Should You Consider Buying a Standing Desk?
To answer the question posed in the title, maybe! Standing desks are most likely healthier for you than conventional desks. Because, let’s face it: unless one has a manual labor job or an active occupation, we sit quite a bit during our lives.
For those who have an office job, the amount of time spent sitting can be upwards of forty hours a week, excluding the time it takes to commute to work, after-work leisure activities, or when we are stuck with Santa-duty at the office Christmas party--the point is that we could use a little more standing time in our lives, all of us.
According to the research: “Sedentary time is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.” And a logical way to combat these increased risks is to do everything in one’s power to stand up a few times an hour. In short, standing at your work desk is a much better alternative than sitting all day.
Actually...it’s more complicated than that. According to a study done in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 74 people were fitted and measured for the amounts of oxygen they consumed while doing various activities. The most relevant of these activities were the measured effect on energy expenditure while standing or sitting. And the results were well...not very noticeable. In the study, those who stood at their desk only burned 8 calories more per hour than those who sat. Nothing to write home about at all. There’s more though, fortunately!
There’s evidence to suggest (but not completely prove) in the aforementioned study that standing over prolonged periods may help fight hypertension, as well as the previously listed risks of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, but this is just an educated guess at this point. There haven’t been enough studies to prove the efficacy of a standing desk. And just recently, CNN deflated all the standing-desk hype with their claim that they are largely unnecessary. Walking and movement should be stressed over anything. Staying still in a different form doesn’t solve anything, according to the research.
So, should I get one or not?
Try it out. If it motivates you to do some stretches or calf raises while you are checking emails, it seems like a no-brainer to purchase a standing desk. If you find your back pain is lessened because you aren’t hunched over in your chair for multiple hours a day, then buy the desk! Here is a handy-dandy guide for doing so: Buying Guide. If not, try and take a short walk every hour or two while working; your overall health will improve immensely.