The Standing Desk Phenomenon



Beware the Standing Desk!

At great deal of study has been conducted around the harmful risks to your health if you sit too much. For people that spend their working hours sitting at a desk the research suggests they are at an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and premature death. The US National Library and the National Institutes of Health have published the findings of numerous studies on the negative affect sitting for too long can have on your health.

Sedentary Time & the Risk of Disease
Sedentary Time & Cardiovascular Disease
Treadmil & Standing Desks and Improvements to Physiological Outcomes

What is this Standing Desk You Speak of?

A standing desk, or stand-up desk, is nothing more than a desk that allows you to comfortably and safely stand while you complete your daily work. Typically these desks are used by people who spend a great deal of their day working at computers or other types of workstations. A proper standing desks will be height adjustable, or a combination of sit and stand.

From the data that is coming in from studies, there are several health benefits associated with using a standing desk or a sit-stand desk. Please keep in mind that while the results are trending in a positive direction more data and more studies are needed.

Heart Disease
The idea that standing vs. sitting is better for your heart goes back to the early ‘50s. It is widely accepted among health professionals that the more time you spend sitting the greater risk you’re at for developing heart disease - by as much as 147% according to scientific studies.

Weight Gain
No doubt about it, a proper diet and regular exercise are the best means of controlling a healthy weight. The evidence is showing though, that compared to sitting, simply standing at your desk can result in more calories being used each day.

Back Pain
For those who sit at a desk all day, back pain is the most common complaint. Several studies, including one published by the CDC, have shown that using a sit-stand desk reduced upper back pain by just over 50% in as few as 4 weeks. Prolonged sitting can result in chronic back pain. Using a standing desk can mitigate this health issue.

Productivity
A common misconception is that working at a standing desk will hinder productivity. Studies show that using a stand-up desk has no significant impact on typical work tasks. The data shows that standing up actually improves mood and energy which theoretically could boost overall productivity.

Not All Roses

There are many positives to standing vs. sitting while you work, but there are also some negatives. People that have made the transition from sitting to standing while they work have some common feedback.

Leg & Feet Soreness
When making the move to a standing desk users reported soreness and even stiffness in the feet and legs. For different people it takes a different length of time to get accustomed to standing, but if you can get through, it does pay off.

Lunch Breaks
Eating at a stand-up desk isn’t really that fun. The way around this is to take your break and go have a seat in the lunchroom or get outside for awhile.

Long Days
A ten hour day of standing at your desk is going to be really hard to accomplish, even for the toughest of us. For this reason it is really important that you can adjust the height of your desk or you use a sit-stand desk so that you can mix it up during the day.

Make the Most of It

Studies show that the health benefits of standing vs. sitting are undeniable. We’ve gathered some tips and accessories that to help you maximize the experience of using a standing desk.

Footwear
Get a comfortable pair of shoes with the proper support and, if possible leave them at work so that you can switch out your footwear and stand more comfortably.

Health
If you have health issues such as chronic back pain or joint issues please consult your doctor before making the move to a standing desk.

Ergonomics
There are several different accessories that can optimize the experience of working at a standing desk. For example, look into which mouse and keyboard combination are optimal for proper ergonomics and most certainly investigate the use of a standing foot rest. Standing foot rests are an important part of any ergonomic workstation. A good place to start the search for your ergonomic accessories is with The Human Solutions website.

Anti Fatigue Mats
People that have to stand for long periods of time on unforgiving flooring report all types of health problems directly related to standing. Anti-fatigue mats add a level of comfort and support and can reduce the pressure on your feet, knees and back by up to 32%. The anti fatigue comfort mat helps by keeping your muscles active. The contraction of your muscles while standing on a mat helps to keeps blood circulating. Studies show that standing mats also lead to an overall reduction in fatigue.

Easy Does It
Standing for an entire workday the very first time you try a standing desk isn’t going to bode well. Stand for a couple of hours and then sit for 30 minutes. Listen to your body and take a break from standing, like taking a walk. Even after you make the complete transition to a stand-up desk always maintain proper posture and vary your day with some standing and some sitting.

Conclusive data shows us that sedentary habits, like sitting at a desk all day, have very negative implications on our health. Doing anything repeatedly over a long period of time is going to have an impact on your body - we know this scientifically. Standing desks, or sit-stand desks are a good way to remove the health risk of sitting all day long.

Sources:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25599350
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22890825
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25448843
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19750794
http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2012/07/16/what-are-the-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-standing-desks/#70c26bcf4ce8