Stand Up Sit Down: The Value of a Sit-Standing Desk

by Chris Martin on November 10, 2014

You’re one of those people who doesn’t run out to buy the next best thing the minute it’s released. Instead, you like to see whether a product stands the test of time before you purchase it. This approach has saved you an immeasurable amount of money by refraining from getting a Zune, an HP Touch Pad, or a Segway.

Standing desk
Or, if you’re of a certain age, an Edsel.

The same holds true with regard to the standing desk craze. Health publications were extolling the virtues of this type of office equipment that’s designed to help eliminate an unhealthy sedentary lifestyle. And once again, your caution has been vindicated; the ubiquitous standing desk transformation has yet to materialize.

That said, you know that too much sitting can increase your risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Is there any smart way to combat this problem?

Absolutely. Just transition to a sit-standing desk instead.

What’s the Difference?

Even though many people use the terms interchangeably, a sit-standing desk differs substantially from a standing desk. While a standing desk utilizes a permanently-higher working surface that’s positioned for a person who is standing, a sit-standing desk is height-adjustable. Therefore, you have the option of raising or lowering the desktop depending on whether you wish to stand up or sit down.

Sit-standing desks are becoming especially popular among millennials.

There are quite a few sit-standing desks on the market today. NextDesk is one of the most popular brands of sit-standing desks. Herman Miller also makes a quality product in this category. Even IKEA has jumped into this market by creating its own motorized sit-standing desk.

All Standing and No Sitting Makes Jack an Achy Boy

Why are sit-standing desks becoming the preferred option for health-conscious desk job workers? Because as it turns out, standing all day long comes with its own set of health problems, too. Many people who have made the sudden change to standing desks have reported heel pain, swollen ankles, and even sore back muscles.

In reality, the “everything in moderation” mantra applies to standing in the workplace as well. For people who have sit-standing desks, a typical amount of standing during the workday is between two and three hours. This generally allows them to reap many of the benefits of standing desks without putting undue stress on their bodies.

This guy didn’t practice moderation during his two three seven-martini lunch.

Because here’s the thing: people get the greatest health improvements when they find the perfect balance between standing up and sitting down (as well as moving around). Most office workers can’t handle an abrupt shift from sitting down all day to being on their feet for long periods of time. However, if you allow each individual to determine which tasks are to be performed while seated and which ones can be completed while standing, he or she can maximize the benefits of achieving a healthier lifestyle.

Sit-Standing Desks and Anti-Fatigue Mats: A Great Pairing

So if you want to break the chains of your office chair, consider getting a sit-standing desk with either manual or automatic adjustable height capability. It’s also recommended that you use an anti-fatigue mat during the periods when you are on your feet. This specially-designed mat can help facilitate blood flow through your limbs and trunk, thereby eliminating the fatigue that tends to accompany lengthy standing. To view a wide selection of anti-fatigue mats that are perfect for almost any environment, check out the Ultimate Mats website today.

Image credit #1, #2: Flickr – ClaySimplified Building

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