Switching from a regular desk to a standing one is not an easy decision. Before purchasing a suitable standing desk, you might need to know everything about it. This article will inform you about some pros and cons of a standing desk. While some of them will be obvious, other pros and cons of a standing desk will be quite exceptional.
Standing Desk Pros and Cons 1
Standing desks have been trendy for quite a while worldwide. What do people buy them for?
1. Improved Productivity, Health and Comfort
According to a research from Texas A&M University, a standing desk is proven to increase employees’ productivity. Together with this statement, a group of 91 call center workers was tested: 46 of them were working at a usual desk while the rest was using a standing desk. An approximate time of working standing at a standing desk was 1.6 hours. The study reports that the productivity of workers who were using a standing desk was 46% higher than their fellow workers. Likewise, the measurement of productivity was the amount of successful phone calls per hour.
Another study from University of British Columbia, reports standing desks to be responsible for an increase in productivity, health and comfort levels. Likewise, in 2016, 73 staff members of the University took part in an experiment. 33 members had access to a standing desk while 40 people had no opportunity to work standing. An independent online survey was conducted where respondents had to answer a few questions. To sum it up, employees who had an opportunity to work standing at a standing desk were reported to have better health (24.09 points vs. 23.63 points, accordingly), a better productivity level (30 points vs. 29.55 points) and a higher comfort level (83.36 points vs. 73.63 points).
2.Lower Risk of Childhood Obesity
Childhood obesity is a serious issue worldwide. As reported in a study from UCLA, standing desks at schools may improve a problem of obesity. A special project took place in one of elementary schools in California: children were supposed to use standing desks. At the same time, they had a chance to use them as much as they wanted and were allowed to sit when they wanted. As reported, a 30-40 minute movements daily at a standing desk were responsible for a 46% increase in students’ activity. Moreover, overweight children were observed to have more energy than students with normal weight.
Another study from University of Memphis suggests a standing desk increases energy expenditure for obese people. An experiment took place some years ago, and 14 obese and 19 normal weight people took part in it. They had to work at a standing desk for some time. As a result, an increase in an energy expenditure was very significant for a group of obese participants. The study also showed that standing for few hours a day can be a trigger to achieve a loss of 2000 kcal a week.
3.Improved Cognitive Function
Standing desks are responsible for improving cognitive functioning. A study from Texas A&M University suggests that working at a standing desk improves some analytical skills. A group of High School freshmen was tested for some period of time. Students were supposed to work at a standing desk for a while. As a result, a significant improvement in many cognitive skills were noticed. Namely, students were reported to manage their time more effectively, they were better at memorizing facts, they better understood what they were reading. Moreover, High School pupils were better at organizing skills in writing and at solving multi-step problems.
4.Reduced Lower Back Pain
A great variety of studies worldwide show that the usage of a standing desk can significantly reduce lower back pain. People of various professions took part in many researches worldwide. All of them were supposed to work standing at a standing desk. A special condition was required: pain-free population without any back musculoskeletal disorders. As reported, the amount of lower back pain complaints decreased by -0.23 points. In addition to this, participants who were physically active and were changing their posture more often had less back pain complaints.
5.Better Cardiometabolic Health
Cardiometabolic heath is proven to get better when working at a standing desk. In the USA, some years ago a special research was conducted. Healthy college students took part in an experiment for 7 weeks. They were supposed to work standing at a standing desk for 3 weeks and sitting for 4 weeks.The purpose was to check the link between prolonged sitting and metabolic syndrome, prediabetes and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The following results were shown: cardiometabolic risk factors were much lower when students were standing and metabolic syndrome was improved when students were working at a standing desk.
Standing Desk Pros and Cons 2
Having a variety of amazing benefits, a standing desk also has some drawbacks. Working standing can be a risk factor for development of many diseases. In fact, you need to be aware of any health issues you may have before you get a standing desk.
1.Increased Risk of Varicose Veins
Prolonged sitting time is associated with a development of varicose veins diseases. In Denmark almost 10 thousand of employees took part in an experiment for 12 years. Risk ratio was estimated with regards to a smoking status, body mass index (BMI) and body lifting. Likewise, within a gap of 12 years, there were 40 cases of hospitalisation because of varicose veins. For employees with standing work or walking the relative risk of getting a varicose vein disease was 1.75 competed to 3.34 for sitting work. The ratio between men and women was the same – 22.5%.
2.Lower Limb Swellings
Standing for a prolonged period of time can cause lower limbs issues. Some researches show that standing for more than 2 hours can cause swelling in lower limbs even for healthy people. Some years ago, 20 people took part in an experiment. They had to stand for 2 hours and then many parameters such as muscle fatigue, biceps femoris, erector spinae, metal state and low back angle were measured. While having no changes in many of them, the one exception was a significant increase of lower limb swellings.
Pros and Cons of a Standing Desk: Conclusion
Pros and cons of a standing desk should be taken into a close consideration before you get one for yourself. Yet, make your health a priority! 😉 In addition to this, remember about some important criteria of a standing desk itself such as height, weight capacity, noise level, speed, durability anfd many more. In case of any questions or considerations, feel free to contact us anytime.
Sources of Standing Desk Pros and Cons:
- Pickens, A.W., Kress, M.M., Benden, M.E., Zhao, H., Wendel, M., Congleton, J.J. (2016): Stand-capable desk use in a call center: a six-month follow-up pilot study https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0033350615004345
- Cournoyer, A., Tan, A., Lee, C., Zhang, J., Lai, Z. (2016): Time to get up: the hidden benefits of standing desks https://open.library.ubc.ca/cIRcle/collections/undergraduateresearch/18861/items/1.034311
- Do, T., Tsang, J.: Standing Desks: An Intervention to Reduce Childhood Obesity https://www.losangelesmedicine.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Proposal-6_Standing-Desks-An-Intervention-to-Reduce-Childhood-Obesity_Do_Tsang.pdf
- Smith, N. J.G., Butawan, M., Cardwell, J., Bloomer, R.J. (2018): Use of a Standing Desk Increases Energy Expenditure in Obese but Not Normal Weight People https://file.scirp.org/pdf/Health_2018071615161330.pdf
- Texas A&M University Health Science Center (2016): New Study Indicates Students’ Cognitive Functioning Improves When Using Standing Desks https://vitalrecord.tamhsc.edu/new-study-indicates-students-cognitive-functioning-improves-when-using-standing-desks/
- Butler, K.M., Ramos S.J., Buchanan, Dalleck, L.C. (2018): Can reducing sitting time at university setting improve the cardiometabolic health of college students? https://www.dovepress.com/can-reducing-sitting-time-in-the-university-setting-improve-the-cardio-peer-reviewed-article-DMSO
- Tuchsen, F., Hannerz, H., Burr,H., Krause, N. (2005): Prolonged standing at work and hospitalisation due to varicose veins: a 12 year prospective study of the Danish population https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1740939/pdf/v062p00847.pdf
- Rempel, D. (2014): Do sit-stand workstations improve cardiovascular health? https://uwaterloo.ca/centre-of-research-expertise-for-the-prevention-of-musculoskeletal-disorders/resources/position-papers/do-sit-stand-workstations-improve-cardiovascular-health
- Baker,R., Coenen, P., Howie, E., Lee, J., Williamson, A., Straker, L. (2018): A detailed description of the short-term musculoskeletal and cognitive effects of prolonged standing for office computer work https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00140139.2017.1420825?scroll=top&needAccess=true&journalCode=terg20&