No matter how much we try to avoid, we cannot avoid the 9-5 cubicle routine. The majority of us spend countless hours at our desks working hard for that dream job. To make things comfortable, we surround our desk with pictures or any other souvenirs, looking at them while sitting at our desks all day long. There was a time when we used to sit for hours at the office. The only thing that has changed is the workplace. Now, we find ourselves sitting for hours in our homes with the worst possible posture, which is bound to cause us pain in the neck, back, and lower back.
If we keep listening to what the media has to offer about sitting, we might never sit again. But people living a sedentary lifestyle are slowly moving towards standing desks to counter the side effects caused by prolonged hours of sitting behind a desk. Standing is a great way to help reduce health risks like heart disease and diabetes. In addition, with proper ergonomics, standing can help improve your posture while reducing neck and back pains.
However, most of us are still unaware of what standing desks are and what benefits they offer. If you are also one of them, then we have you covered. In this article, we will be discussing standing desks in detail along with the various pros and cons they have to offer.
- 1 What Is A Standing Desk?
- 2 Could Switching To A Standing Desk Be Good For You?
Pros And Cons Of Using A Standing Desk
- 3.1 1. Pros Of Using A Standing Desk
- 3.2 2. Cons Of Using A Standing Desk
- 4 Should You Go For A Standing Desk?
What Is A Standing Desk?
To counter the side effects caused by prolonged hours of sitting, people are slowly moving towards using standing desks. Like any other form of physical activity, standing promotes better blood circulation throughout the body. Banking on this principle, manufacturers too have shifted towards producing more creative standing desks.
As the name suggests, a standing desk, also referred to as a stand-up desk, allows you to work while standing up rather than sit in a chair. These stand-up desks prevent your body from being stationary while working. The majority of these standing desks come with adjustable features, wherein you alternate between sitting and standing by changing the desk’s height. These desks can either be custom-built or convert your regular desk into a standing desk simply by elevating the height of your computer.
Could Switching To A Standing Desk Be Good For You?
Sales of standing desks have soared in recent years; their sales have far outpaced those of conventional desks in many cases. As a result, people living a sedentary lifestyle have slowly started using standing desks. Standing desks is known to alleviate back pain. However, doctors are uncertain about the time you should spend standing up to enjoy this benefit. A study by UCLA found that call center employees were 45% more productive when using the standing desk. However, newer enhanced studies have suggested that a standing desk does little to nothing to aid weight loss or weight gain. In contrast, switching to a standing desk is often linked with increased energy and improved blood circulation.
Some of the benefits of switching to a standing desk are as follows.
- Improved Posture
- ALleviated Neck, Back, ANd Lower Back pain
- Improved Porudctivy and Efficiency
- Help keep blood sugar in check
- Lowered risk of Weight Gain and Obesity (Note that prolonged hours of standing is NOT linked to higher calorie burn)
- Reduced risk of developing heart disease
- Improved levels of concentration
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Pros And Cons Of Using A Standing Desk
While there may be several benefits to using a standing desk, there are also cons that come along with it. Here are some of the pros and cons of using a standing desk
1. Pros Of Using A Standing Desk
I. Keeps You Moving
A survey conducted by Herbalife in 2016 revealed that an average human being spends around 6 hours sitting every day. Multiple disorders are linked with prolonged hours of sitting on a desk, such as sciatica and piriformis syndrome. One of the significant benefits of using a standing desk is that it keeps your body from tensing up by keeping you moving. Issues like back and neck pain generally don’t arise if you use a standing desk.
II. Eliminates the Afternoon Slump
No matter how proactive a person is, they will agree that it is challenging to keep their eyes open post-lunch. This is where a standing desk comes in handy since it helps a person’s post-meal blood sugar return to its average level much sooner than it does when sitting. This helps a person beat that afternoon slump and retain energy throughout the day.
III. Helps With The Mood And Energy Levels
Standing is known to affect the overall well-being of an individual positively. Out of all those using standing desks, 75% of individuals reported less stress and fatigue than those seated the entire day. Also, these individuals said increased vigor and overall energy when they shifted from a sitting to a standing desk.
IV. Helps Alleviate Back Pain
One of the common problems office workers face is a bad back. People prone to sitting on a chair for long hours throughout the day often develop back problems. Despite using an ergonomic chair, the pain continues to persist. However, several studies have indicated the standing can alleviate back pain. Note that standing does NOT cure back pain but can improve the situation vastly. For example, a survey conducted by the UNSW found that almost 54% of the people using a standing desk reported reduced upper back and neck within the 1st four weeks.
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2. Cons Of Using A Standing Desk
I. Can Damage The Joints
While standing will help with overall body movement, it will simultaneously take a toll on your body. While standing can keep neck and back pain at bay, it can damage the muscles and joints. Standing for prolonged hours is known to induce muscle fatigue, soreness, and overall tiredness. When using a standing desk for almost a day, you’ll find yourself with sore joints when you leave.
II. It Can Be Tiring
Standing is an active alternative to sitting for hours in a chair. However, standing for too long induces muscle fatigue and soreness, which can tire an individual out. No matter what surface you stand on, your muscles eventually start indicating the fatigue and soreness caused by all those hours of standing upright.
III. Can lead to lower back problems
If you think that swapping sitting with a standing desk can help cure you of any muscular ailments, think again. A standing desk is known only to alleviate the pain in the neck and back muscles and NOT cure it. Instead, standing throughout the day can lead to lower back problems since prolonged hours of standing upright can compress the discs. It is also known to aggravate postural issues (if any ).
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Should You Go For A Standing Desk?
An average human being spends around 6 hours sitting every day. To top that, a busy schedule and long working hours generally tend to add more hours of sitting to your daily routine. Everyone is familiar with the multiple disorders that arise when a person lives a sedentary lifestyle and spends hours sitting in front of the computer. A standing desk is a good way and a step towards living a more active lifestyle. As we have mentioned in the pros above, a standing desk helps your post-meal blood sugar return to normal at a quick pace. This can make you feel comparatively less dizzy when working post-lunch.
Meanwhile, standing for hours can strain the joints and also lead to the formation of varicose veins. Also, if you think getting a standing desk will help you shed those extra pounds and remain pain-free throughout the day, then you couldn’t be more wrong. Instead of getting a standing desk, you can change positions, take short breaks, and walk around from time to time. This will do you more good than just sitting or standing the whole day.