Standing desks have long been thought of as an ergonomic way to do computer work. In addition, they are touted to have many health benefits. Productivity is also said to increase with standing desks. So, whether it be at the company office or home office, you might be wondering if standing desks are worth the money.
Types of Standing Desks
Standing is the operative word for a standing desk. All of these desks promote standing for long periods of time when you work.
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One type of standing desk is the fixed height. It's height is adjustable so you can set it for your comfort. The desk will then stay in one position.
Another type is the sit-stand desk. It goes up and down so you can switch between sitting and standing. There are two versions of the sit-stand desk. One is electronically powered. You merely push a button, and the desk moves up and down. The other sit-stand desk is manual. It is lifted and lowered with a handle or crank.
If you're really into physical activity, you can go for the treadmill desk. This standing desk lets you walk as you work.
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Standing Desks Cost
Standing desks and sitting desks are comparable in price. You can purchase a basic fixed-height desk for under $100. But if you want an excellent electric desk, it'll run you more than $1,000. A treadmill desk will also be over $1,000.
Shifting your weight is essential when standing at a desk. So, many people opt for a footrest. You can use an upside-down garbage can or buy one. But they take the strain off your legs periodically.
Flooring is important when standing all day. If proper flooring isn't available, or you want a little more cushion, you may need an anti-fatigue mat.
If you tire of standing, a leaning chair might come in handy. They are designed to allow you to perch. A neutral position is often promoted.
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Be sure to work up to standing at a desk.
Benefits of Standing Desks
Advocates say that standing helps blood sugar drop back to normal after a meal. They also say that standing desks help with weight loss, diabetes prevention, cardiovascular disease and premature death. This is all based on studies indicating that sitting contributes to these diseases.
In a study by the National Library of Medicine, lower back pain improved by 32 percent in obese office workers who stood and sat during the day. These participants also experienced higher energy levels, with those that sat experiencing higher fatigue than those who also stood.
Cons of Standing Desks
Standing burns slightly higher than 88 calories per hour. That equals to roughly 700 calories for an eight-hour day. But sitting burns 80 calories per hour, which comes to 640 calories per day. That's not enough to contribute to any actual weight loss. There wasn't a significant difference in expended energy between standing and sitting to state that one was better than the other for weight loss.
Critics also point out that it's challenging to use a laptop when standing because the screen is attached to the keyboard. You either must reach up to type or look down to see the screen. This causes upper back pain and shoulder pain.
Good fitting shoes are also imperative to prevent foot soreness and blisters. And standing all day allows blood to pool in the lower legs, which promotes blood clots.
Critics also claim that standing ultimately increases fatigue. This is due to feet and legs bearing the entire body weight for long periods of time.
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Standing Desks Worth
Be sure to work up to standing at a desk. Starting out with standing all day could lead to soreness and fatigue. This is specifically true if you have a sedentary lifestyle.
Standing desks are equal to sitting desks when it comes to cost. So, it's a personal preference. Do you want to stand or sit? Since the jury is still out on the benefits, you might be better off just going for a walk.
- WebMd: Standing Desks: How They can Help You Beat Inactivity
- Cleveland Clinic: Are Standing Desks Better for You?
- Harvard Health Publishing: The Truth Behind Standing Desks
- Healthline: 7 Benefits of a Standing Desk
- Open Source Workplace: 25 Reasons You Shouldn’t Buy a Standing Desk
- Start Standing: A Guide to Proper Sitting and Standing Desk Ergonomics
- National Library of Medicine: Energy Expenditure During Acute Periods of Sitting, Standing and Walking
- National Library of Medicine: Breaking up Workplace Sitting Time with Intermittent Standing Bouts Improves Fatigue and Musculoskeletal Discomfort in Overweight/Obese Office Workers