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Are Standing Desks Good For Lower Back Pain?

November 01, 2021

Are Standing Desks Good For Lower Back Pain?

An estimated 4 million Australians suffer from some form of back pain. This can make your life more difficult than it needs to be, hurting your sleep patterns and your mood.

So are standing desks the lower back pain solution we’ve all been searching for?

The sudden interest in standing desks comes as no surprise. With remote work on the rise, we all want our home offices to be as comfortable as possible. 

Adding a  height-adjustable desk to your office is one way to make work easier and less painful. Lots of people say that standing desks have helped them with back pain, but we wanted to look at what the data say.

We wanted to get to the bottom of whether standing desks are good for combatting back pain. Are they really better for you than sitting all day, or is it all a placebo?

Standing Desks and Lower Back Pain

Are standing desks better for lower back pain

There have been recent debates on  standing desks and back pain. 

Standing desks are good for back pain if used correctly. If this sets your mind wandering, you aren’t the first. Aren’t you just standing? How could there be a wrong way to use them?

It’s well documented that sitting for long periods ruins our posture. This leads to neck and back pain which can result in chronic disorders further down the line. 

But standing too long has adverse effects too. It strains the leg joints, particularly in the knees and ankles. You can counter this by wearing orthopedic shoes and using an anti-fatigue mat. 

The best approach is to alternate between sitting and standing every two hours. This promotes healthy circulation, increases alertness, and eases back pain. For this reason, sit-and-stand desks are particularly useful. You can adjust the height of your desk as you swap between sitting and standing, allowing you to change positions every couple of hours.

There’s also a positive correlation between  standing desks and blood pressure. Sitting for long periods increases blood pressure and a standing desk can prevent this. 

How to Use a Standing Desk For Back Pain

When you get a standing desk, the first thing to do is adjust it to the appropriate height. 

Your wrists should sit flat on the desk, your elbows bent at 90-degrees. This is the best height for a standing desk as it alleviates the pressure on your joints while you work. 

Your head, neck, and spine will be aligned, ensuring the perfect  standing desk posture

Make sure your computer monitor is at eye level or slightly below. If you find yourself straining towards the screen, you might need to raise the monitor a bit. 

Adjusting to a standing desk might take some time. You should start off with 30-minutes every hour or two. Overdoing it could make your back pain worse, undoing any of the good you’re aiming for. 

In any case, you shouldn’t stand for too long. Much like sitting for too long causes problems, so does standing. The best option is to alternate between the two. 

Consider getting an electrical desk. They usually have programmable buttons for you to save your preferred heights. This will allow you to easily switch between sitting and standing, maintaining the perfect height at all times.

Check out UpDown Desk's PRO Series Electric Standing Desks!

Benefits of Standing Desks

is a standing desk good for lower back pain

Standing desks are not only good for lower back pain. There are other health  benefits of stand-up desks, too. 

These health benefits include:

  • Improved productivity
  • Increased alertness
  • Improved posture
  • Stretches tight muscles
  • Eases back pain
  • Small calorie burn

There are also other advantages of sit-stand desks that can benefit you:

Schools can use  standing desks for students with ADHD. Being able to switch positions regularly helps to control fidgeting and the need to move. This helps them stay focused on the task at hand as their need to move around is being fulfilled.

Standing desks and neck pain are closely related as well. A height-adjustable desk will help to improve your posture, which reduces the stress and pain in your neck.

Exercising at a Standing Desk

The correlation between  standing desks and weight loss is still unproven. While you do burn more calories while standing, the difference is minimal.

But if you are looking to lose some weight, you can do it while standing.Standing desk exercises can be anything from squats to lunges. 

You can add in some light stretches or yoga too. This might be a great way to get through long, boring documents. Many people find that yoga, while relaxing, also helps to improve focus.

Getting your endorphins flowing might also help you figure out a tough problem. Not only is it great for circulation, but it relieves stress and improves problem-solving abilities. 

Final Considerations

One of the main things people want to know is whether a  standing desk is bad for your knees. If we stand for extended periods there is the risk of pain and discomfort in the legs. 

Being on our feet too long can cause swelling. But instead of getting a simple standing desk, get a sit-stand desk that allows you to move around rather than being stuck in one position all day.

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