Working in the office – standing or sitting?

Unless you have a pretty cool job where you get to play with puppies all day or pretend you’re a Princess at Disneyland (AKA the best jobs ever), there’s a high chance that you sit in an office on a computer all day. Of course, while you might not have a pile of puppies on your lap, working in an office can be the best kind of job for those that don’t like people and seem to have a constant case of my-hands-are-ice-cold-itis. However, scientists have always noted that sitting down for long periods of time and remaining stationary all day is not good for your health. Because of this, standing desks have made an appearance in offices around the globe – but are they really that much better for you?

Sitting down all day isn’t great, so what does a standing desk do?

Well, the concept of a standing desk is pretty darn simple. Rather than sitting on a chair to work on a desk low-down to the ground, you stand up to work on a desk that it is the perfect height for your standing physique. Great, right? We all know that sitting down for long periods of time is detrimental to your health, which is why some people opt for a standing desk. According to the US National Library of Medicine, using a standing desk can help your blood sugar levels and your metabolism. In fact, it makes both processes quicker! After eating, your blood sugar levels normally take a few hours to return to normal. Yet, if you’re standing up, your blood sugar levels will return to a stable state much quicker. This ultimately helps your metabolism – which is always a good thing. As if that wasn’t cool enough, standing desks have also helped the posture and back pain of those who previously suffered while sitting down for long periods of time. All in all, there are numerous positives to using a standing desk, but are they really that great?

Are standing desks really as great as they seem?

Unfortunately, it seems they’re not as great as they seem. In fact, a 2017 study into the usage of standing desks has come to the conclusion that “prolonged standing may have health and productive impacts.” During the study, those that used standing desks for more than two hours at a time would often find themselves plagued with physical maladies, including lower limb swelling, muscle fatigue and discomfort. However, standing desks didn’t just have a physical effect on the participants of this study. While the study noted that those standing up did see a spike of creativity within their work-day, the participants’ reaction times worsened throughout prolonged standing, and their mental health “deteriorated” as time wore on. These scientific findings have also matched up with the personal reviews of standing desks from professionals. Many of them stated that the standing desks left them in intense feelings of discomfort, and they did not feel as if their work day was more productive.

So what do you do?

With negatives at both sitting and standing desks, it seems we have no other option but to fill our offices with water and swim throughout the work day, right? Well, not quite. According to experts, the best way to have a productive work day and remain healthy is to sit down at your desk but to ensure that you take regular walking and moving breaks. In fact, they suggest that you should walk for just two minutes every hour!

Everyone knows that sitting all day at the office is bad for you, but as long as you walk around every so often – you should be absolutely fine!