Have you grown tired of sitting at work all day and you’re considering making the switch to a standing desk? There are many versions of the standing desk that can adjusted to your height and size.
According to the Desired Desk, roughly 80 percent of Americans work desk jobs so it could be worthwhile exploring the pros and cons of a standing desk. The human body needs to be active and working a sedentary job can only increase health risks and concerns overtime. Making the switch to a standing desk can alleviate some of these concerns.
Standing desks may seem like a popular trend started by Millennials, but a surprising fact is standing desks have been around since the 1800s. A number of prominent thinkers, politicians, and philosophers such as Winston Churchill, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Tim Cook have championed the standing desk and its health benefits. Is this standing desk the right fit for you? Find out below.
What are the Pros of a Standing Desk?
Standing desks have numerous health benefits and can be the change you’ve been looking for. Standing while at work could help you potentially burn 100 to 200 calories an hour depending on your body type and help reduce health risks across the board. You could possibly extend your lifespan by standing compared to sitting. We’ll explore the pros of the standing desk below.
1. Reduces Health Risks
A sedentary lifestyle or sitting for prolonged periods of time has been shown to lead to various health risks and concerns. A standing desk can reduce your chances of obesity, cardiovascular diseases, heart disease, and even cancer. Additionally, they increase energy levels and vigor.
2. Improves Circulation
Humans were meant to move and be active throughout the day. Studies show that sitting for long periods of time slows down blood flow and could potentially lead to blood clots, swollen ankles, and even have a negative effect on cardiovascular health.
3. Boosts Mood
Sitting at a desk for an extensive period of time can cause stress and anxiety in individuals. When standing, anxiety and stress levels are greatly reduced, and workers usually notice a significant boost in their mood. Standing can also cause the release of a hormone called serotonin which is known as a mood booster. More oxygen travels to the brain while standing and you’ll end up feeling more engaged and present in the workplace.
4. Reduces Back Pain
Many times, sitting can cause back pain and become very painful overtime. Sitting puts pressure on the spine and can potentially cause damage to the discs. Unless you have an ergonomic chair, you’re most likely developing bad posture which creates neck pain as well. Standing has the ability to reduce back & neck pain, reduce tension in the shoulders, and naturally improve your posture.
What are the Cons of Standing Desks?
Standing desks are a great alternative to sitting desks, but are far from perfect and can come with negative side effects of their own. Before making the switch, consider the cons of standing desks below.
Standing desks have a lot of health benefits such as burning a higher amount of calories, but this causes more fatigue and tiredness in employees. The legs and feet have to carry more weight than they’re used to, causing discomfort and potentially having a negative impact on productivity. If the employee doesn’t maintain proper posture throughout the workday, this can increase the chances of fatigue as well.
2. Vein Problems
Veins commonly transport blood from the heart all the way to the legs. Standing for long hours can put an extra workload on your veins and this can cause swelling in the lower body. You can offset this health concern by looking into purchasing compression socks. Compression socks help increase healthy blood flow and circulation. Even athletes wear compression socks for recovery, an increase in oxygen delivered to the muscles, and overall comfort.
3. Joint Pain & Soreness
Standing all day alleviates back pain, but adds pressure to your joints such as your knees and ankles. This can become quite painful and if you’re not wearing comfortable shoe wear, your feet can become sore after a long day of work. Without proper exercise and taking breaks, this pain and pressure could potentially create damage to the leg muscles.
4. Inaccessible to Certain Types of Workers
Standing seems like a great way to overcome physical inactivity associated with the traditional sitting desk, but may not be accessible for certain types of workers. Older employees may not be able to stand for long periods due to preexisting health conditions and may fatigue more quickly than their younger counterparts. People with disabilities face similar concerns and the standing desk may not be an option for them.
Making the switch to the standing desk can be incredibly beneficial depending on your goals and health. This can be a nice alternative to the sedentary work associated with the traditional desk and a good investment, but it’s important to weigh the pros and cons outlined above before making a long-term decision.