Are standing desks bad for you? That certainly seems to be what the internet wants you to believe!
Bottom line: No – standing desks are not bad for you.
They actually have many benefits that will improve your overall health while working or spending time at a computer. What is bad for you, is sitting all day long. Here are five reasons standing desks are not bad for you and obvious benefits of using a standing desk:
1. Makes you more productive
2. Improves your blood flow and heart health
3. Better for your back
4. Improved leg strength
5. Burns calories and increases metabolism
Are you feeling worse or better using a Standing Desk?
Now, maybe you are wondering if standing desks are bad for you because you are using one now and experiencing some pain. If so, this is likely a result of your body adjusting to the standing desk, or some common mistakes people make while using a standing desk or sit to stand converter desk.
Always make sure you have good posture, use a standing mat, and don’t stand for longer than necessary. You want to ensure you and alternating between sitting and standing while working at your standing desk.
When I first starting using a standing desk I experienced some pain in my hip. Once I pin pointed the problem and corrected my posture, I haven’t had any pain and am benefiting everyday from a better lifestyle using a standing desk.
So are standing desks bad for you?
Unfortunately, there are a lot of naysayers towards using a standing desk that believe it is just a trend without any true benefits. An often cited Harvard health blog would like for you to believe that using a standing desk or sit to stand converter desk is bad for your health or has little benefit.
For instance, this Harvard health blog cites a study by the Journal of Physical Activity and Health (which the Harvard blog throws a jab at for even existing?) that you only burn a few more calories standing than you do sitting.
Other reputable health sites, like this article from health.com, also discourage everyday workers from using standing desks (and references the same study). In the end, they all say that standing too long (up to 9 hours per day) can have negative side effects. Okay, no kidding.
Anything you over do will have negative consequences- especially for 9 hours. And knowing that, I was really disappointed to see articles from “health.com” and “Harvard health” with such a negative slant towards using standing desks.
That would be like running.com saying using a treadmill is bad for you, because if you used it for too long – or up to 9 hours straight, it would actually cause you pain. Really?
I don’t believe their argument has a leg to stand on. They even follow up the negative headlines and opening arguments with the possible benefits (Harvard calls them “assumed” benefits) of using a standing desks and offer up links for where you can buy a standing desk. Thanks for the click bait.
These articles also target the benefits of using a standing desk, losing weight in particular. The study found that you only burn 8 calories more per hour when you stand versus when you are sitting. This would be the equivalent of only burning one carrot the entire day. That would be true if all you did was stand still- all day long – compared to sitting.
The problem with this thinking is that when you are sitting, that’s all you can do is sit there and be sedentary. But when you are standing, you can do anything and much more. That is the power of using a standing desk. You are up and inspired to move around, walk more, talk more, be more engaging. The list goes on (I’ve documented my own discovery with this here). So using a standing desk is a lot more than just standing still.
The same rational can be argued against taking a walk every morning. A short walk may only burn a couple hundred calories, or the equivalent of skipping cream and sugar in your coffee, but every one knows that there is much more of a difference and more positive health benefits of getting out and exercising no matter how small or what you decide to do. Not much you can criticize about taking a walk every day. Just don’t do it for 9 hours straight….
So if you’re doubting whether or not using a standing desk can be bad for you, dig a little deeper when you see popular websites trying to say it is just a trend or not as healthy as it seems. It is great and will significantly change your lifestyle once you switch.
Many people have commented on their experiences using a standing desk on reddit or amazon and if you are having trouble deciding if using a standing desk is bad for you don’t worry, it probably isn’t going to hurt you and will likely make you better off for it. Enjoy your standing desk and keep standing!