Are standing desks worth the hype?
You’ve probably seen them. Add-ons or altogether new instalments throughout the Lower Mainland, in your local gym or the office next to you.
“What is that?” you ask.
“Well, it’s my standing desk!” your coworker or newly introduced acquaintance proclaims
We wanted to investigate for ourselves what the hype was all about and in the end, if it’s worth it to get a standing desk.
1. What is a standing desk?
- A standing desk is a desk at which you stand at, rather than sit. There are also “sit-to-stand” options, that function as both (you can raise or lower them with a button or simply by pressing or lifting the desk itself)
2. How does it help me?
- Companies might say that standing gets you out of your desk. Our opinion is that being stationary is the enemy. Alternating sitting and standing can help but there is no substitute for movement. In this case then, walking breaks, even if small, are key.
3. What can a standing desk do that a regular desk can’t?
- Remember that health comes on a spectrum. What is great for one person can be miles away from being great for the next person. In this case, a standing desk can help someone avoid sitting for long periods of time. For the next person, a standing desk might be a justification to not go to the gym, because they believe that they are moving around enough and avoiding sitting.
4. Why we could get behind them.
- We want our bodies to be moving after all, so not having something behind you gives way to you being able to move around much more easily. You’re already standing, just keep it going down the hall or around the building!
- If your computer and desk is at the right height, then you’re set up! Your neck, back and hips are aligned properly, you have the chance to shift your weight around and you are not sitting.
5. Why we don’t like them.
- Being in any stationary position is bad for you, and what may matter more is what posture you’re in during that stationary position and not whether you’re sitting or standing.
- People tend to lean to one side or “hip pop”, and this is worse than if you were sitting! When your body weight leans to one side, you create an imbalance.
- They still don’t do much for the fact that you need to be moving and not simply standing. The fact is, you need to be up and moving around, so try to find ways to incorporate movement into your day. Try getting up to pass a message instead of emailing it!
6. The verdict
- Find a countertop that you can stand at for various periods of time throughout your day. Focus on being active rather than resorting to a simple sit-stand desk as a fill-in for your daily movement.
- Sit-stand desks may be the best option as they allow variability of positions, which is key!
- Try one out for yourself to see which feels better on your back and body as it is different for everyone.
- Remember, there is no substitute for movement! Build in breaks or work activities that can get you away from your desk.