Ever since the industrial revolution, there has been a focus on fitness. As we moved into jobs that demanded less of us physically, it became more and more difficult to stay in shape. Now that most people work desk jobs, this is truer than ever.
As such, office workers, freelancers, and more are looking for ways they can keep themselves feeling well while still making a living. One current trend is the use of a standing desk.
The Idea Behind the Standing Desk
A standing desk is, as the name implies, a desk you stand at while using it. The idea behind this type of desk is that if you are standing, you will be using more of the muscles in your body, keeping them toned and burning more calories than you would if you were sitting. In theory, you should find your posture improved, greater core strength, less back pain, and more energy.
General Benefits of Standing Desks
The primary benefit that a standing desk offers is the improved core in terms of both strength and posture. Because the core muscles are constantly engaged, you tone those muscles in a way that you do not when sitting. Over time, this results in straighter posture and less back pain.
Because standing is less relaxing than sitting, you may also find that you have more energy throughout the day, getting tired less often and being more productive in your work.
Finally, if you are someone who fidgets a lot, a standing desk gives you more options for movement, which can lead to greater productivity for those who need this outlet.
Using a Standing Desk Correctly
If you decide to use a standing desk, you to use it properly. The first thing you need to do is not get rid of your sitting desk and desk chair. Standing all day can actually cause health problems, so the goal here is not to just stand for the entire workday. Instead, alternative an hour or two standing with an hour or two sitting. It is a good idea to schedule more active tasks when standing and the more passive tasks while sitting so your energy levels match the work you do.
Move while you are standing. Have you ever noticed that when you walk for hours, your feet, legs, and back are fine, but if you stand for 30 minutes, they hurt? Movement is needed to make a standing desk work. Shuffle, sway, and even use a foot rest to elevate one foot at a time.
Purchase a standing desk where you can really control the height. Standing isn't going to alleviate your aches and pains if you must strain your body to reach the desk.
Use a memory foam mat to stand on, taking some of the strain out of your ankles, knees, and hips. Wear proper shoes for the same reason.
If you do not have room for a standing desk and a sitting desk, purchase a sit-to-stand option.
Is a Standing Desk Right for You?
Before switching to a standing desk, speak with your doctor about any health conditions you might have that could make this dangerous for you. If your doctor says it is fine, consider what you are wanting from a standing desk. If you are expecting weight loss, incredible energy, or a significant increase in productivity, it is not likely to meet your expectations. If, however, you want to improve your posture and strength and would like an alternative to sitting all day, a standing desk is a good option for you.
Freelance writer and editor with an education background, working from home and living abroad.