8 Benefits of Standing Desks?
Sitting at a desk all day isn’t good for our human bodies. While it’s helpful to take breaks to stretch and walk around, many of us find that we need more than that to stay healthy. Standing desks can make a huge differences. If you have hip and back pain related to sitting all day, then you might benefit from a standing desk.
What Are Standing Desks?
Obviously, these are desks that are positioned at a height where you can comfortably stand while you work. However, many people don’t realize that you can also sit at these desks. Standing desks are adjustable, allowing you to raise the height of the desk to the right position whether you want to work seated or standing. This is important because you probably don’t want to stand all day. Your feet and legs will get tired, especially when you first start standing more. The benefits are worth it, but this adjustability of the desk’s height allows you to build up to the right ratio of sitting and standing for you.
Benefits of Standing Desks
Using a standing desk encourages you to move and shift your weight, reducing the amount of time you spend in a completely sedentary state. Some of the benefits this offers include:
1. Reduced Risk of Health Issues
Prolonged sitting has been linked to various health problems, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer. Using a standing desk can help reduce the amount of time you spend sitting and potentially lower your risk of these health issues.
2. Improved Posture
Standing encourages better posture compared to sitting, which can help alleviate back and neck pain. When using a standing desk, you’re more likely to engage your core muscles and maintain a more neutral spine alignment.
3. Increased Energy and Alertness
Standing while working can promote better blood circulation and increase oxygen flow to the brain, leading to improved energy levels and enhanced alertness.
4. Enhanced Productivity
Some individuals find that standing desks can boost their focus and productivity. The ability to switch between sitting and standing can help prevent the feeling of becoming too sedentary or fatigued during long work hours.
5. Calorie Expenditure
Standing burns more calories than sitting, although the difference is not extremely significant. Over time, however, the increased calorie expenditure can contribute to weight management and overall health.
6. Reduced Risk of Musculoskeletal Issues
Properly using a standing desk with correct ergonomics can reduce strain on muscles and joints, particularly in the back, shoulders, and neck. It may help prevent or alleviate conditions like lower back pain and stiffness.
Some research suggests that standing desks help control your blood sugar better. Specifically, you should spend time standing after eating meals. Stand after lunch (or when eating at your desk!)
8. Better Circulation
Standing encourages better blood circulation in the legs and feet, which can reduce the risk of blood clots and swelling that can occur with prolonged sitting.
It’s important to note that standing for extended periods can also have its own set of challenges. These include:
- Discomfort or strain on your legs and feet
- Fatigue which negates the benefits of standing related to alertness
- Risks for people who already have varicose veins
Standing is better than sitting throughout the day but the key is to do both. Moreover, you should choose the right standing desk and supplemental accessories to create the most ergonomic space available. Therefore, it’s recommended to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day and to ensure that you have a comfortable anti-fatigue mat to stand on. And don’t forget to still take those breaks to stretch and move.
How to Choose The Right Standing Desk
Here are some of the factors to consider when choosing your standing desk. You’ll have to weigh your needs with the cost, of course.
Manual vs. Electric
- Manual Adjustable Standing Desks usually have a crank or lever mechanism that allows you to manually adjust the height of the desk. You can raise the desk to a standing height and lower it for sitting.
- Electric Adjustable Standing Desks are equipped with an electric motor that enables easy and smooth adjustment of the desk’s height with the push of a button. Some models even come with memory presets, allowing you to save specific heights for different users or activities.
Electric ones are usually more expensive. However, they are also easier to use and pose fewer strains in terms of moving the desk up and down.
You can look at a lot of different factors related to the ergonomics of standing desks:
- Adjustable monitor height reduces strain on the neck, shoulders, and eyes
- Cable management and built-in organization keep the workspace tidy and safe
- Curved edges, tilting keyboard trays, and ample space for peripherals promote a natural wrist position and comfortable typing.
- Anti-fatigue mats cushion feet and enhance circulation during standing periods
- Stability enhancements and ergonomic certifications ensure a stable and health-focused design
- Mobile app integration encourages regular movement
And a few other things to look at when buying your desk include:
- Workspace Size: Ensure the desk’s dimensions fit your available space and allow for comfortable movement.
- Weight Capacity: Check if the desk can support the combined weight of all your equipment.
- Speed of Adjustment: Some models adjust more quickly than others. This might be a consideration if you switch between sitting and standing frequently.
- Noise Level: Electric desks vary in noise produced during height adjustment. Opt for quieter models if you’re concerned about noise disruption.
- Ease of Maintenance: Consider how easy it is to clean and maintain the desk’s surfaces, especially if you plan to use it extensively.
- Health Considerations: If you have specific health concerns or conditions, consult with a healthcare professional or ergonomic specialist to ensure the desk meets your needs.
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Drew Blankenship is a former Porsche technician and lifelong automotive enthusiast. Recently, he began writing for several websites and is enjoying the career change. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and their dog Enzo.