Weighing the Pros and Cons of a Standing Desk

In the past couple of years, we have heard and read tons of researches and studies about the health dangers of sitting for extended hours, how sedentary lifestyle has affected our daily living, and its frightening long term effects to the human body. This is where the popularity of sit-stand desks stemmed from. Though popular in 1700s and 1800s, standing desks have been making a comeback in the past couple of years, particularly among those who work with their computer all day, every day. Today, we have tons of various models from different products that offer variety of style and sophistication. But is having a standing desk really worth the investment? Is standing really the answer to counteract the perils of sitting? In this entry, Dual Monitors Guide will weigh the benefits and disadvantages of standing desks and help readers like you understand the pros and cons better.

(image from Amazon)

Standing desks aim to provide healthier alternative for people who work for long hours in their computer. Tens, if not hundreds of studies and researches show and emphasize the dangers of sitting for long hours daily, ranging from increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, different types of cancer, and various chronic disease attributed to sedentary lifestyle. The worst part of it all is sitting can negate all your exercises and fitness efforts in the gym can be undone if you spend the rest of your day sitting. This is the problem standing desksheight adjustable desks and sit-stand desks tries to solve – to encourage standing at work and provide a healthier workstation for people trapped in sedentary lifestyle.

Standing Desk Pros

More Energy, Improves Attention, Focus and Productivity

Standing will help keep your blood circulation at healthy level, giving you more energy and keeping your brain more active. Many people say they become more productive at work when standing, this is because their brain constantly reminds itself what it’s supposed to be working and the body is constantly active. Many users say they are more attuned and focused in their work, which results to better productivity. After all, it is a lot harder to get sleepy when you’re standing. Business Insider has  proof that standing desks can actually make you more productive.

 

Faster and Better Metabolism

Standing obviously recruits and demands more muscular activity than sitting and encourages movement, which helps your body burn more calories. When we sit for extended period of time, our body goes to a state where it stops producing chemicals needed for processing fats and sugar, which slows metabolism down and affects blood circulation. Standing on the other hand, helps regular your blood sugar and lowers your blood pressure.

 Many standing desk users even report losing as much as five (5) lbs. in the first week of standing at work. It may not seem a lot but it’s definitely far better compared to the amount of weight you can gain from sitting. Also, it’s not a bad start if you want to improve your metabolism. Imagine how it can help your body in the long run. Learn more from this Calorie Burning Calculator – Standing vs. Sitting While Working.

 

Better Posture, No More Back Pain

(image from LifeHacker)

Sitting puts too much stress on or bum and lower back. Over time, this stress leads to aches, and if you’re sitting with bad posture, it can develop into serious problems like nagging back pains, shoulder pain and neck strain. As a matter of fact, most back pains today originate from extensive amount of time sitting and slouching in workstations. Standing eliminates these problems and as a matter of fact, there are both anecdotal and scientific evidences that show how standing can alleviate back pain and other forms of repetitive stress injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Standing involves core muscles which develops core strength, our lower body muscles are flexed regularly, supporting chemical production and healthy functions. 

Standing Desk Cons

Sore Feet

It’s no secret that your feet and legs will feel sore in the first couple of days of using standing desks, especially if you’re standing on the same spot with very little movement. This is completely normal, and there is nothing to worry about. Your body is earning to adjust your new routine. Different people have different length of time to get accustomed to standing at work. Once you get accustomed to it, you will feel comfortable standing without sore feet and legs. Suck the pain up, it pays off in the end, and your body will thank you. Life Hack has some great exercises and tips to get rid of pain when standing.

 

Having to Wear Comfortable Shoes

Because you will stand for hours, you obviously have to sacrifice fashion and ditch your stilettos or savvy black shoes and wear comfortable footwear instead. Most people wear running shoes, some wear tennis shoes, some even add gel inserts to help their feet feel more comfortable. Some go barefoot and opt for standing mats. There are tons of choices for you out there, but they all boil down to whatever is comfortable for you.

Ergotron Standing Mat (image from Amazon)

Not the Best Choice for Laptop Users

The space between your keyboard and laptop screen doesn’t fit to the space between your elbow and your eyes. Putting the laptop at the same height as your elbow will force you to look down, which causes stress to your neck and shoulders. But there are simple hacks for this dilemma; you can get yourself an extra monitor with a decent monitor stand that you can pull up to eye level and an external keyboard and mouse and connect them to your laptop. If purchasing an external monitor isn’t possible, you can purchase a keyboard and mouse, connect them to your laptop and elevate your laptop up to eye level. Some people stock up books to elevate their laptop, but your best ergonomic solution is to get a separate laptop stand to mount to your standing desk. Dual Monitors Guide has an article about how a sit-stand desk fits perfectly for laptop users.

(image from Ergotron)


Bottom Line

As you can see, standing desk offers tons of benefits in both ergonomics and health, as it lets you break free from the chains of sitting. Obviously, its major benefit is avoiding all the perils of sitting.

Though standing is generally better than sitting, too much standing is also not good for the body. As a matter of fact, it can be detrimental for your health, as the stress and fatigue your body gets can do more harm than good. Using a standing desk doesn’t mean you have to stand all throughout the day.

The benefits of standing don’t lie in standing per se, but in the freedom of movement. Standing lets you move around and recruit more muscle from your body through passive physical activities, such as walking around, dancing and singing in your workstation as your music plays in your computer of mobile phone, getting your coffee, photocopy files, talking to your officemates, etc.

(image from Ergotron)

All in all, despite these small issues, it’s generally safe to say that standing desk is far better than your traditional office desk, that there is more good than bad that comes from having one, and every con has its solution. Standing and moving is better than sitting for long hours on daily. A sit-stand desk combines the best of both worlds, as you can sit and stand whenever you want. Some people who are serious about staying active at work go to the extent of using treadmill desk.

 

(image from Amazon)

For more about workstation solutions and computer setup tips, check out Dual Monitors Guide now!



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