A look at the state of health benefits of standing desks

If you are reading this article, chances are you are interested in buying a standing height adjustable desk and want to know what the true benefits of using one may be. And you should be! The last 3 to 4 years have seen some pretty strong statements made in favor of the health benefits associated with adjustable height desks and not all by the marketing departments of companies selling these desks. Some of what has been said is fanciful and some is backed up by good science or professional experience. At Replacementtablelegs.com, we’re interested in providing the best possible, current information to our customers. Let me share what we have found.

At the time of this writing, there are some prevailing beliefs that we feel reasonably confident about concerning the health benefits associated with using an adjustable height desk. They are:

  • To our knowledge, there has not yet been definite scientific proof made publicly available proving that a standing desk prevents any illness in particular.
  • There are psychological benefits including increased engagement in tasks performed while standing.
  • There are benefits in productivity asserted by many people who are not marketers and who have used the desks for reasonably long periods of time.
  • It is reasonable to assert that working at a desk while standing supports the strengthening of core muscles associated with back support.
  • Moderate and carefully-planned use seem to provide any benefits, perceived or real, that can be had.

Not much to get excited about? There is more than meets the eye! Let’s take a brief look at each of these above points.

Lack of Scientific Proof

The US Center for Disease Control weighed in on this topic way back in 2011 in this article. The outlook was pretty hopeful for associated health benefits and, to a layman, the sources cited at the end of the article were pretty impressive. At the beginning of 2014, we are unable to find, professionally researched and documented proof that standing at your desk will help prevent the major diseases, which are obesity, cancer and heart attack. Is the jury still out? Yes, definitely. What we were able to find is an awful lot of blog post, social media and news article-based evidence that people are experiencing improved weight control, a key factor in overall health and specifically in the major diseases mentioned above.

Psychological benefits

One of the most powerful results of exercise, motion and positioning of the body is the impact it can have on our mental states, our productivity at work and overall happiness. Research has shown that body poses, as presented in this TED Talk, may impact how we deal with psychological challenges and our overall mental health. The belief that using a standing height desk can have a positive impact on your mental outlook and performance is one being discussed by many people from many professional backgrounds.

Core Muscle Strengthening

When you stand and move, reposition your body and adjust your balance, you are using and therefore strengthening muscles in your midsection that are responsible for protecting your back and maintaining your balance. Essentially it is a low-impact workout. As a result and added benefit for most, it’s almost certain that you are also burning more calories.

Moderation, Moderation, Moderation

A final thought that definitely has a place in this discussion is the necessity in all things of moderation. Quite often we have read accounts describing situations where people have taken standing in the workplace or at their desks to an extreme. As with any new exercise, a planned, limited initial routine is essential to a pain and injury-free experience. Best results are obtained by easing into standing at your desk. Initially, try 15 minutes every 4 hours, giving your body a chance to adjust.

The discussion of the health benefits of standing height desks is one that we will be continuing to monitor and report on. Why? Because our customers benefit most when they have access to good information and a satisfaction with our products naturally flows from there! Check back for updates in the months to come!