To find out whether standing desks are good for you, we’ve compiled some research on the topic. The short answer is that too much of anything is probably bad for us, and the best work environment combines sitting, standing, and walking throughout the day.
Standing desks are still helpful, though. Standing desk skeptics fear varicose veins or atherosclerosis from standing for long hours; does this hold up?
Like smoking, the consequences of sitting are not always countered by exercise. We’re not built to sit for hours at a time. Standing all day has its consequences too, so the best rule of thumb is to keep it varied and generally keep moving throughout the day.
Are standing desks good for you? Research indicates they’re not bad.
Here are 5 studies that support standing more (or, at the very least, sitting much less!):
- A 2012 study shows the impact on women in particular, even when controlling for moderate and vigorous exercise.
- A 2011 study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that when workers are equipped with sit-stand workstations, prolonged sitting is reduced and mood states improve.
- A 2010 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests that people who sit for long periods during their leisure time have an increased risk of disease.
- An American Cancer Society study of 120,000 adults, published in 2010, suggests that the more people sit, the shorter their average life span. What’s more, the findings were independent of physical activity levels.
- A 2009 University of Queensland study found that even when adults meet physical activity guidelines, sitting for prolonged periods can compromise metabolic health.
Here’s a great NY Times article on the same issue, identifying sitting as its own pathology.
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