The relationship between lack of exercise and developing chronic diseases is clear, and much of that science has been used to begin to study the relationship between sitting and chronic disease. Early studies suggest that long periods of sitting, such as many people do when they work at a desk, is related to developing obesity, Type 2DM, heart disease, and even some cancers. But science moves slowly, and high-quality research takes time. Industrial designers, looking at the possibility that sitting at a workstation or desk may be bad for our health, began to look at options.

How Standing Desks Help

The standing desk is valued by its proponents for the benefits related to chronic back and neck pain, as well as the increased activity needed to keep healthy. Many of the results from the first years of use suggest that the improved posture that people adopt when working at a standing desk improves both chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain. Maybe more importantly, the way people work when using a standing desk is different than a traditional sitting desk.

Keep Moving

Simply standing in place for long periods of time without moving is rough on the knees, feet, and ankles, and can bring its own back pain. Working at a standing desk, though, and moving frequently is the sweet spot. Many people who work at a standing desk think on their feet and work on their feet, moving from station to station, interacting with coworkers. It’s the activity associated with moving that has the health benefits, and this increased activity is easier from a standing desk than a traditional sitting desk.

Incorporating Standing Desks in Your Workspace

Many workplaces find that a mix of the two types best serves the diversity of staff, and many with a love of standing desks also like to switch it up and sit to work on occasion. New hybrid desk models that are easy to convert from sitting to standing and back again are gaining in popularity. These convertible desks tend to be lightweight and portable, so moving configurations in workspaces can easily be accomplished. New methods of working, such as not being assigned a desk, but choosing one when arriving for a unit of work, is becoming popular as well. A mix of traditional, standing, and convertible desks that are both portable and can be easily moved and adapted by staff are gaining wide acceptance.

 

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