Standing Desks: Are They Worth the Investment?
- Posted on: Jun 15 2018
We’ve been told for some time now that sitting for long stretches can be bad for our health. This is more than an old wives tale; a sedentary lifestyle that involves sitting in traffic to get to work, sitting at a desk all day, sitting in traffic to get home, then sitting in front of the television for a few hours can have serious health consequences. Prolonged sitting can increase cholesterol levels, blood sugar, blood pressure, and weight. Combined, these increases then elevate the risk for cardiovascular disease.
The substantial evidence against sitting has led to some interesting changes. One is the invention of the standing desk. The science surrounding this phenomenon suggests that standing at a work desk, rather than sitting, can increase focus and also support healthier circulation. Standing is also believed to strengthen awareness of how much physical movement occurs on any given day.
Is the Standing Desk the Right Alternative to Sitting?
It is recommended that all people stand up and move around for approximately 15 minutes for every 45 to 60 minutes spent sitting. Does the standing desk help us accomplish this? According to research, a standing desk may pose just as many risks as a sitting desk.
Scientific research has pointed to prolonged standing as a risk for poor circulation and fluid accumulation in the lower extremities. Varicose veins may also result from too much standing. Risks are higher for pregnant women and individuals with health conditions or excess weight.
Ultimately, standing desks don’t seem to be the best alternative to sitting desks. However, there are strategies that support vein health.
Standing and Sitting: The Perfect Duo
Standing and sitting, when combined in healthy ratios, provide the amount of movement and rest that is necessary for optimal circulation.
- When sitting, it is beneficial to place your feet on a low footrest or stool that brings your feet about six inches off the floor.
- Your chair is also important, as it either helps or hurts your overall posture.
- If possible, alternate between standing and sitting every hour or so. Remember the ratio, though: 15 minutes standing for every 45 to 60 minutes sitting.
- When standing, flex your calf muscles to promote blood flow from the lower legs.
- Trade high heels and tight clothing for looser, more supportive apparel.