Total Health

What are the health benefits of standing desks?

February 24th, 2021 by
Category: Back pain Dr. Kodie Smith Health & Wellbeing Office Ergonomics

It is no secret that we, as humans are designed to move and that our bodies thrive with movement. Whether it is going for marathon runs, walks along the beach or even something as simple as pulling a few weeds in the garden, movement is a key factor in looking after our overall health and well-being. However, with the modern era and evolution of technology, we find ourselves stuck behind desks and computers more often than not. Today, I am here to share with you a simple, yet effective way to get more movement back into your office lifestyle.

Why is sitting bad?

First of all, let’s talk about sitting. Did you know that sitting for 30 minutes without a break, or sitting down all day at work is likely to be detrimental to your health? Crazy, right? Research has shown that prolonged sitting not only reduces muscle activity and sufficient movement, but it also creates extra pressure on the tissues and joints, increases tightness in our muscles, reduces our flexibility and mobility, and overall leads to increased stiffness and pain throughout the body. ‘How do I fix this when I am at work all week?’ I hear you say? Well, I have a solution.

Standing desks

A stand up desk or a ‘sit stand’ desk is an office desk designed to allow users to have the freedom to stand up while working at their station. Throughout the last century, standing desks have gained a lot of momentum and popularity in the market, with more research showing the positive impact that they can have on overall health and wellbeing. In saying this, history has shown that the use of standing desks dates back as far as Leonardo Da Vinci and has been used by several historical figures throughout time, including Benjamin Franklin and Virginia Wolfe. 

What are the different types of standing desks?

There are currently four main types of standing desks available:

1. Static standing desk

A static standing desk is a fixed, non-adjustable desk that has the sole purpose of allowing the user to stand when working. It usually has a standard, built-in height that can not be altered.

3. Mechanically adjustable desk

manually adjustable desk

Mechanically adjustable standing desks can be manually adjusted from a seated to a standing desk. They are often referred to as the “set and forget desks” because users can set the desk to the height or position they are comfortable with and leave it this way. They are manually adjusted by a lever or crank. 

4. Electrically adjustable desk

Varidesk electric standing desk stock photo

Electrically adjustable desks have an electric lift system that adjusts the height of the desk from sitting to standing with the push of a button. These desks are usually more expensive, however extremely simple to use and are currently very popular in the office environment.

5. Standing desk converter

VariDesk Cube Plus 40 standing desk

A converter piece is an additional piece of equipment that can be utilised on all desk types. Its purpose is to convert stationary seated desks easily to a standing desk by placing the converter on top of the flat surface. Its popularity has increased with the development of COVID-19 and the amount of people working from home.

What are the benefits of standing desks?

The integration and use of a stand up desk design can have several health related benefits – both short and long term – including:

  • Reduced back pain
  • Improved spinal health (flexibility and mobility)
  • Boosted work productivity
  • Increased concentration
  • Reduced impact of certain health risks like cardiovascular issues, diabetes and obesity
  • Incorporation of physical activity in the workplace

Stand up desks are more than just a popular fad that will be forgotten about in a couple of months or years. Standing desks – or sit stand desks – are a forever evolving piece of equipment that has existed for hundreds of years and has given us the all important reminder to get up, move and/or stand to help improve our general health and wellness.  The essential thing to remember when purchasing such equipment is to find what works best for you and your situation. If you require further information around the benefits of standing desks, consult a health professional to discover how standing can help you today and into the future. 


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