“Sitting is the new smoking.”
This is the word on the street, now that research has found that too much sitting is bad for your health. Sitting for long periods of time is correlated with a variety of health problems, including heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer.
So, if you work at a desk job, you are literally making yourself sick by sitting most of the day. For this reason, more and more people are using standing desks to help protect their health while working.
What is a Standing Desk?
A standing desk is a desk that allows you to work while standing up. It usually includes moveable arms or platforms that hold computer screens or laptops. These arms can be adjusted to allow for the best viewing height.
Additionally, a standing desk often comes with a padded mat, called an anti-fatigue mat, to put under the feet while standing.
Standing desks are typically adjustable, and can often be converted back to a sitting desk. Some companies also sell portable standing desks or desk converters that can be used to turn a traditional desk into a standing desk.
Health Benefits of Using a Standing Desk
Using a standing desk has many health benefits, including:
- Lowering obesity
- Reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes
- Alleviating back pain
- Elevating mood and energy levels
- Improving long-term health
At minimum, you simply burn more calories when you are standing vs. sitting, so using a standing desk is a great way to lose weight.
Standing Desk Considerations
The benefits of standing desks far outweigh the drawbacks, but standing desks are not a magic bullet. Poor posture at a standing desk can create some issues. Standing the same way for long periods of time can put some stress on the back, knees, and feet.
When using a standing desk, it is still important to take breaks and move around a bit, rather than standing still in one spot for a long period of time.
When you first start using a standing desk, don’t just jump right into it full-time. Start standing in small increments with the goal to be standing 25-50% of the time. Research is still preliminary, but ideal ratios of sitting versus standing are approximately 1:1 or 2:1. Thus, if you sit for two hours, plan to stand for at least one hour, up to a total of two.
Make sure you adjust your monitor and make use of any other ergonomic features to help promote good posture while standing. Some desks may even come with adjustable armrests.
Standing Desks: Good for Your Health
Far from just a fleeting trend, the modern standing desk is an innovative development in office furniture that should only become more popular. With its numerous health benefits, the adjustable standing desk is a must-have for fatigued and achy office workers. Fortunately, with the increasing popularity of standing desks, more and more options are available, from portable ones to full standing desk solutions.
You might even be able to talk your boss into buying one for you. It can’t hurt to ask!