Dr. Kristen Mitteness
Should You Get a Standing Desk?
We've seen the headlines that sitting is the new smoking. I see patients every day with aches and pains that I can confidently attribute to prolonged sitting. And it's not just sitting at work. It's sitting at the table for your meals, then sitting in your car or on the bus to and from work, then sitting in front of your computer for leisure, then sitting while you scroll on your phone when you are waiting, then sitting on the couch as you watch TV to wind down. We sit for a absurd amount of our day.
How can we mitigate this? And can a standing desk fix the problem? Sort of. Before you look into getting a standing desk, I highly recommend you simply move more throughout the day. Set a timer so you are sitting no longer than 45 minutes at a time. Universities often say that we can only focus or study for this amount of time. The same goes for work. And taking quick breaks (30 seconds to 5 minutes) is enough to give your body a break from not moving (moving will increase blood flow and cerebral spinal fluid flow), to improve your posture and refocus your brain resulting in more productive work.
Now, the standing desk question. Yes, it gets you upright and prevents a forward leaning posture to a degree. I still find myself with poor posture while I'm standing in one spot for too long and I see it in others during every day life. It doesn't change the fact that you are not moving. You will still need to set a timer to walk around. What I have found is that when I'm standing I am more prone to changing positions and walking around. One downside is that you may find that your low back gets sore with prolonged standing. Having a stool nearby to prop your foot on can help take some pressure off your low back while standing. Just be sure to alternate which foot you elevate to help mitigate any tightness or over compensation on one side.
Many standing desk converters are very affordable and easy to assemble. Mine is from AnthroDesk and I really do love it. I have even found that my energy throughout the day has improved since using it.
What does your workstation look like? I would love to know!