Several months back, we explored the benefits of standing desks. But, as with everything good, there is always a bad side.
Some time back, the craze around standing desks lit the furniture and office design world alight. Scores of people started flocking to the standing desk, believing it was a revolution in office work life.
Read about the craze: 7 Benefits of a Standing Desk – Healthline.com
As stated above, the news about standing desks isn’t all good. From different types of back pain to muscle fatigue, there are definitely negative aspects of this furniture craze.
Read below some of the negative health impacts that exclusively using standing desks can have on your body. Then, at the end, read about how a more balanced approach to office work can in fact be better for you!
Are Standing Desks Healthy?
Sitting is the new smoking as the doctors say, but standing may be the new McDonalds diet.
Standing for extended periods of time – just as with doing just about anything for extended periods of time – is harmful to your posture and your legs.
If you’ve ever worked in retail, it’s easy to understand how standing all day can be painful. Servers and bartenders at restaurants are always complaining about foot and leg pain, so it only makes sense that standing in an office all day wouldn’t be much better for you.
The Health Risks of Standing All Day
The risks of standing all day are numerous. From higher blood pressure to muscle fatigue, it’s becoming more clear with further study that standing and sitting have very similar health impacts, inversely from each other.
Blood Pressure Standing Up
Have you ever stood up quickly and felt dizzy? That’s because blood quickly pools into your legs, causing a quick drop in blood pressure.
Standing for long periods of time means gravity is pulling down on all the blood in your body, making your heart work harder to keep it circulating throughout your body.
Because of this reason, people who primarily stand at work are twice as likely to develop heart disease than other people, according to an article by Today.com.
Read: Standing too much at work may be even worse for your health than sitting
Standing Desks and Back Pain
It’s pretty easy to understand that sitting all the time – which often results in slouching – is very bad for your back and posture.
When you stand, the muscles in your back are forcing your posture to be straight. The harm comes from – whether sitting or standing – maintaining a single posture for prolonged periods of time.
Whether sitting or standing, you need to make sure you’re moving around. Take a quick walk around the office, or go visit your coworkers to get yourself moving.
Standing all day uses your leg muscles for much longer than they are meant to be used.
That means you are wearing out your leg muscles every time you spend the whole day standing. Make sure to take a break as often as is reasonable to give your leg muscles a rest.
So if Sitting and Standing is Bad, What is One to Do?
The takeaway from this article is that doing too much of one thing is bad for you.
Standing too much puts too much stress on your body, and sitting all day diminishes your body’s natural strength. That means you have to find a compromise between the two.
Having a desk that changes for sitting and standing is great – you can use both postures interchangeably throughout the day.
For those who don’t have the option to buy an interchangeable desk, just get up and move around. Whether sitting or standing all day, even just a little bit of movement will do wonders for your long-term health and short-term mood.