Sit-Stand Desks, also known as a Sit/ Stand Workstation or Standing Desk, are becoming increasingly popular in office workplaces and even some schools. Research into these desks claim a whole deal of benefits with their use, but while sitstand desks has plenty of research behind it, there are still many misconceptions about it and even some doubts.
In this post, we will delve into what exactly a sit-stand desk is, it’s proper use, and what benefits they may provide its user.
What is a Sit/Stand Desk?
A sit-stand desk is a fully adjustable desk. There are many height adjustable desks on the market, but do not confuse a sit-stand desk to a mere height adjustable one, they may be similar but sit-stand desks are able to adjust to full standing height and are relatively easy to adjust because the user will have to change the heights quite frequently throughout the day.
The main misconception towards sit-stand desks is that people assume that you are supposed to be standing all the time while using them, where in fact, you are not supposed to. Before the term sit-stand desk, even I only knew it as a standing desk, and therefore in the name it is easy to see where a lot of people thought incorrectly.
As in the example of the misconception, standing for 6-10 hours a day is not a good way to use your sit-stand desk, and sitting down for the same time frame defeats the purpose. The correct way to use a sit-stand desk is to alternate from sitting to standing. Now, when you are first introduced to the desk, your body may not be accustomed to it, therefore a ratio of standing for a minimum of 5 minutes for every 30 minutes of desk use is advised. Over time, you will be able to stand for a longer period of time without excessive fatiguing in the legs. It is also recommended that the user get an antifatigue mat that they can stand on which has been ergonomically engineered to keep you standing longer without any aches or pains.
There have been plenty of research papers dedicated to finding out what the benefits sit-stand desks are, some results from the research include:
Decreased sedentary behaviour - Sedentary behaviour refers to any very low energy activities such as sitting or reclining. It is perhaps a very obvious statement that a sit-stand desk will decrease your sitting time, but in the end how you use your own sit-stand desk is entirely up to you. Decreased sedentary behaviour has been proven to decrease weight gain, and prevent the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.
Improved Chronic Low Back Pain - Introduction of a sit-stand desk has shown to improve the condition of people suffering from chronic low back pain.
Increased Productivity - Tests in the office workplace and classrooms have revealed that there is users of a sit-stand desk have a more positive behaviour which in turn increases their own productivity.
Enhanced Cognitive Development - This is an important one for kids in school, with increased energy expenditure and productivity, the child’s cognitive development is enhanced which will also help them academically.
There are obviously pros and cons for everything, the list of drawbacks for use of the sit-stand desk include:
Sore Feet - During those first few weeks of using your sit-stand desk, your feet may feel especially fatigued and sore, the best way to combat this is to get an antifatigue mat mentioned before.
Extra Effort - With a sit-stand desk, you either use it 100% or not at all. The user has to be dedicated to its use to gain the benefits.
Laptop Use - In a office workplace, it is more difficult to use a laptop while standing because the keyboard and monitor is attached and therefore will not be ergonomic as the user adjusts their desk.
The Sit-Stand Desk is paraphernalia that requires very little knowledge to operate but requires effort and a fair bit of understanding on the user's part if they want to reap thbenefits of a sitstand desk.
This article has been prepared by Julius Principe. Please leave your comments below if you have any further questions about standing desks