Is a standing desk a good idea?


The importance of your daily work posture is critical to your health. Standing is a skill that needs to be developed.  Simply getting a standing desk and trying to use it all day is not the best option.  Many try to push through aches and pains because they think they’ll “get past it”.  Those are signals that your body is trying to tell you, it is not ready to stand all day.  So what can you do to help build your standing skills?

To begin with, many standing desks offer the ability to go from sitting to standing.  This is a great feature until, often due to discomfort, you regress to sitting the majority of the day.  Take incremental steps!  Set goals each week and track your standing:sitting ratio.  If you’re at one hour a day, great.  Keep working at it!  There are also many ways you can add to your standing experience other than simply switching back to sitting.  
•    Try getting a foot rest for which you can prop one foot on at a time.  
•    Use a ball or other object to rest one foot at a time.
•    Use a golf ball, tennis ball, lacrosse ball to mobilize the bottom of your foot (barefoot if your colleagues are ok with it!)  
•    Try out an anti-fatigue mat (they even have ones shaped like a topographical map that allows for many postural changes.  For example: 
•    Use a chair or stool to lean, stretch and reposition yourself.

Movement is your body’s nutrition!  These often subtle position changes are what your body craves!  Though I would prefer you didn't have to stand or sit at a desk all day, that is not an option for many of us.  Sit to stand desks can be a great help for improving your body’s posture and health but you have to work at it.  Challenge yourself to take notes and try to hit your goals.  Like many activities, you’ll get much better the more proactive you are.  It is not simply for your aches and pains either.  There are multiple studies on how sitting affects your circulatory system, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar just to name a few.  According to Dr. James Levine, the co-director of the Mayo Clinic, for every hour you sit your life expectancy drops by 2 hours.  Though this can be quite shocking, he also notes that 90 seconds of standing activates the muscular and cellular systems that processes blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol thus reducing your risks of diabetes and obesity.  So please, get up and get moving!

For a comprehensive review on some available standing desks, take a look at

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