With the growing popularity of stand up desks in the workplace in recent years, there have been many claims about their associated benefits. Taken at face value, standing desks claim to solve all manner of workplace problems including back issues, weight gain, mental health and productivity. One research study even goes so far as to claim that standing up while working could slow the ageing process.
Despite all of these claims, a balanced approach to the use of stand up desks in the workplace is recommended. It’s best not to think of a standing desk as the be all end all, which is why many desks that are sold in this category allow for both sitting and standing positions.
So what specifically do standing desks claim to help with? Below is a brief summary of the typical benefits you can expect from standing more while you work:
Standing desks take the weight off
The old saying goes ‘take a load off’ but the inverse may actually be true. Standing while you work generally burns more calories than sitting, so those concerned about weight issues find standing more keeps them healthier.
In fact, one study published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology suggested people could lose 2.5kg over the course of a year if they switched to standing for six hours per day.
The health benefits aren’t just limited to your weight. Studies have also shown a positive effect on cardiovascular health and blood sugar levels.
Take a stand against back pain
You might have already come across a co-worker using a standing desk in your workplace due to back issues. It’s not surprising given back pain is one of the most common complaints faced by office workers.
The use of a sit-stand desk has been shown in more than one published study to improve the symptoms of chronic back pain, as well as upper back and neck pain.
Standing more can brighten your day and improve productivity
We’ve all been there. A deadline is looming or the morning has slipped away because you’ve been working on the latest big project at work. By the middle of the afternoon you feel like a nap or maybe you’re even exhausted.
The good news is standing at your desk has been proven to lessen stress and fatigue with up to 87% of those using standing desks reporting increased vigour and energy. Feeling more energetic at work also has obvious flow-on effects to overall worker mood and mental health, as well as helping to improve productivity throughout the workday.
A balanced approach to stand up desks
Before you rush out and replace your existing desk, it’s important to determine what’s best for your individual situation. For example, if you currently spend the majority of the day sitting, don’t expect to feel great if you suddenly start standing all day. It takes time to adjust to a new way of working and you’ll risk developing back, leg or foot pain if you make the transition too quickly.
Likewise, being on your feet all day also brings its own set of issues as many retail workers have experienced. Therefore, it’s best to aim for a blend of both sitting and standing throughout your work day.
A research study from the University of Chester recommends office workers aim for a minimum of two hours per day standing but increase this to four hours per day when possible.
Have you considered a height adjustable workstation?
SB Office Furniture offers a high-quality range of height adjustable workstations that allow for both sitting and standing positions including electronic and manual versions. You can see some of our range of stand up desks here.