The Basics and Benefits of Standing Desks

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If you’ve spent a fair amount of time searching for office furniture, you’ve probably already come across one of the trendiest items on the market: standing desks. Offering a respite from hours of sitting, these innovative workplace solutions are already in use at both companies and home offices across the nation. Leading entities such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and Apple all provide sit-stand workstations for their employees to utilise.

So, what is the truth about these alternatives? Are they an ergonomic solution every worker should incorporate into their home office? Or are they a mere fad that doesn’t offer much value? Stay tuned as we answer these questions — and more.

VOLT sit-stand workstation

What’s the Problem with Sitting?

The idea of standing desks can be a head-scratcher for many; after all, working societies have utilised desk-and-chair combinations for years. Despite remaining a useful option for workforces across the world, studies reveal prolonged sitting is associated with quite a few health concerns, including:

  • Poor heart health.
  • Increased risk of dementia and diabetes.
  • Blood clots.
  • Weight gain.
  • Back problems.

Of course, this is not to say that sitting at your desk for a workday is a highway to premature death. “Sitting” can mean many things, and these issues commonly arise in individuals who avoid physical activity altogether. Walking as little as 30 minutes during your break can do wonders for your health, from burning calories to keeping your heart healthy. Still, sitting at a desk won’t exactly do you any favours.

ACTIF sit-stand workstation


Are Standing Desks the Answer?

At the mention of the frightening health concerns listed above, most individuals will heavily consider replacing their conventional office furniture setup with a sit-stand workstation. But, before you do, it’s important to note the differences between each approach.

Due to their relatively recent introduction into office spaces, standing desks have yet to receive the same amount of research as their counterparts. Initial studies have found variations between each approach, though they are minimal. 

Some of the positive benefits associated with standing desks include:

  • More calories burned. (88 calories an hour, a small increase from sitting.)
  • Reduction of upper back and neck pain.
  • Increased productivity and focus.
  • Lowered risk of weight gain and obesity.

Compared to the risks posed by sit-down workstations, this is a step in the right direction. Ultimately, staying on your feet is always a better option compared to sitting for hours on end. 


HYDRA sit-stand workstation


So, What’s the Catch?

Like anything else, standing desks can cross the line of being “too much of a good thing”. While their benefits prove an alternative option for individuals spending long hours at their desks, it’s essential to keep some considerations in mind — or else the solution could do more harm than good.

For starters, switching from a sit-down to a sit-stand workstation requires a smooth transition. Going straight from a chair to standing for eight hours a day can put you at risk of back, foot or leg injuries. Instead, a healthy 50 – 50 split between sitting and standing is the recommended approach.

Furthermore, you’ll have to ensure your feet are well taken care of. Invest in an anti-fatigue foot mat to prevent foot pain from standing. Finally, use a small stepping stool to rest one leg on throughout the day. Switch them regularly, as this will keep your lower back from growing sore.     

As long as you follow these steps, you can enjoy standing at work without any complications.

VOLT sit-stand workstation


Final Thoughts

When all is said and done, standing desks still outrank sit-down desks. No, they are not a miracle for some of the issues posed by long work hours, but they can reduce the risk; current research proves as much, and future studies look promising. Even if it is only a small improvement, it could make all the difference when it comes to staying healthy.

Interested in sit-stand workstations? Take a look at our range of ergonomic office furniture at: