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November 01, 2021

Is a Standing Desk better for you than Sitting?

Whether a standing desk is better for you than sitting depends on pre-existing health conditions and how you use your  standing desk.

While studies seem to be in favour of standing desks, this much-debated topic has been left rather inconclusive, conflicting opinions and all, and in need of further investigation.

No Worries. Sherlock’s home, so let’s show you what she found.

Which Is Better: Sitting or Standing?

The potential health benefits of using the correct height standing desk at appropriate intervals can be summarised as follows:

Physical Health Benefits:

  • Better Posture
  • Better Breathing
  • Improved Circulation
  • Increased Energy
  • More Movement and Freedom for Physical Activity
  • Natural Pain Relief
  • Lowers the Risk of Disease

Mental Health Benefits:

  • Improved Mood
  • Improved Self-Esteem
  • Improved Concentration and Mental Alertness
  • Improved Performance and Increased Productivity
  • Increased Creativity and
  • Overall Wellbeing

Detailed Analysis

Posture

Is standing at a desk better than sitting

Standing desks have a significant and rather effortless improvement on your posture in comparison to sitting.

The correct height for the task at hand is of vital importance for optimum  standing desk posture. This is the reason we prefer height-adjustable desks.

Circulation

Neither sitting nor standing for extended periods is beneficial, especially for joint or vascular issues. We do, however, move more while standing, and the extra freedom and flexibility of working at a sit or stand desk would definitely bring a bit of joy, even to the furthest of joints.

Sitting time should always be balanced with movement. Unfortunately standing by itself is not enough, and no amount of exercise can make up for an entire day of sitting - even though it may partially negate harmful effects.

Increased Energy

Increased energy may be directed towards exercise which in turn, provides the perfect exchange by positively affecting overall health and happiness.

Improved Muscle Tone

Standing automatically lends itself to an increase in muscle tone since it engages larger groups of muscles than a sitting position.

More Movement and Freedom for Physical Activity

A standing desk encourages you to further physical activity, which is one of the main reasons why it would be the better option. Dancing while sitting is doable, but dancing while standing is better.

Natural Pain Relief

Discomfort and pain serve as a warning. If the underlying issue isn’t addressed, you may be walking yourself down the aisle to an unhealthy marriage with chronic inflammation or permanent injury.

We are also more prone to change our posture for the better while standing in comparison to sitting, sleeping, or, often, daydreaming in our chairs.

The freedom and flexibility of an adjustable height standing desk, but especially the transition from sitting to standing and vice versa, leads to added movement that may help to reduce pain due to stagnant energy.

Studies have shown that chronic neck, shoulder, back, and even wrist pain, can be reduced within weeks of shifting to a standing desk.

Are standing desks good for lower back pain? Yes. Standing relieves the pressure on lumbar discs, which tend to bulge out more while sitting.

Is a standing desk better for your back? Yes. A standing desk automatically lends itself to better posture and spinal alignment if set up at the correct height.

Neck pain is most often the result of incorrectly positioned reading material. A height-adjustable standing desk may therefore prevent neck pain altogether.

Is standing desk bad for knees? If you already have knee problems, sitting may be a better solution, on the condition that you don’t cross your legs or remain in the same position for an extended period.

Lowers the Risk of Disease

As a result of better posture, the increase in circulation, and physical movement, standing desks may indirectly contribute to the prevention of serious diseases, especially those associated with metabolic syndromes, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

There’s also a positive relationship between  standing desks and blood pressure. A standing desk may help to lower blood pressure, since better circulation results in lower cholesterol, even through compromised arteries. As much as our blood pressure varies throughout the day, prolonged high blood pressure needs to be addressed for the sake of preserving health.

Can standing desks help lose weight?

While standing requires a higher energy expenditure than sitting, it won’t necessarily lead to weight loss as the difference in calories burnt are minimal. It may however result in better digestion. 

Still, the benefit of an adjustable desk lies more in the physical movement than the final sit or stance, and standing does encourage positive behavioural improvements that may lead to weight loss. 

Standing desk exercises are another way to incorporate more movement into your day.

Since circulatory challenges, often as a combined result of inactivity and genetics, play a role in the formation of varicose veins, stand-up desks may seem to lean towards the positive side of the scale. The relationship between  standing desks and varicose veins is still undetermined, but it seems to be effective.

Yet this is exactly where the importance of a balanced sit-to-stand routine really starts to show. 

As much as sitting may relieve the pain in a varicose vein, the combination of movement and better posture while standing has an overall positive effect on circulation. All things in balance.

Improved Mood

The freedom of choice between sitting or standing at an adjustable desk is good mood food since less physical stress naturally makes us feel happier and healthier. 

Better Self-Esteem

Research has shown that the link between posture and self-esteem works both ways, so standing at your desk is undoubtedly better.

Improved Concentration and Mental Alertness

As sit-to-stand desks help us take routine breaks by encouraging physical movement, they improve concentration and keep us on our toes for longer, especially when standing.

This means that we are more able and ready to react to both physical as well as mental requirements. And the result? Improved performance and productivity.

Improved Performance and Increased Productivity

Standing desks for students with ADHD are highly beneficial as the added movement slows down mental processes and thereby reduces stress, frustration, and fidgeting while promoting a more positive expenditure of energy in the form of physical activity.

Productivity while standing also depends on what it is that you are doing. Finer tasks, such as crafts that require more stability, may still be easier to accomplish while sitting. However generalized administrative duties and computer work have shown a positive increase in productivity while using a standing desk. 

Increased Creativity

standing at a desk better than sitting

Whether comfort leads to creativity, is debatable. However a shift in position often leads to a shift in perception, and that may indeed lead the way to increased creativity.

Increased Overall Well-being

Body and mind undoubtedly benefit from the correct use of a sit-to-stand desk.  A balanced approach, as well as the extra movement in between, leads to an overall improvement of both physical and mental health and well-being.

Conclusion

Our bodies are meant to move, and our desks should promote as much freedom and flexibility as possible while remaining stable.

You shouldn’t be standing at your desk all day. Any prolonged static position, whether it be sitting or standing, may be detrimental to health.

Adjusting to a standing desk may initially cause discomfort, and a gradual increase is advisable. The best way to achieve your optimum balance would be to trust your body to tell you when a shift in position is needed.

Balance in all things is at the core of creating well-being, and an adjustable height desk seems to be the best solution after all.

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