your risk for deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins as well as other cardiovascular issues. Standing too much makes your heart work against gravity in ensuring that it keeps blood flowing up to your lower limbs.

A study in 2017 on 7,000 participants published in the American Journal of Epidemiology gives enough evidence of the risks of standing too much. The investigation revealed that people who spent most of their time standing had a double chance of suffering from heart disease as compared to those who spent most of their time sitting.

However, the author concluded that the combinations of standing and sitting provide numerous health benefits. It is also advisable to switch from standing and sitting as well as a bit of frequently stretching throughout the day.

  1.    Using a Standing Desk for the Wrong Tasks

As mentioned earlier, certain tasks are better performed while sitting down than when standing at your desk. These mainly include jobs that require motor skills since when we are in this posture our brain performs them better. Therefore, there is the reason why we feel more comfortable writing while sited and also drive sitting down.

Sitting down allows the brain to work correctly as it can process things sequentially. On the other hand, performing these tasking while standing as you will be forced to do multiple things at the same time. This means that you should not throw away everything as we have great chairs that are specially designed to meet these requirements.

Besides, if your job needs longer spurts of concentration, it may be good to avoid alerts that indicate when to stand, sit or move around. It takes about 25 minutes to have your brain return to a focused state after such interruptions. Therefore, letting your body decide when it is the right time to stand and sit can significantly help you in maintaining concentration.

  1.    You stand still for a longer time

Usually, sitting on regular chairs is blamed for all the dangers of sedentary habits as most studies base their evidence on how much time people spend sitting rather than how much they fail to move. According to Ken Tameling, a seating expert at Steelcase Furniture Company, how much you move matters than whether you are sitting or standing. This means that you need to stretch and walk around to maintain good health.

However, moving does not necessarily mean that you require a treadmill desk that affects attention and hinders learning and typing skills. Instead, you need to find simple and effective ways to move while you are standing or sitting.

When using a standing desk, you can take the weight off the feet in turns by using a footrest. This requires reclining so that your torso and legs create a 135-degree angle, which is the healthiest position while sitting.

Studies have shown that any form of micro-movement can add some value to your body’s health. Therefore, the worst thing you can do while using a standing desk is to be still for a longer time.

  1.    Spending too much on acquiring a standing desk

A standing desk is important in reducing issues associated with sitting too much. However, this does not necessarily mean that you need to spend significant amounts of money in acquiring one.

It is possible to purchase a comfortable standing desk at a cheap cost as you can also modify the regular desk to meet the needs of it like placing your computer on an object or a stack of books. Besides, standing does not have to cost you a thing, especially when carrying out tasks that require you to sit down when performing them. This means that it is good to try the usual simple solutions first before you think of spending any cash in acquiring a luxurious desk.

  1.    Using a standing desk for weight loss

The other mistake that people make when using a standing desk is doing it for weight loss. Several studies suggest that using it is unlikely to deliver the desired results. A study done in 2017 revealed that opting to stand for six hours a day helps burn just 50 more calories as compared to what your body burns while you are sited. However, move around for 20 to 30 minutes offer much value in reducing health risks.

Bottom Line

Overall, using a standing desk is right for you, but it cannot provide the ultimate solution to our sedentary concerns. Moreover, just like regular desks and other inventions, they can also cause health risks, mainly if they are used throughout the day or for wrong tasks.

However, using a standing desk helps reduce too much sitting, though it would be better if we could include other solutions that allow for more body movements. These include walking, cycling, stretching, and moving around the workplace or home.  

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